Cardio Metabolic Research at Leeds

Heart Failure and Autonomic Control



Cardiac Muscle and Neuronal Control

This group primarily investigates control of the heart; from nervous control to the myocardium itself. Its investigations are conducted at many levels, from molecular and cellular studies (including cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts) to the intact heart, through to assessment of autonomic function in human subjects and computer simulations. Interests encompass cardiac function in health and disease (e.g. heart failure, hypoxia). Topics include caveolar modulation of signalling in the cardiac myocyte, sarcoplasmic reticulum and nuclear calcium signalling, regulation of cardiac fibroblast function, neuronal circuits controlling sympathetic and parasympathetic outflow and their effects of cardiovascular function, electrical, mechanical and structural interactions in the myocardium and their remodelling in disease, as well as remodelling in the vasculature and effects of hypoxia on neuronal and vascular function.





Scott Bowen

My research is focussed on understanding the mechanisms that mediate skeletal muscle loss and weakness, and how therapeutic strategies such as exercise training and small-molecule inhibitors can be applied to help overcome such impairments in various clinical conditions such as heart failure.

Sarah Calaghan
Dr Sarah Calaghan

My research focuses on the mechanisms which control the behaviour of individual cardiac muscle cells in the heart in response to a variety of stimuli. This information can be used to understand the function of the heart in both health and disease.

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John Colyer
Professor John Colyer

My group is interested in the control of cardiac function via post-translational modification (PTM) of proteins. We use quantitative approaches to explore these events in health and disease.

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Jim Deuchars
Professor Jim Deuchars

Our basic research investigates the organisation and function of the parts of the brain and spinal cord that contribute to control of the cardiovascular. Our human work applies that knowledge with therapeutic intentions, utilising neuromodulation to correct cardiovascular disorders.

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Susan Deuchars
Susan Deuchars

I study how cells within the spinal cord fit into complex and specialised neuronal circuits associated with autonomic control, with a special interest in whether newly born cells in the adult spinal cord can integrate into these circuits.

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Mark Drinkhill

My research focuses on the autonomic control of cardiovascular system and how disease processes such as heart failure can adversely influence this.

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Carrie Ferguson
Carrie image

We are interested in understanding the integrated physiological responses that limit exercise tolerance, how exercise testing can be used to stratify patient care and how exercise can be used to ameliorate exercise tolerance.

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Richard Foster
Dr Richard Foster

My group is interested in the design, synthesis and optimisation of small molecules for therapeutic application or their use in the elucidation of biological function.

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Alistair Hall
Professor Alistair Hall

This regional network works to discover, develop and deploy effective strategies to: Identify and understand the mechanism of coronary artery disease. Prevent premature coronary artery disease.

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David Hauton

My research examines the role of oxygen in the control of metabolism and mechanical function of the heart, with particular interest in the diabetic and failing heart. This has wider implications for the function of skeletal muscles and may contribute to changes in the ability to exercise.

Isuru Jayasinghe

My research focuses on the development and application of super-resolution microscopy technologies in studying the structures, biomolecules and their function within muscle cells of the heart's chambers. In particular, I am interested in advancing our spatial understanding of the intracellular membrane compartments, ion channels and other signalling molecules within the cells. With super-resolution microscopy methods, I observe and track these components at nanometre precision in order make careful calculations of the protein-to-protein interactions and the resulting calcium signals that underpin the contractile performance of the healthy and failing heart.

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Matthew Lancaster

Dr Matthew Lancaster


We investigate the progressive changes in the pacemaker and ventricles of the heart with advancing age, which then predispose to problems in old age.

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Sheena Radford
Professor Sheena Radford

Current major projects include:


  • Mechanism(s) of protein self-assembly into amyloid
  • Membrane protein folding (mechanism and role of chaperones)
  • Stabilising proteins of therapeutic interest against aggregation
  • Method development (MS, NMR, single molecule methods)

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Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith

My interest is in the role played by endogenous cardiac stem cells (eCSCs) within the myocardium and their contribution to tissue in both normal myocardial function and in disease.

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Derek Steele
Professor Derek Steele

Most of my work addresses the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ channel (ryanodine receptor) in cardiac and skeletal muscle.

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Bryan Taylor
Dr Bryan Taylor

My research is focussed on the intricate interplay between the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and how pathophysiological changes in the cardiopulmonary system contribute to exercise intolerance in patients with heart failure. Specifically, I am interested in the mechanistic causes and functional consequences of pulmonary hypertension and respiratory muscle weakness, and how therapeutic interventions including exercise training, specific respiratory muscle training, and dietary supplementation may help improve pulmonary vascular and respiratory muscle function in patients with cardiovascular disease.

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John Trinick
Professor John Trinick

We study structure and mechanism in muscle sarcomeres and their isolated component proteins. This includes dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathies caused by sarcomere mutations. We specialise in electron microscopy.

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Neil Turner
Dr Neil Turner

The general aim of my research is to understand key intracellular signalling mechanisms that regulate adverse remodelling of the cardiovascular system, with particular focus on cardiac fibroblasts.

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Ed White
Ed White

We investigate the electrophysiological and contractile changes that occur in cardiac muscle in response to physiological (exercise) and pathological (heart failure) stimuli.

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Klaus Witte
Dr Klaus Witte

My work focuses broadly on the field of heart failure. My interests include the development of pathways to improve patient access to clinical services, and strategies to promote optimal use of existing drug and device treatments, as well as investigating novel new treatments.

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Ian Wood
Dr Ian Wood

My group is interested in understanding the mechanisms responsible for altered regulation of gene expression in cardiovascular disease.

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What's Happening

27 September 2018: Exercise training in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: A molecular explanation ... more

22 November 2018: Cardio Metabolic Seminar ... more

24 January 2019: Cardiovascular Seminar ... more

Athena Swan