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You are here:   New College Village »  Unsw Student Accommodation »  Ncv Researchers »  Laura Sharpe From Penrith, Nsw - Post Doc: Cholest...

NCV Researchers

Laura Sharpe from Penrith, NSW - Post Doc: Cholesterol regulation

I did Honours and a PhD with Andrew Brown in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, and since then I’ve been employed as a Post-Doc in the same lab. My lab examines how cells in the body control their levels of cholesterol. I have lived at NCV for 4 years.

Laura Sharpe from Penrith, NSW - Post Doc: Cholesterol regulation


Summary of my research:

Cholesterol is an essential molecule in cells, but too much of it can be toxic, leading to cardiovascular disease.  Therefore, we investigate how cells control their levels of cholesterol.  This is achieved through a balance of synthesis, uptake, and efflux.  We examine all of these, but with a particular emphasis on synthesis – how cells make cholesterol.  This process is complex, and involves ~30 enzymes.  The levels of each of these enzymes need to be kept under tight control, and in particular, we are interested in how gene regulation plays a role in this.

Whilst cholesterol regulation is the main focus of our work, I have also been involved in projects ranging from Alzheimer’s Disease to Norovirus, a major cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks.  During my PhD I worked on why an immunosuppressant drug increases blood lipid levels, and how an enzyme commonly overexpressed in cancer targets a transporter needed for proteins to get where they are needed.


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