Professor Sarah Jane George - Inaugural Lecture

Professor of Cardiovascular Signalling Sarah Jane George
School of Clinical Sciences

The lecture took place on Friday 25 November 2011

Walking to the WNTer Wonderland

Heart disease is still the UK's biggest killer. Coronary artery bypass surgery is a popular surgical technique used to treat patients with heart disease. The first coronary artery bypass was performed in 1960, but despite enhanced surgical techniques over the last 50 years, this surgery technique still requires improvement as the grafts themselves become diseased. In this lecture I will discuss my research journey over the last 20 years in which I have studied the mechanisms underlying the failure of bypass grafts by studying the behaviour of the smooth muscle cells in the graft. The journey started with growth factors and enzymes which degrade proteins in the blood vessel wall. However this journey led us to a family of proteins called WNTs. These proteins were first identified in flies but the evidence for a vital role in human disease is gaining momentum. Together this research has helped us to propose novel regulators of graft failure which may help us find a cure for bypass graft disease.

Professor Sarah Jane George Inaugural - 25 November