Research Projects
Blockade of Smad3 Attenuates Diabetic Nephropathy via Suppressing C-Reactive Protein-Mediated NLPR3 Inflammasome Activation

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☒ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a chronic inflammatory disease. The NLRP3 inflammasome is one of the innate immune system receptors and sensors that senses danger signals, such as high glucose in diabetes mellitus (DM), and initiates inflammation and exaggerates the pathology in inflammatory disease.

The proposed project aims to determine whether CRP mediates NLRP3 inflammasome activation via Smad3 in kidney tubular epithelial cells and glomerular mesangial cells, and in diabetic kidneys of CRPtg-db/db mice. The project will also determine whether blockade of the Smad3 pathway inhibits CPR-induced NLRP3 activation in kidney cells, and whether deleting Smad3 attenuates renal inflammations in Smad3 knockout (KO)-db/db mice.

Professor HY Chen, School of Chinese Medicine

HKU Scholars Hub
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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

HKUMed MBBS students interested in the Master of Research in Medicine (MRes[Med]) programme may visit the programme website for more information.  

HKUMed UG students interested in the Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme (URIS) may visit the scheme’s website for more information.