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2021 : Master en sciences bio-médicales

Aantal beurzen:
2021-2022, 2022-2023, 2023-2024: "Bourse Loterie Nationale"

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Study of the gender dimorphism of the inflammatory response in early life: Contribution of human umbilical endothelial cells and potential role of microRNAs

Project supervisor

Promotor: Prof. Mustapha Chamekh, PhD, HDR
Co-promotor: Prof. Georges Casimir, MD, PhD

Labo of hospitaal waar het project plaatsvindt

Pediatric Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, HUDERF-Brugmann Campus, ULB


Previous pediatric investigations indicate that males and females exhibit a differential susceptibility to number of infectious and non-infectious inflammatory diseases. Genderdifference in the inflammatory response is even seen in early life. Studies on infectious diseases affecting the chorion and amnion (chorio-amnionitis) in pregnant mothers revealed a higher prevalence in mothers with a male fetus compared to mothers with a female fetus.

Interestingly, it has been shown that human umbilical endothelial cells (HUVECs) have sexspecific phenotype. However, their contribution to the sexual dimorphism of the inflammatory response is not known. Like immune cells, HUVECs react to physiological changes of the cell microenvironment and can produce inflammatory mediators when stimulated by microbial antigens. In this project, we investigate the potential role of HUVECs in gender dimorphism of the inflammatory process. We particularly focus our study on the potential role of a group of small non-coding RNAs (microRNAs) in modulating the inflammatory process. This study will be informative about the mechanisms behind sexdifferences in pathophysiology of common inflammatory diseases and may pave the way for optimizing the clinical monitoring and the design of gender specific therapy.

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