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Genetics, histology and embryology of the cardiovascular system (carotid arteries and coronary arteries)
Slovenia (SloMSIC) - University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana
Institute of Histology and Embryology
Prof. Dr. Daniel Petrovič
Assist. dr. Ines Cilenšek, assistant professor Sara Mankoč
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
In Slovenia there are more then 125.000 people with diabetes and the number is still rising. 22,2% of population over 75 years old has type 2 diabetes and 16% of those between 65 and 75. Diabetes is associated with both microvascular and macrovascular diseases affecting several organs, including muscle, skin, heart, brain, and kidneys. This disorders are also the leading cause of visual loss, end-stage renal disease and amputation. One of the important risk factors for developing all this complications in diabetes is also genetics. This project will focus on finding the link between different gene polymorphisms and the rate of micro- and macrovascular complications in older patients with diabetes type 2.
What is the aim of the project?
The aim of the project is to evaluate genetic polymorphims and define risk genotypes as potential genetic markers of some phenotype (carotid atherosclerosis, diabetic nephropathy, diabetic retinopathy, proliferative diabetic retinopathy...). They may be used for diagnostic purposes of this disorders in the future.
What techniques and methods are used?
DNA of 1000 subjects with type 2 diabetes with different macrovascular disorders (carotid artery disease – asymptomatic and symptomatic, coronary artery disease) and microvascular disorders (diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy) is available with clinical data. Genetical analysis will be performed (Real-time (RT) – Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), restriction fragment length polymorphism, gel electrophoresis, DNA isolation) to evaluate genetic polymorphisms and define risk genotypes as potential genetic markers of some phenotypes (carotid atherosclerosis, carotid intima media thickness, diabetic nephropathy, diabetic retinopathy, proliferative diabetic retinopathy, retinal angiogenesis in proliferative diabetic retinopathy). Genetic testing defines risk genotypes of polymorphisms of different candidate genes for various disorders and they are statistically analyzed using chi-square in association study - genotype distribution between cases with same phenotype compared to the subjects without that genotype (control group).
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks of the student will be performed on his/her own
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student has to start his or her training by reading the literature related to this project. Then he or she has to discuss the main ideas and topics with the supervisor before starting to work in the laboratory. Later, the student will be observing the supervisor working in the lab in order to learn the technics. He will also learn how to use laboratory tools and machines in order for the student to later be able to perform some technics on his or her own under supervision of the mentor. Student will learn the basics of DNA isolation, restriction fragment length polymorphism, use of gel electrophoresis, PCR analysis and other technics, which he will be allowed to do under supervision. Student will also be highly involved in analysis of the data colected and will be asked to make a written report at the end of the exchange (presentation/ poster/ abstract/ scientific report).
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Demonstration of techniques used
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 presentation - The student will prepare a scientific report - The student will prepare an abstract - The student’s name will be mentioned in a future publication
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
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