Cerebral Cavernous Malformation Research Scholarship
The Centre for Inflammation currently has a full-time postgraduate scholarships available for suitably qualified candidates with a strong Honours degree (or equivalent) in biomedical science, pharmacology, chemistry, biomedical engineering or pharmacy to undertake research studies leading to a PhD focused on finding safe and effective therapies for the commonest cause of stroke in children: cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM).
The below two projects have been identified.
Clinical observations2 and our preliminary data in mouse models demonstrate greater CCM burden in males. Male predisposition to CCM likely reflects the impact of sex hormones on pathology, since men have earlier onset and more severe cardiovascular disease than women. Whether the pronounced sex difference reflects a protective effects of estrogens/progesterone or a deleterious effect of androgens is unknown and has not been studied. Hence, the project aims to elucidate the roles of sex hormones in CCM and reveal the potential use of sex hormones as a therapeutic option for CCM.
We recently identified the gut microbiome as a critical stimulant of CCM. Broad-spectrum antibiotics prevented CCM lesion formation in mouse models. Despite being highly effective in mouse models of disease, the continued use of broad-spectrum antibiotics is not suitable for long term treatment of CCM patients, as they kill bacteria that are beneficial to human health, which in turn is likely to have many side effects. Our finding has suggested novel therapeutic strategies by targeting the gut microbiome. Hence, the project aims to elucidate the roles of the gut microbiome in CCM and reveal the potential use of antibiotics and/or diet as a therapeutic.