This proposal will allow me to be an effective scientist able of developing into a research leader, by exploiting the wider training offered by the Institute of Food Research (IFR, Norwich, United Kingdom). I will have access to many opportunities to play a bigger part in European research, enhancing my future competitiveness as an independent researcher.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of mortality in the EU. Understanding how diet may prevent the risk of CVD, is a worthwhile target for Europe's citizens. The project is consistent with FP6 Area 5: Food Quality and Safety. Epidemiological studies describe that a diet rich in flavonoids (present in fruits and vegetables) is associated with a decrease in CVD and cancer. Flavonoids are modified during absorption and reach the cells in conjugated forms of the parent aglycones.
The aim of the project is to assess the effect of human flavonoid-conjugates at physiological concentrations on human vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC). Protein and gene expression of vasoactive compounds will be measured by ELISA assay, flow cytometry and Real-time RT-PCR. The use of human flavonoid-metabolites at physiological concentrations is totally innovative and no studies with human vascular SMC have focused on the effect of quercetin-metabolites on the improvement of vascular function. IFR is internationally recognised as a world leader for strategic research in Food Science. It will offer all the facilities required to undertake this project and complementary training. The human flavonoid-metabolites to be used in the project are available at IFR.
This proposal will be an important step forward for my career, allowing me to broaden my research experience and gain new knowledge on a very innovative and important subject in order to develop my position at the interface of food and health research. It will also contribute to enhancing the European research quality and provide useful data to design future human CVD-prevention trials.
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