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The effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA, “fish oils”), on vascular and potassium channel function


Project Description

There is a large body of evidence that consumption of oily fish or supplementation of fish oils leads to improvements in cardiovascular heath (as well as other health benefits including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects). Recent research in my laboratory has identified several novel mechanisms by which n-3 PUFAs may exert their beneficial cardiovascular effects – particularly relating vascular function. This research focusses on the effect of n-3 PUFAs on potassium channels expressed in the cardiovascular system. This project will examine these effects using measurements of vascular function (myography) and electrophysiological and molecular biology techniques to characterise the mechanisms by which fish oils evoke increases in blood flow and reduction in blood pressure. There is also the possibility that a candidate with a background in chemistry could also develop novel compounds based on the structure of n-3 fatty acids to target these potassium channels specifically. The aim of this project is to discover potential future therapeutic agents in cardiovascular diseases most notably for hypertension (high blood pressure).
It is worth to note as there are increasing links between cardiovascular health and neurodegenerative diseases this project has scope to be extended to, or focused on effect of n-3 PUFAs at the interface between cardiovascular and cerebral diseases. Especially as the potassium channels my group focuses on play important roles in both disease types.
I am advertising for self-funded students, I am open to enquiries from talented individuals with an interest in any of these subject areas to discuss securing research funds, including schemes available at the University of Reading and beyond.

Funding Notes

At least degree in pharmacology, physiology, biochemistry or a related biomedical science

How good is research at University of Reading in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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