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Assessing changes to myocardial proteins subsequent to experimental heart attack


Post translational changes to key cardiac proteins in the hearts of diabetic rats after experimental heart attack


Dr Paul Witting.

Research location

Camperdown - School of Medical Sciences - Bosch Institute

Program type



The major causes of morbidity and mortality in diabetes are the cardiovascular complications of the disease. Of these, the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy is of particular concern, as it increases the risk and severity of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) compared with the general population. The proposed project will provide information on the role for oxidative stress and inflammation in promoting the severity of myocardial infarct in an animal model of diabetic cardiomyopathy. We plan to use an established rat model of diabetes and monitor post translational changes to key cardiac proteins through a proteomic approach combining 2D gel and mass spectrometry peptide mass mapping. An understanding of the role for oxidative stress and inflammation following acute myocardial infarct in diabetics may allow the development of new therapeutic approaches targeted at slowing down the progression of cardiomyopathy and thereby potentially improving heart function and quality of life in diabetes sufferers. This would be viewed as a major advance. The researcher will use the tools of proteomics to investigate markers of heart disease and the post-translational modification of proteins resulting from cardiovascular disease in the setting of diabetes. We have established an animal model of diabetic cardiomyopathy and will use this model to assess changes in key cardiac proteins resulting from experimental heart attack. Specific techniques include liquid chromatography, 1D and 2D electrophoresis, mass spectrometry coupled with peptide mass mapping.

Additional information

Presently the lab is offering up to two postgraduate scholarships funded through external funding agencies (minimum eligibility criteria – Honours degree in Biochemistry or related field). The project outlined above and related projects in the research groups are available for expansion into PhD and Masters programs as well as being suitable for a one-year Honours project.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 670

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