Graduate student Marcos Castro Guarda from the Heather Group has been awarded first prize for the best oral presenter at the 1st International Symposium of Pharmacy Research, IMPRES 2022: 'Metabolism in Disease & its Therapeutic Implications'.
The conference was carried out virtually at the University of Malaya on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 December. The well-attended symposium brought together world leading experts working on the metabolic underpinnings of common pathologies, including cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer. The keynote lecture was the 2019 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine Dr Gregg Semenza.
Marcos's presentation was entitled "Beyond the Krebs cycle: Fumarate reprogrammes metabolic preferences within human cardiomyocytes". The purpose of his study was to evaluate if exogenous fumarate can influence cardiomyocyte metabolism. After treating human cardiomyocytes with pharmacological molecules which increase fumarate concentration, a reprogrammed cardiac substrate utilisation was observed, in addition to an improvement of the antioxidant defence of these cells. This suggests that these pharmacological molecules could be beneficial for the treatment of energy substrate disbalance and oxidative stress generate during several cardiac metabolic disorders.