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Maria Prange-Barczynska

DPhil student

Research interests

I am a DPhil student in the Bishop/Ratcliffe group, working to understand the role of the HIF-2α protein within the carotid body in the physiological responses to hypoxia. Low oxygen conditions require mammals to adjust their intake, as well as usage, of oxygen to ensure survival of the tissues most dependent on aerobic respiration. The carotid body, located at the bifurcation of the carotid artery in the neck, plays a key role in sensing hypoxia and increasing ventilation rate and volume to increase the oxygen supply. This adaptation to hypoxia occurs both in an acute and a long-term manner, and the latter has been shown by our group to be dependent on the presence of the HIF-2α transcription factor, which regulates the expression of some key genes involved in the carotid body proliferation and vascularisation (Hodson et al., 2016). We are now trying to better understand the mechanisms in which HIF-2α is involved in long- and short-term responses to hypoxia.

Background

I first moved to the UK in 2015 after completing an International Baccalaureate Diploma in Warsaw, Poland. After receiving my first class BSc in Pharmacology at University College London, I started my DPhil at the University of Oxford with the NDM Prize Studentship in the autumn of 2018. Alongside with my full commitment to research, I also represent the Oxford University Yacht Club as a trimmer for the White Team.