Research Projects
Roles of Protein SUMOylation in Myocardial Infarction


Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☒ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS
About the Project

Coronary artery disease and cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of human death worldwide while WHO estimated ~17.9 million death each year. The onset of AMI now occurs at younger age due to risk factors including lifestyle and family history. Fibrinolytic therapy and primary percutaneous coronary intervention are effective to resume blood supply in infarcted hearts and reduce the mortality rate in AMI patients. When AMI occurs, the heart is damaged during ischemia and reperfusion. SUMOylation is a new form of post-translational modifications and plays important roles in the regulation of diverse cellular activities including protein activity, transcription, DNA repair, chromosome assembly, and cellular signalling DNA repair and chromatin function. Protein SUMOylation may be a therapeutic target for the treatment of myocardial infarction. The present project will discover what proteins are SUMOylated and how SUMOylation affects the biological functions of various proteins in the resolution of inflammation and cardiac repair. The long-term goal is to develop new SUMOylation-targeting therapies for the treatment of myocardial infarction.

About the Supervisor

Dr JH Rong, School of Chinese Medicine

Dr Jianhui Rong is currently an Associate Professor in molecular pharmacology on Chinese medicine at School of Chinese Medicine, University of Hong Kong. Dr Rong received his PhD in Medical Biochemistry from Uppsala University, Sweden, conducted postdoctoral research at University of Alberta, Canada and visiting scholar research at School of Medicine, Yale University, USA. Since 2005, he has served as Research Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor and Associate Professor at Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine and School of Chinese Medicine, University of Hong Kong. Dr Rong’s research focus on the research and development of drug candidates from Chinese medicines and the discovery of basic molecular mechanisms for the treatment of neurological diseases, myocardial infarction and obesity. Dr RONG mainly use modern transcriptomics, proteomics, cell signalling technology and biotin-labelling of small molecule probes to study the protein targets and biological activity of Chinese medicines. For example, Dr RONG has discovered specific Chinese medicine compounds for regulating heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), leukotriene B4 12-hydroxy dehydrogenase (LTB4DH), arginase 2 (Arg2), and pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) and endoplasmic reticulum stress protein GRP78. He has chaired over or participated in more than 30 research grants from Hong Kong Research Grants Council, Hong Kong Health and Medical Research Fund, Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Fund, National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Seed Research Fund of the University of Hong Kong; obtained several international patents, US patents, Chinese patents; and published more than 70 SCI papers in internationally renowned journals such as Chemical Science, Journal of Controlled Release, Molecular Neurobiology, ACS Chemical Neuroscience, Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Molecular Immunology, Neuropharmacology and Biochemical Journal. Dr Rong also serves as the executive member or committee member for several academic organisations, and reviewer for several international academic journals.

Biography
jrong@hku.hk

Next Step?

For more information or to express interest for this project, please email the supervisor or the specified contact point in the project description.  Interested candidates are advised to enclose with your email:

  1. your CV,
  2. a brief description of your research interest and experience, and
  3. two reference letters (not required for HKUMed UG students seeking MRes[Med]/URIS projects).

Information on the research programme, funding support and admission documentations could be referenced online at the Research Postgraduate Admissions website.

General admission enquiries should be directed to rpgmed@hku.hk.