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The Ageing Endothelium

Centenary Institute/University of Sydney

  • Cardiovascular Senior Researcher Grant
Date Funded:
  • 28 November, 2023
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Professor Jennifer Gamble

What is the issue for NSW?

Age is the biggest risk for disease, with cardiovascular disease being the greatest killer. It is a global issue, not just for NSW, with an estimated 20% of the population being over 65 years by 2050. Thus, age-related diseases will have huge economic and societal impact for all countries.

There is now considerable understanding that blood vessels have a major impact on our overall health. To devise strategies for healthy ageing, it is essential that we understand the ageing process of the blood vessels. This will also provide  the fundamental knowledge and the capacity to verify targets and develop novel drugs against these molecules which can reverse or inhibit the detrimental effects of age.

What does the research aim to do and how?

This research has two major aims:

  1. To understand the process and impact of ageing of the major cell type of blood vessels-the endothelial cells. The initial focus will be on the two major changes already identified in aged endothelial cells; how they contribute to calcification of the vessels and to amyloid deposition in the vessel wall particularly in the brain.
  2. To develop new drugs, one type to mend the damaged blood vessels in age and the other to remove the aged dysfunctional cells in the vessels to prevent or restrict the damage and thus prevent age-related cardiovascular diseases.