Postgraduate research opportunities

Investigating cardiac glucose transport and mitochondrial function in a pharmacological model of hypertension

The project will explore novel strategies to study cardiac cellular metabolism using isolated primary adult cardiac cells and the use of spheroids.

Number of places



20 May 2020


36 Months


Upper Second Class Honours degree in a related subject

Project Details

A pharmacological rat model of hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy and fibrotic remodelling will be used to explore changes in metabolism at the cellular level following cardiac remodelling. Primary adult cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts will be isolated from normal rats and rats subjected to chronic drug treatment. Drug-induced remodelling will also be performed on cells in culture in line with NC3Rs. Cells will either be maintained in culture or used on the day of isolation to investigate phenotypic and functional differences between cohorts. Key areas of focus will be on (i) intracellular calcium responses in both cell types (ii) mitochondrial function and motility and (iii) glucose transport. Intervention strategies will be explored that may either reduce or reverse metabolic impairment at a cellular level and this will also be investigated using the novel platform of cardiac multicellular spheroids.


Techniques to be used:

In vivo drug administration and echocardiography, immunohistochemistry, tissue and cell imaging, cell isolation, protein assays, quantitative immunoblotting, proliferation-based assays, calcium imaging and signalling-based assays, mitochondrial function and motility assays, glucose transport assays

Funding Details

Applicants are required to have their own source of funding

Further information

Brand M.D. & Nicholls D.G. (2011) Biochem J. 435, 297-312

Szablewski L. (2017) Int.J.Cardiol. 230, 70-75

Polak-Iwaniuk A. et al (2019) Front.Physiol. 10:435