Translating recently identified asthma susceptibility genes to new insights for disease mechanisms
Project fact file
Professor Ian Sayers
School / Division
Division of Respiratory Medicine
primary airway cell models
High cost laboratory-based research
Asthma is a common disease with an unresolved aetiology affecting up to 10% of the population. Improving treatment options, particularly for severe refractory asthma requires a better understanding of disease mechanisms. Asthma is a complex disease involving both genetic and environmental factors (e.g. allergen exposure) resulting in disease expression. Molecular genetics holds great promise to identify new genes and pathways involved in asthma providing new therapeutic opportunities. In an era of genome wide association studies (GWAS) leading to the discovery of new asthma susceptibility genes it is critical that these findings are moved quickly into translational studies. We have recently completed the largest GWAS of moderate-severe asthma to date and identified a large number of genetic loci for further study.
This project aims to translate these population based studies to altered gene expression and activity in the Human airways and periphery using a combination of molecular biology approaches in primary human cell models including bronchial epithelial cells and airway smooth muscle cells. Importantly these analyses will investigate gene function in asthma patient and non asthmatic control samples.
Available to Home/EU/International students.
Please email a CV with a covering letter to Professor Ian Sayers.