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Angela Fago

Professor

Angela Fago
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My research has focused on molecular mechanisms regulating oxygen transport and cardiovascular function in several animal species, particularly in ‘extreme’ vertebrates, including high-altitude mammals and birds, hypoxia-tolerant turtles and fish, hibernating bears and diving marine mammals.. My motivation is to unravel the physiological adaptations of animal respiration in terms of the implicated molecular and biochemical mechanisms, to better understand what makes certain species but not others capable of surviving extreme conditions, in particular oxygen deprivation.  

My research has consolidated on three major lines of investigation:

1) The physiological functions and evolution of oxygen-binding globin proteins: haemoglobin in the blood, myoglobin in the heart and neuroglobin in the brain and their adaptation to reduced oxygen availability (as caused by ambient hypoxia or internal ischemia)

2) The metabolism (origin, fate and enzymatic pathways) of the ubiquitous master signalling molecules NO and H2S ‘gasotransmitters’ in controlling vasodilation and metabolic depression, particularly in species experiencing extreme conditions (i.e. anoxia in ectotherms, hibernation and diving in mammals)

3) Mitochondrial mechanisms for heart protection during oxygen lack in hypoxia tolerant species.

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