Jakub Tomek - Cardiac Sciences - 'How does nuclear calcium rule the heart?'
Cardiac disease remains the leading cause of death in the developed world, and better understanding of heart physiology and disease is needed to advance our prevention and treatment strategies. Many cardiac diseases, such as heart failure, are progressive and involve a complex network of remodelling at the cellular, as well as organ level. Oscillations of calcium levels in the nucleus of cardiac muscle cells are known to control gene transcription and cell health, and their dysregulation is implicated in the development of several disease. However, the ways of how the cardiac cells control their nuclear calcium levels remain relatively poorly understood. In this project, the student will use advanced cell imaging techniques to provide critical insights into how nuclear calcium levels in cardiac muscle cells are controlled, integrating the data in state-of-the-art computational models to provide an integrated understanding of the system. Dysregulation of nuclear calcium handling in disease will be subsequently explored, aiming to identify therapeutical targets to prevent disease progression and pathological remodelling. The ratio of experimental and computational work will be tailored to the student, and training will be provided in either.