Identifying novel genes involved in coronary artery disease.
Coronary artery disease is one of the leading causes of death in both the UK and world-wide, accounting for over 66,000 deaths in the UK each year. The aim of our laboratory is to identify novel genes involved in coronary artery disease which have the potential to be targeted by new therapeutic treatments.
Large studies linking common variations to the occurrence of coronary artery disease have enabled us to identify several new genes that may have a causative influence on the susceptibility to developing coronary artery disease. However, for many of these genes the mechanism by which they alter cardiovascular disease pathology is unknown. Our laboratory uses data from human genetic and multi-omics studies to identify novel coronary artery disease genes. Once candidate coronary artery disease genes have been identified, we utilize data from local and international biobanks as well as in vitro and in vivo models to investigate the role of candidate genes in coronary artery disease and other vascular diseases. Our laboratory has a particular focus on genes which influence cells of the vessel wall such as endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells and monocytes/macrophages. Through our research we have identified novel genes that not only impact pathological blood vessel remodelling as observed in coronary artery disease but also influence blood vessel remodelling in response to physiological stimuli such as exercise training. On-going work in our laboratory aims to identify and characterise novel coronary artery disease genes and to establish if these genes have critical roles in other aspects of physiological and pathological vascular remodelling.