Diabetes is one of the major non-infectious threats to global health, affecting around 1 in 10 of the European population. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have different underlying causes and approaches to treatment but both conditions can have devastating consequences and continue to impair both quality and quantity of life. Lowering glucose to near normal levels can substantially reduce the risk of diabetic microvascular complications, macrovascular disease and mortality. However, intensive treatment with insulin or sulphonylureas is associated with an increased risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose), the occurrence of which is associated with acute cognitive dysfunction, confusion, coma, seizures, cardiac arrhythmias and rarely, death. Repeated episodes of hypoglycaemia have also been associated with significant end-organ disease, particularly in the heart and brain and are of major concern to both health care professionals and people with diabetes. Prof Rory J McCrimmon is WP2 lead on a 4-year European funded IMI project (Hypo-Resolve) that aims to study the consequences of recurrent hypoglycaemia in Type 1 and 2 diabetes. This PhD will focus on examining the impact of recurrent hypoglycaemia on cardiovascular function in rodent models of type 2 diabetes or controls. The candidate will examine for tissue markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as performing RNASeq and epigenetic analysis to study the consequences of recurrent hypoglycaemia in cardiac tissue.In addition, there is the opportunity to learn in vivo techniques required to assess cardiac function (cardiac pressure-volume (PV) loop analysis, and vascular function by laser Doppler).
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