22 September 2022

14:00-15:00, Room TBC

Professor Sanjay Sinha, BHF Clinical Research Fellow, University of Cambridge

Mending broken hearts (and blood vessels) using pluripotent stem cells

Sanjay Sinha is a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Senior Clinical Research Fellow and a Professor at the University of Cambridge. He completed medical training in Cambridge, followed by cardiology clinical training and a PhD in Manchester. Prof Sinha then carried out post-doctoral studies in the USA with Prof Gary Owens on smooth muscle biology before establishing an independent group at the Wellcome-MRC Stem Cell Institute in Cambridge. He is interested in how cardiovascular cells develop in the embryo and how this knowledge may be used to devise new treatments for heart disease. Prof Sinha has pioneered methods to generate lineage specific smooth muscle cells and epicardium from human pluripotent stem cells; and used these platforms for vascular disease modelling of hereditary aortic diseases and cardiac regeneration following myocardial infarction. He is also a Consultant in Cardiology and he combines his research work with clinical duties at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where he treats patients with a wide variety of cardiovascular diseases.

Host: Professor Andrea Münsterberg, UEA BIO

 

20 October 2022

14:00-15:00, Room TBC

Professor David Beech, University of Leeds

PIEZO1 channels in physical exercise and cardiovascular health and disease

After a BSc at Manchester and PhD at St George’s London I did postdoctoral research at the University of Washington, Seattle, before returning to London as a Wellcome Career Development Fellow and then establishing a research group at Leeds. My interest is cellular calcium homeostasis and particularly the idea that mechanisms of calcium entry extend beyond voltage-gated calcium channels to other calcium-permeable channels, mediating responses to important chemical and mechanical stimuli and presenting opportunities for new therapeutics. We contributed key evidence for roles of TRPC1/4/5, ORAI1 and PIEZO1 channels in cardiovascular and metabolic health and disease. Our discovery that PIEZO1 channels detect shear stress, thereby linking blood flow to endothelial cell function, was seminal and helped to justify PIEZOs as a topic of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2021. Our identification of natural and synthetic small-molecule modulators of these channels led to the CalTIC spinout company with partners in Leeds, Dortmund and Heidelberg in 2022. I am an elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and serve as the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Champion of the Academy.

Host: Professor Sam Fountain, UEA BIO

  1. 22 September 2022
    Professor Sanjay Sinha, University of Cambridge

Our network is a multidisciplinary team of scientists and clinicians. 

We work together to understand and tackle cardiovascular and metabolic disease, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and vascular dementia.

We benefit from expertise across the Norwich Medical School and Faculty of Science at the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. 

Our mission is to understand how and why cardiovascular and metabolic diseases occur, develop new therapies and diagnostics for the treatment of disease and improve clinical practice.

We achieve this through collaboration with industry and healthcare networks. Major funders of research within the network include UKRI, British Heart Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

"This forum will enable the collaborative environment needed to help develop ideas and therapies, so we can actually translate these for the benefit of patients and their families."

Dr Amer Rana

Hear from some of our researchers

Professor Samuel Fountain, School of Biological Sciences

Sam’s research, supported by the British Heart Foundation, BBSRC and several industrial partners, focuses on understanding how the nervous system controls vascular and adipose tissue with an emphasis on a family of neurotransmitter receptors.

Professor Andrea Munsterberg, School of Biological Sciences

Andrea is a research scientist addressing fundamental questions of how the heart develops in early vertebrate embryos.

Dr James Smith, Lecturer, Norwich Medical School

The group James works in use stem cells to grow new human heart cells that can be used to study cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

Professor Helen Murphy, Norwich Medical School

Helen’s interest is in early-onset T2D (T2D before 39 years of age) which is associated with hypertension, hyperlipidemia and a severe cardio-metabolic phenotype.

Dr Stephen Robinson, Research Leader, Quadram Institute

The group Stephen works with hope to guide the use and design of microbiota based therapies in order to maintain life-long vascular health.

Dr Amer Rana, School of Biological Science

Amer has had more than 25 years of clinical and lab-based research experience. His goal over the past 12 years has been to translate stem cell and developmental biology into medical therapies.