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New BHF award to Prof Glenn Morris and Dr Ian Holt
Professor Glenn Morris and Dr Ian Holt have been awarded a new grant from the British Heart Foundation for £233,316 for a project to examine the role of nuclear envelope proteins in cardiac conduction and heart disease. Part of Keele’s Research Institute for Science & Technology in Medicine (ISTM) and based at the labs at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt (RJAH) Hospital at Oswestry, this research by Prof Morris and Dr Holt will help to understand how the human heart’s natural pacemaker works and how it resists damage from the constant mechanical stress over a lifetime. Some patients at RJAH hospital with inherited muscular dystrophies also develop heart problems of this kind.
Some people are born with mutations that weaken the heart and/or its pacemaker. The researchers aim to identify mutated proteins and understand their function, to help provide an artificial pacemaker and prevent damage to the heart pump from continuous beating. Working with experts from around the UK including Professor Thomas Brand, National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College London and Professor Eric Schirmer, Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, the team at Oswestry will produce diagnostic tools called monoclonal antibodies which will clarify roles of proteins needed in the nucleus of heart cells.