Two STSMs completed at the Luxembourg Institute of Health

Two STSM awardees, Dr. Barbora Kalocayova and Dr. Loredan Stefan Niculescu, spent two weeks at the Cardiovascular Research Unit of the Luxembourg Institute of Health, CardioRNA Chair Yvan Devaux’s group.

Dr. Kalocayova’s comes from the Institute for Heart Research, Centre of Experimental Medicine, Bratislava, Slovakia. The goal of her STSM, “Realising the therapeutic potential of novel cardioprotective therapies,” was to identify non-coding RNAs in heart tissue of diabetic obese rats (Zucker) prepared at her home institution to explore their role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

During the two weeks, she learned techniques to analyze microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs, methods not established at her home institution. Thus the STSM aimed not only to extend her laboratory skills and provide the base for future collaboration between the institutions but also to contribute to her ongoing research project. The STSM will likely result in a collaborative research paper.

Dr. Niculescu developed the STSM entitled “Bioinformatic analysis of microarray microRNA distribution in hyperlipidemic hamster tissues.” He analyzed data from microarray using RNA isolated from hyperlipidemic and normolipidemic hamsters (liver, heart, gut and blood cells) obtained in the Lipidomics Department of his home institution, the Institute of Cellular Biology and Pathology “Nicolae Simionescu,” Bucharest, Romania.

In Luxembourg, these data were analyzed using bioinformatics tools with the help of bioinformatics experts from Dr. Devaux’s group. This analysis of transcriptomics data helped to gain insights into the molecular mechanisms implicating microRNAs in atherogenic hyperlipidemia, which is one of the main objectives of CardioRNA WG1 – Regulatory functions of the transcriptome.