Cell-cell interactions and the role of tissue microarchitecture in cardiac arrhythmias after myocardial infarction
Cardiac myocytes in the MI border zone remodel in a highly specific manner predisposing this region to arrhythmias (Dries, Amoni et al., 2020). Myofibroblasts from the MI border zone have a distinct phenotype as well, and interact with cardiac myocytes. In the next step, we investigate the more complex environment,considering all cell types and their interactions, which we uncover using unbiased transcriptomics, to identify key gene networks & signaling. The PhD fellow will validate these findings in functional studies, through experimental manipulation (genetic,pharmacologic) of pathways in myocytes and fibroblasts, in isolated cells and in cardiac slices. The PhD research is under co-supervision of Prof. Llewelyn Roderick and Dr. Eef Dries,as part of the collaborative project.
External funding supports the position and the research. The lab has extensive facilities for functional confocal imaging, electrophysiology and access to large animal models and human tissue samples. The research group has several postdoctoral and doctoral students. The candidate will acquire skills in molecular techniques, functional phenotyping of cells and multicellular tissue preparations (calcium and voltage optical mapping and imaging techniques), as well as single cell patch-clamp and electrophysiology.
The candidate will enroll in the Doctoral School offering further training and complementary skills’ development. http://gbiomed.kuleuven.be/english/phd/PhD_Researchers/doctoral_school_programmes/cardiovascular_medicine.html
Dries E,Amoni M, etal. Altered adrenergic response in myocytes bordering a chronic myocardial infarction underlies in vivo triggered activity and repolarization instability. J Physiol.2020 Jul;598(14):2875-2895. doi: 10.1113/JP278839
NagarajuCK, et al. 2019. Myofibroblast modulation of cardiac myocyte structure and function. Sci Rep, 2019; 9(1):8879.
Watson SA,Terracciano CM, Perbellini F. 2019. Myocardial Slices: an Intermediate Complexity Platform for Translational Cardiovascular Research. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2019 Apr;33(2):239-244.
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