Abstract: Cardiometabolic diseases, such as atherosclerosis, obesity and diabetes, are leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the western world. The unifying underlying causes of these conditions are the chronic hyper-activation of the innate immune system, which drives low-grade inflammation and inappropriate accumulation of immune cells (e.g. macrophages, T cells etc) within tissues (e.g. adipose, vessel wall etc). Although significant strides have been made in better understanding the mechanisms that drive atherosclerosis and/or obesity independently, the precise molecular mechanisms by which inflammatory genes drive obesity and/or atherosclerosis, and how obesity directly accelerates atherosclerosis remains poorly understood. RIP kinases (RIPK) are important regulators of cell survival, inflammation and cell death. Today, I will discuss our recent studies investigating the unique roles of RIPK1, and its downstream targets RIPK3 and MLKL, in driving obesity and atherosclerosis.

Biography: Dr Denuja Karunakaran is a macrophage biologist with research interests in cardiometabolic diseases and therapeutics. She completed her PhD in platelet biology at Monash University, followed by the prestigious National Heart Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at the University of New South Wales and an Endowed Cardiovascular Genetics Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Canada. Her research has defined novel pathways in platelet receptor regulation in thrombosis; macrophage inflammation, metabolism and cell death in atherosclerosis; and more recently, genetic regulation of adipose tissue inflammation during obesity. She’s the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2019 ASMR Queensland mid-career Research Award finalist, 2019 American Society for Investigative Pathology Young Scientist Leadership Award and 2017 American Heart Association 2017 ATVB Early Career Investigator Award finalist. As an emerging leader in the field of atherosclerosis, she serves as an invited early career member of the Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB) journal editorial board and an ambassador for American Society for Investigative Pathology. She is an ardent advocate for research trainees, especially women in STEM, and has served in leadership roles in various trainee and young investigator committees in Canada and Australia.



About Research Seminar Series

UQ School of Biomedical Sciences Research Seminar Series

The School of Biomedical Sciences (SBMS) Research Seminar Series presents seminars by international and national researchers, local researchers, and postdocs.

Unless otherwise indicated, seminars are held  3.00 PM AEST every second Friday  01-E109  - Forgan Smith Building, Learning Theatre.


Hawken Engineering Building (#50) in room T203 and zoom https://uqz.zoom.us/j/83670816401