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Dr Kate Weeks

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Dr Kate Weeks

Emerging drug targets for heart failure

Dr Kate Weeks, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

2019 Future Leader Fellowship

Years funded: 2020-2023

Heart failure is a common endpoint for numerous cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes. Approximately 50% of patients with heart failure die within 5 years of diagnosis, a mortality rate that is worse than that of many cancers. There is a clear need for new or improved therapies for the treatment of heart failure. This relies on a deeper understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to the development of heart failure.

Phosphatases are a family of proteins that are emerging as promising drug targets for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and other conditions. Phospatases are essential for many biological processes, and do not work properly in the failing heart. Understanding how phosphatases function in the healthy heart, and what goes wrong during heart failure, may lead to the development of new drugs to improve outcome in patients. This project will investigate the function of a phosphatase known as B55α-PP2A. Specifically, it will determine the role of B55α-PP2A in regulating abnormal heart enlargement during the development of heart failure.

Last updated12 July 2021