Translating recently identified lung function genes to new insights for lung biology
Project fact file
Professor Ian Sayers
School / Division
Division of Respiratory Medicine
primary airway cell models
High cost laboratory based research
Lung function measures are used in the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and reflect respiratory health. The impact of COPD is high: in the UK there are >900,000 patients with COPD with 30,000 deaths per year and direct health care costs of >£500m/year. Worldwide COPD will be the 3rd most important cause of mortality by 2020. The risk of developing COPD is determined by both genetic and environmental factors. Using genome-wide association (GWA) 97 independent genetic loci for lung function have now been identified.Molecular genetics holds great promise to identify new genes and pathways involved in COPD providing new therapeutic opportunities and it is critical that GWA findings are moved quickly into translational studies.
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 COPD patient and control samples.
Available to Home/EU/International students.
Please email a CV with a covering letter to Professor Ian Sayers.