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Oxidative Stress

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Laboratory head

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Latest Achievements

AMREP Animal Ethics Committee Member (2009–12)

AMREP Animal Ethics Deputy Chair (2010)

Australian Atherosclerosis Society (AAS) committee member (2010–present)

AAS Newsletter Editor (2010–present)

Baker IDI Seminar Coordinator (2010–present)

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Associate Professor Judy de Haan
Understanding diabetes-mediated oxidative and reductive stress and its role in inflammation and altered cell function

Staff

Dr Arpeeta Sharma Ms Nada Stefanovic

 

About the Oxidative Stress laboratory

The research undertaken in the Oxidative Stress laboratory focuses on improving the lives of diabetic patients by reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease, renal injury or diabetic eye disease. The research, by identifying novel therapies aimed at lowering oxidative stress, is yielding new areas for drug discovery. These preclinical studies are important initial steps in understanding how to better tackle the complications that arise as a consequence of this fast-growing health issue, given the growing obesity epidemic and its link to type 2 diabetes.

A key focus of the laboratory has been on the pathogenesis of oxidant stress as it relates to diabetic macrovascular complications, such as diabetes-associated atherosclerosis (DAA) and diabetes-linked endothelial dysfunction. Additionally, the laboratory has focused on diabetic microvascular injury with particular emphasis on the role that oxidants play in diabetic retinopathy.

The laboratory has concentrated on understanding the importance of antioxidant defence and has used novel antioxidant mimetics, as well as activators of the oxidant stress regulator Nrf2, to bolster endogenous antioxidant responses to lessen diabetic complications. A further focus has been on gaining insight into how Nrf2 affects the NLRP3 inflammasome, singularly the most important processing platform of pro-inflammatory cytokines known to mediate 'sterile' inflammatory diseases like cardiovascular disease.

Highlights

  • Understanding of fundamental processes impacted by oxidative stress in diabetic cardiovascular complications.
  • Impact of oxidative stress on inflammatory pathways, including NF-κB, Map Kinases, NLRP3-inflammasome activation, caspase-3 maturation and cytokine production.
  • Understanding reductive stress and its effect on vascular remodelling.
  • Use of novel activators of Nrf2 to limit diabetic cardiovascular disease.

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With the rising number of Australians affected by diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the need for research is more critical than ever.

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