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Circulating microRNAs as biomarkers for cardiovascular diseases

Heart failure (HF) represents a major health and economic burden with high hospital admission rates despite significant advances in treatment and management. Early detection and monitoring of therapeutic response is critical to the management of HF patients. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are members of a large class of non-coding RNAs of approximately 22 nucleotides in length, which regulate most genes in the human genome. MiRNAs function involves in transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. There is high concentration/level of miRNAs in circulation which are stable, relatively easy to detect and measure with adequate analysis platform available. MiRNAs expression often tissue specific (may indicate the source of pathological processes) and their profiles in disease tissue are reflected in those of blood (serum or plasma) which is easily accessible surrogate for disease monitoring. Hence, microRNAs have great potential to serve as non-invasive diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for diseases such as HF. We have established most advance technology capable of high throughput profiling circulating miRNAs and have profiled circulating miRNAs in blood samples from HF patients. This project will continue our study in miRNA profiling and investigate the potential link of certain miRNA with the disease progression for HF. Validation of circulating miRNAs as biomarker for HF will be performed and anti-miRNAs will be used in cell culture to demonstrate the biological function of the miRNA biomarkers. The methodological approaches include RNA extraction, Open Array miRNA expression profiling, q-PCR quantification, primary cardiac cell culture, and Western Blot analysis.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
Heart failure, circulating biomarkers, microRNA, molecular biology
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Available options 
Masters by research
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
The Alfred Centre - Prahran

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