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Heart Failure, Oxygen and HIF


This project will investigate the physiological and metabolic changes seen in the heart in models of obstructive sleep apnoea.


Dr Kristina Cook, Dr Melissa Farnham.

Research location

Camperdown - Charles Perkins Centre

Program type



Heart failure is debilitating and affects more than one million Australians.  
Half of all heart failure patients have normal contraction, but impaired relaxation. This condition is known as "Heart Failure with preserved Ejection Fraction" or "HFpEF". There are no effective therapies for HFpEF and we lack a clear understanding of how it develops. A common risk factor is obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). 

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is very common with estimates ranging from 10-25% of the population. OSA is characterised by periods of intermittent hypoxia (low oxygen) in the blood and heart. The goal of this project is to better understand how OSA and hypoxia affect the heart and contribute to cardiovascular disease, like heart failure. One cellular pathway of interest is through hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) (the discovery of this oxygen sensing pathway was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology). 

This project is highly collaborative and will be jointly supervised by A/Prof John O'Sullivan and Dr Melissa Farnham.

Techniques include ‘-omics', particularly metabolomics, immunohistochemistry, western blotting, qRT-PCR and various in vivo and in vitro techniques.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2242

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