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CORDIS - Resultados de investigaciones de la UE

Knowledge Transfer of In vivo surgery and cardiovascular phenotyping for angiogenesis and preeclampsia studies

Final Report Summary - IVSCP (Knowledge Transfer of In vivo surgery and cardiovascular phenotyping for angiogenesis and preeclampsia studies)

Our ability to develop therapy for disorders like preeclampsia is restricted by the ability to experimentally model the clinical symptoms. One of the primary causes of preeclampsia is the disruption of proteins, which control new blood vessel growth. The major aim of IVSCP project was to transfer cardiovascular techniques to support development of experimental disease models from the Incoming International Fellow (IIF), Dr Colin Murdoch PhD to Aston Medical School at Aston University and the wider community. Thus empowering the Aston Medical Research Institute of the Aston Medical School with expertise to develop models of preeclampsia through application of cutting edge in vivo techniques including murine microsurgery, laser Doppler analysis and ambulatory blood pressure analysis.

The first aim involved the research methodology and skill transfer. Dr Colin Murdoch (IIF), transferred methodology to specifically investigate new blood vessel growth, monitoring blood flow recovery via Laser Doppler, ability to implant telemeters in mice for blood pressure measurement, models of left ventricular hypertrophy and endothelial mesenchymal transition, isolation of cardiac microvascular endothelial cells, neonatal retinal angiogenesis and biochemical measurement of thiol modifications. Dr Murdoch trained post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students to undertake these studies.

Through this work the IIF published two peer reviewed papers, two more have been submitted and four more are in preparation. The IIF was invited to orally present at Biochemical Society International meeting titled Angiogenesis and Vascular Remodelling: New Perspectives (July 2014). His work was accepted for poster presentation at Society Reproductive Investigation San Francisco 2015.

The second aim focused on research knowledge transfer, which targeted undergraduate and graduate students. In conjunction with other senior researchers in AMRI, Dr Murdoch developed a forty-hour lab based module for MSc students providing training in Advanced Laboratory Techniques. Dr Murdoch initiated a training program for biology and biomedical undergraduates. Providing a placement year at Aston Medical School for undergraduate students between their second and final year. The IIF also supervised MSc and final year undergraduates in their respective three-month and ten-week projects. In September, the undergraduate training program will be in its third year. The first cohort of students went on to receive 1st class honour degrees. Both students secured PhD studentships within Aston Medical School; one student was awarded British Heart Foundation PhD Studentship and another student secured the Pertemps PhD studentship. Both these students are authors on publications arising from their time at Aston Medical School. Likewise, all MSc students went on to secure other PhD studentships across UK.

Aim 3, involved Dr Murdoch establishing an international collaboration with the Vascular Biology Section at Boston University. Boston University shared tools, reagents and genetically modified mice. Joint meetings took place via Weblink and prior to international meetings. In collaboration with Prof Matsui and Bachschmid, Dr Murdoch successfully obtained a small Early Career Research grant from Diabetes UK, and published a joint review.

International collaboration at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Peking University with Professor Gu was enhanced with IIF involvement. Dr Murdoch provided in vivo expertise and training for a PhD student. A manuscript is in preparation and joint grant is being prepared for re-submission.

The final aim was to provide knowledge transfer to the broader community outside of Aston Medical School. Dr Murdoch established collaboration with Assistant Professor Elena de Falco, University of Rome "Sapienza". This collaboration involved training in techniques and methodologies, joint grant applications, publications and reviews. One research article and one review was published. IIF is a co-investigator on a grant with Prof de Falco from University of Rome "Sapienza".

IIF collaborated with Prof Griffin at in the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University, UK. He provided murine models of endothelial mesenchymal transition and renal fibrosis to assess novel therapy. This collaboration led to one publication and another manuscript in preparation. The data assisted Prof Griffin to apply for further funding.

Outreach Activities
The IIF is actively involved in outreach activates taking place at Aston Medical School. IIF is involved in the Sir Doug Ellis Healthcare Pathway programme. Aston Medical School’s innovative widening participation initiative where medical education is being used as an engine for social mobility to reach the hard-to-reach communities. IIF is supporting this in developing biomedical tutorial workshops and participating in the forthcoming summer boot camp for 16-18 year old students wanting to enter University to study Medicine.

IIF organised a station displaying LASER Doppler blood flow for Aston University 50 year anniversary. The two day event was open to the public and included Aston Alumni, students, staff and family. Discussing medical research and how LASER Doppler technology is used in research.

IIF supervised summer work placement student during July-August of each year. Providing exposure to basic laboratory techniques in preparation for school leavers to help university application to medical school or allied health.

In summary, the IIF published two research papers, two reviews and presented at two international meetings (UK and USA). Further manuscripts are in preparation or under review. Dr Murdoch successfully secured early career start-up funding and is preparing an Basic Science Research Fellowship application. He developed research training program for undergraduate and graduate students. Two international collaboration were established and two collaborations within Europe in the two years of this fellowship. IIF participated in Aston Medical School outreach activities engaging with the wider community, which is ongoing.