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Research Projects

Project Title Neurocardiovascular influences on cognitive functioning
Summary This Translational Programme Grant is a collaboration with Prof RoseAnne Kenny and Prof Brian Lawlor
Project Researcher MICHAEL ROWAN
Funding Agency Health Research Board
Programme
Type of Project
Date from 2006
Date to 2011
Person Months

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Project Title MEMOLOAD
Summary
Project Researcher MICHAEL ROWAN
Funding Agency European Union Framework 7
Programme
Type of Project
Date from 2007
Date to 2011
Person Months

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Project Title Mechanisms of the synaptic plasticity disrupting actions of Aß
Summary
Project Researcher MICHAEL ROWAN
Funding Agency Science Foundation Ireland Investigator Programme Grant
Programme
Type of Project
Date from 2006
Date to 2010
Person Months

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Project Title Cardiovascular Remodeling in Heart Failure
Summary Assessment of cardiovascular remodelling due to physiological ageing in contrast to pathophysiological disease, particularly heart failure. This recent work has resulted in the identification of accelerated ageing processes in disease and further identified specific signalling pathways associated with hypertension and failure. Key findings reported from this work include: • endothelin receptors are responsible for altered matrix metalloproteinase activity in chronic hypertension but not acute hypertension. Br J Pharmacol 2003, 138, Suppl S, 56P • â-adrenoceptor blockade exhibits a novel anti-remodelling effect in patients with heart failure through attenuation of matrix metalloproteinase activity. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2003, 55, 426-427 • raised MMP levels prior to reduced cardiac function in viral myocarditis, may provide a useful marker of deteriorating function and have a role in the pathogenesis of myocardial lesion. Chin Med J. 2004; 117, 1195-1199 These findings have been examined in an animal model of hypertension and heart failure, and also in patients. I have set up all the methodologies necessary for these investigations in the department including zymography and investigations of specific target protein expression. The later study was set up as an international collaboration in order to avail of expertise and ready access to an animal model of viral myocarditis. Successful outcome is noted in publication of work.
Project Researcher JAMES SPIERS
Funding Agency Royal City of Dublin Hospital Trust
Programme
Type of Project
Date from 2002
Date to 2004
Person Months

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Project Title Novel Mechanism Associated with the Development of Heart Failure
Summary Questions relating to molecular mechanisms associated with the development of heart failure are currently being addressed through 3 collaborative programmes: (i) Professor Zhao, China; (ii) Professor Wang, China, and (ii) Professor Krainias, U.S.A. We are utilising already established cell systems set up by these teams, in addition to valuable resources, including constructs, to address: • the promoter region of MMP-9 and the responsiveness to adrenergic stimulation through specific subtypes, temporal dynamics and location of involvement • HSP20 polymorphisms: we have successfully sequenced the gene and are currently looking at polymorphisms in exon 1 of the gene in heart failure patients. Results from this work have identified eight polymorphisms to date. • functional responsiveness of HSP20, through introduction of the gene into viral vectors which are then used to transfect adult cardiomyocytes. It is early to identify the significance of this work, but from results to date it would appear that we have identified a cardioprotective role of HSP20, and it is likely that the presence of polymorphisms will reflect poor outcome. This work is particularly exciting and will lead to a number of publications, in addition to forming the basis of future grant applications and investigations.
Project Researcher JAMES SPIERS
Funding Agency HEA Cycle III
Programme
Type of Project
Date from 2003
Date to 2005
Person Months

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Project Title Pharmacological Modulation of Matrix Metalloproteinases in Health and Disease
Summary Investigations of the role of metalloproteinases in remodelling associated with a number of clinical conditions: an additional aspect of my research was to provide support to an existing successful clinical research group within the department. As the only academic basic scientist situated in a predominantly clinical environment at St. James (Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics), I have initiated a number of studies in order to integrate clinical and basic research programmes including studies to investigate the: • effects of statins on cytokine and matrix metalloproteinase activity • correlation of non-invasive indices of arterial stiffness with remodelling in vascular tissue biopsies from patients with ischaemic heart disease • effects of pegylated interferon treatment on matrix metalloproteinase activity and abundance and the relationship with expression of their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) in patients with HIV and hepatitis C. This work is currently in progress and are anticipated to produce interesting results which will answer important questions relating to structural alterations during disease.
Project Researcher JAMES SPIERS
Funding Agency Royal City of Dublin Hospital Trust
Programme
Type of Project
Date from 2001
Date to 2004
Person Months

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Last updated 21 September 2016 oneillm1@tcd.ie (Email).