Programme(s) to which this project applies:
|☑ MPhil/PhD||☒ MRes[Med]||☒ URIS|
Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) play a critical role in the onset and progression of atherosclerosis. In pre-atherosclerotic lesions, there are stiffness changes of arteries due to vascular injuries or excess deposition of cholesterol plaques, and VSMC switches from a contractile to a synthetic phenotype. In particular, synthetic VSMC assembles the podosome as the invasive adhesion structure, migrates between different vessel layers, and promotes the pro-atherosclerotic matrix microenvironment. Rho GTPase is one of the master regulators of podosome assembly. We aim to investigate how matrix stiffness orchestrate the plasticity of VSMC by regulating Rho GTPase activation.
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