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Otago Medical School staff profiles

Dr Prisca Mbikou

PositionResearch Fellow
DepartmentDepartment of Medicine (Christchurch)
Research summaryHeart disease


Heart disease is a leading cause of death and disability in New Zealand and new treatment options are needed. A recent breakthrough in genetic research concerning so-called non-protein-coding RNA has led to the discovery of a new class of proteins, including DWORF. This small protein is found almost exclusively in the heart and is believed to cause increased contraction of the heart muscle by regulating intracellular calcium levels. Dr Mbikou and her team will investigate this unique protein to further understand how it works, which may help in the development of new treatments for heart disease.