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Adrenergic innervation following preterm birth

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.

Details

Close date
Friday, 1 May 2020
Academic background
Sciences, Health Sciences
Host campus
Wellington
Qualifications
PhD, Master’s, Honours
Department
Paediatrics and Child Health (Wellington)
Supervisors
Dr Rebecca Dyson, Dr Max Berry

Overview

7% of New Zealand’s babies are born prematurely. As these children grow up even those who were thought to be healthy at the time of first discharge from hospital face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood.

Adrenergic (sympathetic) innervation of blood vessels mediates vasoconstriction, starting in fetal life and developing in complexity throughout postnatal life. It is unknown whether this maturation is perturbed by preterm birth, but early studies suggest that age-dependent interactions between peripheral adrenergic nerves and target organs during development may be a determinant of vessel reactivity and blood pressure in the adult. This project will utilise our established guinea pig model of preterm birth and involve analysis of physiological recordings of central and peripheral cardiovascular function to assess sympathetic input at the level of the heart and vasculature, respectively. You will then use an array of laboratory techniques (including ELISA, immunohistochemistry/ immunofluorescence, PCR) to investigate the mechanisms underpinning any dysfunction (altered mediator levels, altered receptor expression).

Contact

Becs Dyson
Tel   027 581 2969
Email   becs.dyson@otago.ac.nz