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Identification of New Drugs to Delay Atherosclerosis
Portugal ( PorMSIC) - Nova University of Lisbon, Lisbon
CEDOC-NOVA MEDICAL SCHOOL
Otilia V. Vieira
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Atherosclerosis is the major cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It results from the uptake by macrophages (Mφ) of modified Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) in the arterial intima and subsequent inflammation. One of the modifications that LDL undergo is oxidation which leads to formation of oxidized lipid species (Ox-lipids) that, with time, will be detected in the blood. Based on that, we determined the lipidome of CVD patients. Results show that the concentration of one particular family of Ox-lipids was found to be at least 2-3 times higher in blood plasma of CVD patients than normal donors. Cell biological studies showed that these Ox-lipids have pro-atherogenic and inflammatory properties. We, therefore, hypothesize that a better understanding of the pro-atherogenic Ox-lipids properties could lead to the identification of new therapies.
What is the aim of the project?
The aim of this project is mainly to understand better the involvement of Ox-lipids in pro-atherogenic events and to find new therapeutic targets to delay atheroscle
What techniques and methods are used?
We propose to investigate: 1) the Ox-lipids effects at the molecular and cellular levels on Mφ (induction of lipidosis, inflammation and cell death); 2) their patho-physiological effects on atheroma formation, development and instability in mice; 3) screen drugs that block the effects of Ox-lipids. To achieve the goals, we use primary cell cultures of established “eternalized” cell lines as well as animal models and human tissues form healthy and diseased individuals. This research currently applies some state-of-the-art techniques including High-Throughput screening of lentiviral trafficking libraries, Live-Cell Imaging and Electron Microscopy.
What is the role of the student?
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will be considered a member of the team, he will first get to know the procedure of each technique and then he will perform all cell cultures and work directly with animal models and human tissues form healthy and diseased individuals. He will also perform Live-Cell Imaging and Electron Microscopy. He will assist the researchers in other that are being performed in the development of our work at the time of the student’s arrival.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a poster - The student will prepare a presentation
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students
- Please go to and find out more about our work: http://cedoc.unl.pt/lysosomes-in- chronic-human-pathologies-and-infection/
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