BSc Genetics, University College Cork
PhD Supervisor: Dr. Tom Moore
Pregnancy specific glycoproteins (PSGs) are a multi-gene family of proteins secreted by the foetus into the maternal bloodstream during pregnancy. They are the highest foetally produced proteins in the maternal blood at the end of pregnancy. Widely reported to be immuno-modulatory, their potential roles in angiogenesis and vascular remodelling has been investigated more recently. The aim of my PhD studies is to understand and elucidate further the biology of the human PSGs through the identification of a receptor for these glycoproteins. I would also like to determine if their immuno-modulatory and hypothesized angiogenic properties can be harnessed or modified to therapeutic benefit in models of vascular dysfunction or disease. Elucidation of the molecular mechanism underlying PSG function may also lead to a greater understanding of the way cancers utilize angiogenesis and immune modification to survive.