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Congratulations to Dr ZoƩ Husson on award of EMBO Fellowship

Dr Zoé Husson from the Department of Pharmacology has been awarded a EMBO Fellowship. Many congratulations! Zoé whose project aims to identify the molecular adaptations evolved by naked mole-rats to resist severe hypoxia without neurotoxicity compared to hypoxia-sensitive mouse models.

Hypoxia, decreased tissue oxygenation, occurs in numerous conditions such as cerebral stroke, the second leading cause of death worldwide, and worsens the development of neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The use of hypoxia-sensitive animal models has identified molecules underlying hypoxia-induced neurotoxicity, including acid-sensing ion channels and glutamate receptors, but effective therapeutic interventions in humans are still lacking.

Studying hypoxia-tolerant organisms provides an alternative approach to identify novel neuroprotective strategies. Indeed, many vertebrates experience periods of hypoxia as part of their normal activity including subterranean species, such as the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber), that encounter low levels of oxygen in burrows and are extremely resistant to hypoxia.

This project aims at identifying the molecular adaptations evolved by naked mole-rats to resist severe hypoxia without neurotoxicity compared to hypoxia-sensitive mouse models. This work may open new therapeutic avenues for a wide range of hypoxia-related pathologies.

Posted on 17/12/2015

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