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COPD and Kidney Disease 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 role of intrarenal H2S in COPD and kidney disease.

Cigarette smoking (CS) has been increasingly linked with adverse effects on the kidneys, including renal co-morbidity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Indeed, preclinical and clinical studies have recently identified that CS exposure and COPD can contribute to the pathogenesis of kidney disease, independent of well-established risk factors such as age, hypertension, diabetes and BMI. However, the underlying pathogenic mechanisms are unknown. Studies have shown that CS impairs hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production and H2S synthesis inhibition exacerbates COPD pathology. The ‘gasomediator’ H2S is involved in multiple kidney functions that control blood pressure, oxygen sensing, electrolyte and redox balance. Indeed, animal models of renal pathologies have demonstrated to be prone to renal specific H2S insufficiency. We have observed that CS induced COPD can cause systemic tissue hypoxia and macrophage airway inflammation, which can be prevented by H2S donor molecule. We hypothesize that CS-induced COPD causes systemic and intrarenal H2S insufficiency and hypoxia, consequently promoting kidney pathology. During this PhD studentship, we aim to investigate whether improving lung and systemic H2S levels can ameliorate kidney injury, inflammation and tissue hypoxia in a mouse model of CS-induced COPD.