PhD Student NUTRIM - Department of Respiratory Medicine - University of Birmingham
Skeletal muscle wasting contributes to a diminished muscle function, exercise capacity, health status and survival in a number of conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Currently, effective therapeutic interventions that would prevent or reverse muscle atrophy have yet to be developed.
Factors implicated as potential triggers of muscle wasting include disuse, hypoxemia, malnutrition, inflammation, and glucocorticoids (GCs). Literature and preliminary data imply muscle GC signaling as a critical and potentially common process in COPD-associated muscle atrophy.
Using cultured skeletal muscle approaches combined with mouse models of COPD-associated muscle wasting, we will investigate the role of the pre-receptor glucocorticoid activating enzyme 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-1 (11beta-HSD1) in muscle wasting, in order to evaluate its therapeutic potential to prevent or reverse muscle atrophy.
Glucocorticoid metabolism and specifically 11beta-HSD1 actions in physiology and pathology are a key research theme within the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research (IMSR) at the University of Birmingham. Uncovering the molecular basis of lung disease-associated muscle wasting is a main line of research at the Department of Respiratory Medicine, School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM) at Maastricht University, Netherlands.
The research performed by the candidate will therefore be conducted at both sites, allowing optimal synergy of this collaborative project, and offering the candidate a unique possibility to be trained in the complementary techniques and methodology both institutes have to offer.
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