Editor’s note: Prof. Eli Keshet is one of three HU researchers among the grant winners in the British Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership. Click here for full story.
Scientists from the UK and Israel will join forces to carry out cutting-edge research to slow or stop blood vessels from ageing, which could help prevent a range of heart and circulatory diseases from ever developing.
BHF Professor Manuel Mayr, based at King’s College London, and Professor Eli Keshet, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, will carry our research to try and protect the vast network of blood vessels in our bodies from the effects of ageing. The research is the latest in a number of awards supported by the British Heart Foundation as part of an initiative called the Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership (BIRAX).
The heart and circulatory system has long been recognised as key to health and longevity, with blood vessel ageing known to increase the risk of heart and circulatory diseases. Understanding the processes behind ageing, and developing anti-ageing medicines, could be critical in preventing or delaying a range of conditions, including vascular dementia and kidney disease.
Tackling universal challenges
Professor Myer’s team will be focusing on the underlying causes of blood vessel ageing and will be searching for biomarkers that could help give an idea of the biological age of the vessels. Professor Keshet’s team will be focusing on ways to rejuvenate the blood vessels as a new approach for promoting healthy ageing.
Isolated arteries will be used from young and old mice with healthy and atherosclerotic arteries. They will also look at human arteries taken from patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.
While existing approaches are generally based on targeting the specific processes that drive ageing, the researchers believe their new approach is likely to provide new ‘geroprotective’ targets. They hope to gain completely new insights and use this knowledge for the development of new anti-ageing treatments.
Neil Wigan, the British Ambassador to Israel, said: “These cutting-edge research collaborations not only position the UK and Israel at the forefront of ageing research world-wide, but also reaffirm the close connection between British and Israeli academic communities and establishments. Through these meaningful and sustainable collaborations, we can together tackle universal ongoing challenges.”