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Anna Liisa Luik

Project

Role of endothelial cell basement membrane laminins in shear sensing

 

Partner

University of Münster / Institute of Physiological Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry, Münster, Germany

 

Nationality

Estonian

 

In 2012, I received my Bachelor’s degree in gene technology from the University of Tartu, which gave me a broad basic education in natural sciences. To be better able to translate this knowledge to human diseases I continued my studies in Karolinska Institute in Sweden, where I received a Master’s degree in Biomedicine in 2014. Although always keeping in mind how my work relates to patients, I still found myself more intrigued by basic research. I was particularly curious about how the extracellular environment can influence cell and tissue behaviour, especially as this topic was barely talked about in the course of my studies. In 2014, I joined the SmArteR network at Prof. Sorokin’s group in Münster. My PhD project focuses on how extracellular matrix proteins laminins influence endothelial cell response to the frictional forces of blood in small arteries. Through, among others, cell adhesion, cell alignment and gene expression analyses we have shown that laminin 511 plays a central role in shear response. Currently, we are further characterizing the molecular pathways involved in this process.