Sivesh Kamarajah

Sivesh Kamarajah - 2016 Dr Falk Core Student Bursary Winner

Title: Expression and Functional Characterisation of Scavenger Receptor F-1 and Zonula Occludens-2 in Chronic Liver Disease and Malignancy

Summary: With rising rates of deaths from chronic liver disease, there is an unmet clinical need to identify and develop therapies for patients.

Identifying novel molecular mechanisms that regulate chronic inflammation in liver disease might lead to novel approaches for therapy and may also deliver new biomarkers of progressive liver disease and early cancer development

A common mechanism driving liver disease is recruitment of immune cells to the liver, progressively causing scarring which can lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer. My project investigated novel proteins known as Scavenger Receptor F – 1 (SCARF-1) and Tight Junction Protein-2 (TJP-2), for which there is limited information regarding their roles in liver disease. We have shown that SCARF-1 is more abundant in the liver tissue of patients with liver disease and promotes inflammation by recruiting immune cells into the organ, while changes in TJP-2 may contribute to the development of cancer.  We hope that both of these proteins may be future targets for the treatment of liver disease and cancer.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my year and found it extremely rewarding spending my time learning and developing specific skillsets ranging from critical thinking through to effective communication of complex concepts and preparing scientific reports.

Sivesh Kamarajah