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  • Le 06 February 2023
    Amphi Denis Escande
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  • 11h00

Genetic regulation of atherosclerosis-relevant phenotypes and gene expression in human vascular smooth muscle cells

Genetic regulation of atherosclerosis-relevant phenotypes and gene expression in human vascular smooth muscle cells


Rédouane Aherrahrou, PhD
Junior group leader, Institute for Cardiogenetics,
University of Luebeck, Germany & University of Eastern, Finland


 

Abstract

Coronary artery disease (CAD), caused by atherosclerosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Individual risk for CAD is strongly influenced by genetic and lifestyle factors. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) revealed more than 250 loci associated with increased risk for CAD. However, the precise molecular mechanisms of how these loci increase CAD risk are not known. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are key players that are involved in the initiation and development of atherosclerosis via proliferation, migration and calcification processes.

The main goal of my work is 1) to develop a comprehensive understanding of genetic contributions to CAD, with an emphasis on functional genomics and systems genetics approaches in VSMCs and 2) dissect CAD loci with sex-specific effects.  

Our studies provide evidence that CAD loci contributes to the regulation of atherosclerosis-relevant VSMCs phenotypes and their gene expression. Furthermore we showed that some of these CAD loci have sex-biased effects.
 


Biography

Dr. Rédouane Aherrahrou is a junior group leader at the University of Lübeck (Germany) and the University of Eastern Finland (Finland). He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Moulay Ismail (Morocco) and his graduate degree at the University of Lübeck (Germany). Then he moved to the USA to complete his postdoctoral training at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on understanding genetic contributions to coronary artery disease (CAD), emphasizing functional genomics and systems genetics approaches in vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs), a key cell type involved in atherosclerosis- the underlying cause of CAD. His ultimate goal is to determine the molecular and cellular function of the CAD loci identified by genome-wide association studies in SMCs in atherosclerosis and plaque stability in males and females to allow the development of sex-specific preventions and interventions in people at high risk for CAD.