Impaired cell function and enhanced inflammation induced by high glucose, cholesterol or modified lipoproteins are known to be the major contributors for the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for this is not very well understood. The overall focus of our basic research laboratory is to understand the alterations in the metabolic circuits and signal transduction pathways, which are involved in the development of vascular and immune cell dysfunction and sustained inflammation with an emphasis on cardiovascular disease pathogenesis.
We investigate different aspects of innate immune memory and vascular signalling and study the functionality of the different primary cell types such as monocytes/macrophages, endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and platelets in various cardiovascular disease conditions. Pathological changes of fundamental cellular processes like proliferation, differentiation, adhesion, migration, transmigration and cytokine release is studied using these cell types. We are also interested to define how modulation of metabolic pathways impair or improve cell function and affect progression or resolution of the disease pathology.
We employ in vitro cell culture systems, ex vivo analysis of patient samples and in vivo murine models in our research. We utilize a combination of advanced cellular and molecular techniques such as whole-genome mRNA expression, metabolic or epigenetic modifications and cell signalling alterations in patient samples or after exposing the cells to inflammatory triggers like high glucose or oxLDL. We apply genome editing, multi-colour flow cytometry, imaging and other biochemical techniques to better understand the interplay between cell functions, signaling and metabolic pathways.
We are enthusiastic about our work and enjoy teaching students on our topics and techniques. Likewise, we thrive on collaborative projects and are looking forward to many future interactions within and outside the UKM.