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Signal transduction in brain endothelial cells - an electrophysiological and fluorescene study in vitro


Research objectives and content The permeability of the blood-brain barrier has been shown to be influenced by several mediators, including hormones but also inflammatory mediators. Understanding the underlying mechanisms may contribute to the development of methods for blood-brain barrier opening, as a therapeutic strategy for some central nervous system disorders. The present project is for studying receptor-and channel-mediated changes in intracellular calcium, as well as activation or inhibition of membrane currents, in response to different mediators involved in normal physiology of brain endothelial cells and in inflammation. Links between each of these events and between them and functional properties of the barrier will be also investigated. The results will contribute to understand the cellular events involved in the regulation of endothelium permeability, and will help to explain the synergistic effects of chemical mediators in physiology and pathology. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
My first objective is to work on a project linking my two fields of interest (i.e. blood-brain barrier biology and signal transduction) and offering a medical aspect. My second one is to learn the advanced techniques developed by Dr Abbott's group (simultaneous calcium monitoring and patch clamp recording; flash photolysis for release of second messengers). And the third one is to improve my fluency in English. I think that the project will allow me to achieve all these objectives. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
This project is relevant to the interests of the pharmaceutical industry, because of its implications for drug delivery to the brain.

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


King's College London
WC2R 2LS London
United Kingdom