Analysis of the role of the p7 protein in the hepatitis C virus life
cycle, Ali Atoom,
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects 170 million people worldwide, causing liver cirrhosis and cancer. This research is investigating the role of a small protein in the virus called p7, about which little is known. The results may help explain what this protein does and why it is so crucial to the virus. The identification of a critical function for such a small viral protein could present a new strategy for targeting this virus by antiviral agents.
Genetic and epigenetic determinants for juvenile-onset ovarian tumourigenesis, Dr.
Much of our understanding of cancer susceptibility comes from investigations of heritable cancer syndromes. However, identification of the genetic risk factors for cancer is challenging if the cancer is rare in the population. Dr. Dorward's lab is investigating the genes that contribute to spontaneous ovarian granulosa cell tumour susceptibility in a model organism, for translation to the human disease. The overall research goal is to better understand genetic factors that lead to tumour susceptibility, while exploring interventions that will prolong life, preserve fertility, and ensure the long-term health of infants, young girls and women who develop this subtype of ovarian cancer.
The role of FGF23 in fetal phosphorus metabolism, Dr.
Phosphorus is critical in the formation of the skeleton. Without phosphorus, calcium cannot bind, and the skeleton is deformed and weak (rickets or osteomalacia). The growth factor called FGF23 plays a critical role in regulating phosphorus processes in adults, but nothing has been known about whether it regulates phosphorus metabolism during fetal development. This research examines the role of FGF23 in regulating fetal-placental phosphorus metabolism. Once the normal role of FGF23 has been clarified, the data will be used to identify if human disorders involving FGF23 will alter phosphorus and skeletal metabolism before birth.
Discovering the neuroendocrine features of obesity with food addiction,
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