Professor Sarah J George

B.Sc., Ph.D.(Wales)

  • BS2 8HW

Personal profile

Research interests

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. Our research looks into the mechanisms underlying the failure of bypass grafts, by studying the behaviour of the smooth muscle cells in the graft.

We are currently examining a relatively unstudied area; the role of cell-cell contacts via cadherins in the regulation of smooth muscle cell behaviour and cardiovascular disease.

Our studies have demonstrated that this is a very interesting and multi-faceted area. We have observed that N-cadherin regulates smooth muscle cell behaviour including cell proliferation, migration and survival. We have also observed that this is due in part by initiating transcription of specific genes involved in smooth muscle cell behaviour via ß-catenin.

We have also become interested in 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.


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