BSc, MRes, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Epicardial biology and cardiac regeneration
My current work in the Smart Group focuses on understanding epicardial function during heart development, and the potential recapitulation of the epicardium's intrinsic developmental programs to achieve enhanced repair of an injured adult heart. I have particular interest in how Heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) modifying enzymes modulate epicardial signalling, and how a refinement in signalling may govern epicardium formation, cell fate, and epicardial function to support vascularisation of the heart.
Regulation of endosulfatase expression in the embryonic epicardium
My research question focuses on local environmental signals received and relayed by the epicardium during development and injury. These signals come in the form of protein ligands that are produced by neighbouring cells and are received by receptors on the epicardial surface. In turn, these pathways determine cellular functions, such as when to divide, migrate or differentiate into a different cell type. HSPG-dependent pathways are thought to control much of the epicardial cell activity during development. Endosulfatase enzymes that modify HSPGs – present another level of control to refine signalling separate to ligand presence. I am thus exploring the regulation of endosulfatases and their specific roles in the epicardium.
TEACHING AND DEPARTMENTAL ACTIVITIES
Tutor: Stem cell therapy and animal models for heart regeneration (FHS)
Seminar teaching: Animal model systems for heart regeneration seminar (FHS)
Member of the DPAG Outreach and Public Engagement Working Group
Member of the BHF CRE symposium organising group
Naruphontjirakul P. et al, (2022), Biomater Adv, 133
Lupu I-E. et al, (2021)
Munshaw S. et al, (2021), J Clin Invest
REDPATH A. et al, (2021), STAR Protocols, 2
Kalisch-Smith JI. et al, (2021), Front Genet, 12
I completed my undergraduate (BSc Biochemistry) and postgraduate (MRes/PhD) degrees at Imperial College London. I was awarded an NHLI studentship to undertake my PhD degree in Biomedical Sciences Research at the Department of Inflammation, Repair & Development, National Heart & Lung Institute. During this period, I specialised in bone marrow stem cells, osteoimmunology and regenerative pharmacology. In 2016, I joined the Smart Group in DPAG to investigate epicardial biology in cardiac development and post-injury.