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Approved research

Autophagy-related Causes of Cardiovascular Disease

Principal Investigator: Dr Rajeev Malhotra
Approved Research ID: 57535
Approval date: June 24th 2020

Lay summary

Vascular disease is the leading cause of disability and death in the UK and worldwide. Autophagy, the cell-based process in which cells degrade potentially dangerous compounds and waste products, has a potential a role in the prevention of vascular diseases. When cells are prevented from properly disposing of dangerous compounds or cellular waste products, the risk for vascular disease and related illnesses increases. We seek to use the UK Biobank to identify individuals with vascular disease and individuals free from vascular disease. Comparing the genetic profiles of these two groups can help identify components of the autophagy pathway that relate to vascular disease. We will further explore findings from these comparisons by investigating how genetic mutations in genes related to autophagy contribute to the risk of vascular disease using cultured cells and mice models. Bringing insights from the population level to the research bench is a powerful strategy to gain understanding of the biology of vascular disease and identify useful targets for disease prevention and treatment. We anticipate that analysis of the dataset will take nine to twelve months with ongoing investigation in our laboratory.