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Alya Sitsel: Molecular differences between cardiac and skeletal muscle relaxation

PhD defence. Tuesday, 12 May 2020. Alya Sitsel.

2020.05.12 | Lisbeth Heilesen

Alya Sitsel

During her studies, Alya Sitsel investigated the protein SERCA2a, which is responsible for driving the relaxation of cardiac muscles. Alterations of SERCA2a activity or expression levels are associated with pathological conditions of heart such as heart failure. Alya sought to identify the 3D molecular structure of SERCA2a, as well as compare its differences to the related protein SERCA1a, which is responsible for relaxation of skeletal muscles.

These new research findings provide insights into the differences between the skeletal and cardiac muscle pumps, including the origin of their functional differences. The determined 3D model of cardiac SERCA2a may contribute to the development of cures for heart failure.

This double-degree PhD study was completed jointly at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Aarhus University, and the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, KU Leuven, Belgium.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 9:30
Place: The PhD defence will be held online. To receive a link to the event, please send an e-mail to  karenb@mbg.au.dk.
Title of PhD thesisStructural insights into SERCA2 regulation
Contact information: Alya Sitsel, e-mail: alya@mbg.au.dk, tel.: +372 55 903 198
Members of the assessment committee:
Professor Geert Bultynck, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, KU Leuven, Belgium
Professor Michael Gajhede, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Professor William E. Louch, Institute for Experimental Medical Research, University of Oslo, Norway
Professor Finn Skou Pedersen (chairman), Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark
Main supervisors:
Professor Poul Nissen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark
Professor Peter Vangheluwe, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, KU Leuven, Belgium
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
Due to the coronavirus situation, Aarhus University is physically closed. Therefore, the PhD thesis will not be available for reading at the offices of the PhD administration. Instead, interested parties may send an e-mail to gradschool.scitech@au.dk, and receive a digital copy of the PhD thesis. Please note, it may in certain cases be necessary to make an individual arrangement to read the PhD thesis.

PhD defense