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Nikita Ved

PhD FRSA


Postdoctoral Research Fellow

  • EPA Cephalosporin Junior Research Fellow, Linacre College, Oxford
  • Stipendiary Lecturer, Merton College, Oxford

Targeting immunomodulation following cardiac injury

I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Professor Paul Riley's group in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics. 

I studied neuroscience at the University of Bristol for my undergraduate degree and obtained my PhD from University College London in 2016, working on the anti-angiogenic therapy for diabetic retinopathy at the Institute of Ophthalmology. During this time, I also investigated the effects of VEGF splice variants in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy in collaboration with the University of Nottingham. In 2015 I was awarded the British Microcirculation Society Young Investigators Prize for my work on microvascular dysfunction in the diabetic retina.

In 2016 I was awarded a Novo Nordisk Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, investigating how pre-existing maternal diabetes induces embryonic heart defects with Dr Duncan Sparrow and Professor Dame Frances Ashcroft. I am also continuing research into how hyperglycaemia/hypoinsulinemia affects the retinal microvasculature.

I am now investigating how functional manipulation of the cardiac lymphatic vasculature impacts upon the immune response to improve heart function and remodelling after a heart attack.

Outreach

Since 2015, I have been involved with the annual Pint of Science festival. This festival takes place in relaxed environments, such as pubs or bars, and allows scientists to communicate their work with the wider public. Breaking the barriers between the bench and the bar and making scientific research more accessible, is something I am very passionate about. I have also been involved with the British Science Association, PubHD, and the Physiological Society's scientific outreach. Additionally, I have also been the Physiological Society's ambassador at many science policy events at the House of Commons. 

I am also the co-founder of the 1928 Institute, the only think tank researching and representing Indians in the UK. In early 2021, we published our seminal COVID19 report on vaccine uptake within the Indian community. Critically, we found that only 56% of British Indians would be willing to take a vaccine, with many people falling prey to vaccine misinformation specifically surrounding fertility. Our report was very well-received, having been published in over 30 news outlets, including BBC and ITV News. Since then, I have worked with senior NHS officials, Civil Servants, community leaders, and No.10. Additionally, I have been invited on panels with healthcare experts and Parliamentarians, including Nadhim Zahawi MP, encouraging vaccine uptake within BME communities and also to dispel common myths surrounding the vaccine. Since then, I was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

I am now embarking on a collaboration with the UN Women All-Party Parliamentary Group, to discuss pregnancy complications and wider health inequalities amongst ethnic minorities.   

International Women's Day

Prizes

  • STEM for Britain Finalist (2019)
  • British Heart Foundation Poster Prize Finalist (2018)
  • European Society of Cardiology Working Group on Development, Anatomy and Pathology Prize (2018)
  • Weinstein Cardiovascular Development and Regeneration Conference Prize (2018)
  • World Congress of Microcirculation Prize (2015)
  • British Microcirculation Society Young Investigator’s Prize (2015)