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Exploration and treatment of sFlt-mediated cardiac dysfunction in animal model of preeclampsia (Manchester-Melbourne Dual Award)

Project Description

Our project “Exploration and treatment of sFlt-mediated cardiac dysfunction in animal model of preeclampsia” provides an exciting opportunity for a student interested in maternal and fetal health to learn and develop new techniques in two world leading centres that are focused on translating laboratory experiments into improvements in clinical care. Preeclampsia is a worldwide health problem that affects 3-5% of all pregnant women and is a leading cause of maternal and perinatal mortality. Women who have suffered preeclampsia undergo potentially detrimental changes in cardiac function which are potentially linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in later life.
This project will initially focus on learning the processes and methods required to develop the lentiviral sFlt1 overexpression model of preeclampsia which has recently been created in Melbourne. Having achieved this the student will transfer the model to Manchester. In Manchester they will use state of the art small animal imaging facilities and in vitro measures of vessel function to examine the effects of a potential therapy for preeclampsia induced cardiac dysfunction, enalapril. If successful this will allow the development of further studies that will potentially prevent long term cardiovascular disease in may millions of women worldwide.


Funding Notes

This project is available to UK/EU candidates. Funding covers fees and stipend for 3.5 years. Candidates will be required to split their time between Manchester and Melbourne.

Applications should be submitted online and candidates should make direct contact with the Manchester supervisor to discuss their application directly. Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.


• Bellamy L. Pre-eclampsia and risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer in later life: systematic review and meta-analysis BMJ. 2007;335(7627):974.
• Shahul S. Circulating Antiangiogenic Factors and Myocardial Dysfunction in Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy Hypertension. 2016;67(6):1273-80.
• Investigators THOPEHS. N Engl J Med. 2000;342:145-53
• Onda et al, Proton Pump Inhibitors Decrease Soluble fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase-1 and Soluble Endoglin Secretion, Decrease Hypertension, and Rescue Endothelial Dysfunction. Hypertension 2017; 69(3): 457-46
• Kumasawa et al, Pravastatin induces placental growth factor (PGF) and ameliorates preeclampsia in a mouse model. PNAS 2011; 108(4), 1451-5

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