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Approved Research

Exploring the role of Ca2+ signaling in cardiovascular and pancreatic disease

Principal Investigator: Professor Marc Freichel
Approved Research ID: 73077
Approval date: October 27th 2022

Lay summary

Calcium ion (Ca2+) signaling is an important process in many types of disease including cardiovascular disease and pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis. Our preliminary experiments in mice suggest that aberrations in Ca2+ signaling in cells of the cardiovascular system (e.g. cardiac and vascular cells or platelets) as well as in pancreatic acinar cells represent key signaling processes for disease development. However, the underlying channels and regulators thereof that are located in the plasma membrane as well as in intracellular calcium stores remain poorly understood.

We propose to combine multiple genetic and bioinformatic approaches to elucidate the relationship between genetic variation that changes Ca2+ signaling and disease, focusing onĀ  cardiovascular disease and pancreatic disease. We will focus on determining the causality of variations that affect the expression of molecular determinants of Ca2+ signaling in patients with cardiovascular and pancreatic disease. Furthermore, we will also evaluate the role of these variants in patients who have risk factors but have not yet manifested the disease state. This project is consistent with the UK Biobanks' purpose, as understanding the shared biology and molecular mechanisms in Ca2+ signaling between cardiovascular and pancreatic diseases has the potential to provide new avenues for prevention and treatment for both.