Lara Matilla Cuenca will present her doctoral thesis on Monday, October 30th

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Lara Matilla Cuenca will present her doctoral thesis on Monday, October 30th

Lara Matilla Cuenca, predoctoral researcher at the Translational Cardiology Unit from Navarrabiomed - IdISNA will be reading her doctoral thesis from the Public University of Navarra next Monday, October 30th, at 11:30 am, in the Navarrabiomed auditorium.

The doctoral thesis is entitled ‘Sex differences in aortic stenosis. A role for the aldosterone/mineralocorticoid receptor axis and its biotarget Galectin-3’; it has been developed at Navarrabiomed under the direction of Natalia López Andrés MD, Principal researcher of the Translational Cardiology Unit. 

Research development and results

Severe aortic stenosis is the most common valve disease in the Western world and has an increasing prevalence due to the progressive aging of the population. Currently, the only possible treatment is aortic valve replacement, which, although effective, is associated with high risks and costs. In the search for a more personalized medicine, this work focuses on the investigation of the existing sex differences in aortic stenosis. 

The manuscript of the present doctoral thesis consists of a compendium of four scientific articles in which three cohorts of more than 200 patients undergoing valve replacement surgery were studied. The valve tissue obtained from surgeries was used to perform a histological, molecular and cellular approach. 

Based on a translational approach, this work aims to study the main pathophysiological mechanisms of the disease (inflammation, oxidative stress, fibrosis, matrix remodelling, calcification, apoptosis and angiogenesis) both in aortic valves and in valve interstitial cells derived therefrom. In addition, the potential role of the Aldosterone/mineralocorticoid receptor pathway and its target Galectin-3 in the disease was investigated, as well as the beneficial use of specific inhibitors of both, in order to describe new possible therapeutic targets.

Financing and dissemination of results

The development of this thesis has been made possible by the funding of the Carlos III Health Institute and its pFIS predoctoral contract program. In addition, Lara Matilla has completed two international stays in 2022 and 2023 at the laboratory of Prof. Frederic Jaisser at the Centre de Reserche des Cordeliers in Paris, thanks to a travel fellowship from the Public University of Navarra and another from the Carlos III Health Institute (M-AES). 

During the development of the doctoral thesis, the researcher has published 17 scientific articles, eight of which as first or co-first author. She has also disseminated the results in various national and international congresses, two of them as an oral session: European Section of the Aldosterone Council (ESAC) in Rome in 2019 and Artery Congress, Nancy, 2022.

Lara Matilla Cuenca.
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