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ENaC in the vasculature and its role in hypertension

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Academic background
Sciences, Health Sciences
Host campus
Master’s, PhD
Dr Martin Fronius


Ion channels are essential for the normal function of the cardiopulmonary system. An emerging new player for vascular function that contributes to hypertension is the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC). ENaC is also a shear stress sensor in the vasculature and in conjunction with the extracellular matrix involved in the production of the vasodilator nitric oxide. The mechanisms how ENaC connects to the extracellular matrix to facilitate shear stress responsiveness and whether this contributes to hypertension is unknown.

The project aims to use a combination of electrophysiology and atomic force microscopy to reveal how ENaC connects to the extracellular matrix to sense shear stress. This will provide new insights into the physiology and pathophysiology of ENaC in the vascular that can identify new strategies for the treatment of hypertension.


Martin Fronius