Thesis topic proposal
Márta Julianna Sárközy
Experimental investigation of radiation-induced heart disease


Institute: University of Szeged
theoretical medicine
Doctoral School of Multidisciplinary Medical Scienses

Thesis supervisor: Márta Julianna Sárközy
Web address (URL): https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marta-Sarkozy
Location of studies (in Hungarian): Department of Biochemistry, Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical School, University of Szeged, H-6720 Szeged, Dóm tér 9., Hungary
Abbreviation of location of studies: SZTE

Description of the research topic:

Radiation-induced heart disease (RIHD) is a concern during radiotherapy. RIHD develops many years or decades after radiotherapy of thoracic tumors. Radiation deteriorates the heart structure and function by inducing changes to the vasculature, i.e., coronary arteries and microvessels, and directly acting on the myocardium. So far, the focus of most studies has been on the vascular effects, which indirectly influence the myocardium. However, the signaling mechanisms of the diffuse myocardial injury (due to the loss of small vessels and cardiomyocytes replaced by fibrosis and reactive cardiac hypertrophy) are largely unexplored. The identification of the early predictors of RIHD and prevention of RIHD by the administration of protective agents are relevant research perspectives both experimentally and clinically. In our experiments, selective heart irradiation is performed in rats to model the acute and chronic phases of RIHD. Moreover, the time-dependent evaluation of heart function by transthoracic echocardiography and morphology by histology, the molecular changes in the cardiac miR/mRNA profiles and down-stream targets as well as the circulating miRs, and the test of new agents for the prevention of RIHD are also planned. By comparative analysis of the obtained data, we aim to identify miRs and target genes which could be potential diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets in RIHD. The molecular mechanism by which these selected miRs influence gene expression profile of the heart in the acute and chronic phases of RIHD will also be investigated.

Required language skills: English
Recommended language skills (in Hungarian): English
Further requirements: 
TDK munka

Number of students who can be accepted: 1

Deadline for application: 2023-06-12

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