MRes - Investigating endothelial function: How does β-catenin regulate nitric oxide signalling
Supervisors: Dr Christina Warboys and Prof Caroline Wheeler-Jones
Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Endothelial cells line the walls of blood vessels and play a critical role in the regulation of vessel function. As well as having endocrine properties, endothelial cells regulate vascular permeability, vessel tone and haemostasis. One of the key signalling molecules in healthy endothelium is nitric oxide (NO). Importantly, reduced NO levels are associated with endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular diseases. Identifying the signalling pathways that regulate NO will enable us to better understand vascular function in health and disease. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is the main vascular source of NO. We have previously identified β-catenin as a novel regulator of eNOS with important effects on endothelial function.
This project will comprehensively investigate the regulation of eNOS by β-catenin. A better understanding of normal endothelial function may reveal important insights into the development of cardiovascular disease and may in time reveal targets for therapeutic intervention to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. This project will suit a candidate with an interest in cardiovascular/endothelial cell biology and a background in biomedical sciences, physiology, pharmacology, molecular biology or a related discipline, and will provide training in a wide range of biochemical and molecular techniques alongside assessment of endothelial cell function.
Warboys CM, et al. Bidirectional cross-regulation between the eNOS and β-catenin signalling pathways. Cardiovascular Research 2014; 104(1): 116-126.
Tajadura V, et al. β-catenin promotes endothelial survival by regulating eNOS activity and flow-dependent anti-apoptotic gene expression. Cell Death and Disease 2020; 11:493
Medina-Leyte et al. Endothelial Dysfunction, Inflammation and Coronary Artery Disease: Potential Biomarkers and Promising Therapeutical Approaches. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2021, 22(8), 3850
- Must meet our standard MRes entry requirements.
- Applicants must have a minimum of a 2:1 BSc or equivalent in a relevant subject
Applicant does not need to be a vet or veterinary scientist. This project will suit anyone with a biological sciences background
Strong interest in cardiovascular sciences
Previous experience in a laboratory setting and use of in vitro models
Evidence of good communication skills
This is a full time project commencing in October 2023, based at RVC's Camden campus.
Self-funded: The MRes student will be expected to meet all of the project costs (£4000), course fees and their living expenses. International applicants are welcome to apply but must be able to fund the difference between "Home" and "Overseas" tuition fees. Please note that EU/EEA and Swiss national students may no longer be eligible for the “Home” rate of tuition fees, dependent on personal circumstances (including immigration status and residence history in the UK) and UK government rules which are currently being developed.
International applicants are welcome to apply but must be able to fund the difference between "Home" and "Overseas" tuition fees.
For up-to-date information on fees for EU/EEA and Swiss national students following Brexit please see our fees and funding pages. A postgraduate master's loan may be available to help cover costs.
How to Apply
For more information on the application process and English Language requirements see How to Apply.
Deadline: 26th March 2023
We welcome informal enquiries - these should be directed to Christina Warboys
Interview date and location: TBC (May 2023)