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The anti-apoptotic activity of serum albumin for endothelial cells


Earlier work in my laboratory, established that serum albumin contains a cryptic protein domain that is exposed through transient intra-molecular protein movement, to bind a G-protein coupled receptor inhibiting apoptosis in endothelium. Since that time, others have accumulated significant evidence of a vasculoprotective effect of serum albumin. Importantly, there are many conditions where endothelial apoptosis occurs, and if blocked would improve outcomes, including: diabetes, hypertension, delayed wound healing, and scleroderma. From this, development of a drug that inhibited apoptosis via the albumin mediated pathway, would establish an entirely new mode of preventive treatment, and have significant therapeutic potential.


Professor Hans Zoellner.

Research location

Sydney Dental School

Program type



This project will identify the specific cryptic anti-apoptotic domain in albumin by combined protein expression and bioassay. Potential value in disease will be examined in animal experimental systems, to establish proof of concept. The active albumin site will then be used to identify the specific receptor in endothelium responsible for the anti-apoptotic activity. Once identified, the receptor will be adapted for use in drug screening of small compounds. Hopeful candidate compounds will then be progressed for further drug development, towards a new class of vasculoprotective drugs

Additional information

This broad project area entails a very wide scope of work that extends beyond a single PhD or Masters project. While much of the project is dependent on sequentially previous sections, each section is sufficiently complex to accommodate several separate students pursuing PhD or Masters programs. This project seems most suitable for students with an interest in or background in protein chemistry, cell biology and drug discovery. Students interested in joining the team, would meet with Professor Zoellner to discuss their personal interests and proclivities, to select whichever aspect of the work is most suitable and of greatest interest for the individual student.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2795

Other opportunities with Professor Hans Zoellner