MRC-funded Industrial CASE (iCASE) DPhil Studentship: An integrative mathematical approach to understand how intraplaque angiogenesis and vascular structure impact atherosclerosis and their potential as novel therapeutic targets
Atherosclerosis is a disease of large and medium-sized arteries. Angiogenesis (ie the growth of new blood vessels) in the vessel wall is a hallmark of advanced atherosclerotic lesions. Accumulating genetic and clinical evidence suggest that intra-plaque angiogenesis promotes atherosclerosis and plaque destabilisation, rupture or erosion. However, the extent to which microvascular integrity and function change during plaque development is currently unclear. The consequences of changes in vascular structure and function for immune cell infiltration, plaque composition, and stability also remain to be established. Answering these questions via mathematical and computational modelling may ultimately aid in the identification, and subsequent experimental testing, of new mechanisms and targets for therapeutics within atherosclerosis.
This multidisciplinary project will combine mathematical approaches with experimental data to test the hypothesis that microvascular integrity and function influence plaque development by altering immune cell infiltration, plaque composition, and stability.
The main aim of this project is to develop mechanistic mathematical models to understand how intra-plaque angiogenesis and vascular remodelling impact the progression and stability of human atherosclerotic plaques. A secondary project aim is to use the model to explore the potential for targeting angiogenesis and vascular remodelling to treat atherosclerosis.
For further details about the project and application details, see https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/graduateschool/mrcdtp/icase-2024 (project 12) or contact Helen Byrne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Start date: October 2024