Challenging the big killers

Posted by ap507 at Dec 09, 2014 04:16 PM |
Researchers present advances in fight against TB and sudden cardiac death at free public lectures on 10 December
Challenging the big killers

Electrical activity

Research projects into two of the biggest killers in worldwide health, tuberculosis and sudden cardiac death, will be the subjects of the University of Leicester Graduate School Doctoral Inaugural Lectures, delivered by two of the winners of this year’s PhD prizes in the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Engineering.

The survivalist bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis is one of the main causes of the disease tuberculosis (TB) which kills an estimated 1.5 million people a year and has developed resistance to most antibiotics. 

Dr Alessio Bortoluzzi, formerly of the Department of Biochemistry, investigated the structure and function of a protein, RbpA, which is essential for the survival and reproduction of the M. tuberculosis bacterium.  His insights into the role of this protein could lead to further targets in the global fight against TB.

Sudden cardiac death accounts for 100,000 deaths annually in the UK, more than stroke, lung cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined. These deaths could be prevented with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a small and inexpensive device similar to a pacemaker, but the difficulty is in identifying individuals at risk from the condition. 

Dr Will Nicolson from the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences will describe “Lifemap”, which uses electrical signals at the body’s surface to map electrical instability in the heart itself, and can identify individuals most at risk of sudden cardiac death.

The Doctoral Inaugural Lectures are hosted by the Graduate Dean Professor Sarah Hainsworth. 

The lectures  take place on Wednesday 10 December from 5.30pm to 6.30pm, in the Frank and Katherine May Lecture Theatre, Henry Wellcome Building.  The lectures are open to the public but you must register here.

For further information please visit the event page.