Link: University of Iowa

Kelli Sylvers Receives AHA Predoctoral Fellowship


Kelli Sylvers, Biochemistry graduate student in Dr. Brandon Davies’ lab, has received an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship. The AHA Predoctoral Fellowship is intended to support “promising students” in pre-doctoral or clinical health training programs. Kelli’s proposal entitled, “Lipase inhibition by ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL8” will be funded at the maximum amount for two full years. The project focuses on understanding how two proteins, ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL8, regulate HDL and triglyceride metabolism. High triglyceride levels and low HDL levels are associated with cardiovascular disease. The project asks two important questions: 1) How does ANGPTL3 inhibit its targets lipoprotein lipase (the protein responsible for clearing triglycerides from the blood) and endothelial lipase (a protein that reduces HDL levels in the blood). 2) Does ANGPTL3 require ANGPTL8 to inhibit EL (the Davies lab has previously shown that ANGPTL3 requires ANGPTL8 to inhibit LPL). To answer these questions, experiments have been designed to study protein binding and protein activity as well as studies using a mouse model lacking ANGPTL8 to understand the effects in a living organism. Targeting ANGPTL3 or ANGPTL8 has the potential to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering plasma triglyceride levels. This research may enhance our ability to target these proteins in a way that would have less side-effects or unintended consequences for patients being treated for cardiovascular disorders.

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