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The role of ultrastructural changes in cardiac dysfunction

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Academic background
Sciences, Health Sciences
Host campus
Master’s, PhD
Dr Michelle Munro


Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death worldwide and despite decades of research, many patients receive little benefit from existing treatment strategies. Our group is interested in how the reorganisation of structures and proteins within the heart can lead to cardiac dysfunction, and if these mechanisms that can be targeted for the development of novel therapies. In particular, we focus on the role of the transverse-tubules (t-tubules) and dyadic calcium handling proteins, and how disruption of these can lead to altered calcium signalling in heart failure and arrhythmia. We use a wide range of experimental tools including: fluorescent imaging (live cell, confocal, super-resolution), western blotting, immunohistochemistry, enzymatic cell isolation, cell culture and cardiac tissue culture, including human cardiac tissue.

Candidates with an interest in these techniques and cardiovascular physiology are encouraged to apply. Projects are available to investigate the link between ultrastructural remodelling and calcium dysfunction in heart disease.


Michelle Munro