Edinburgh Scientific Academic Track

ESAT Fellows

The Edinburgh Scientific Academic Track (ESAT), established by the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, recruits and mentors future scientific leaders.

Biomedical laboratory

The program is highly successful and enhances the University of Edinburgh's reputation as a world leader in biomedical research.

Professor Wendy Bickmore serves as the director of the ESAT scheme.

Find out more about the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine's ESAT Fellows, and visit their research profiles to explore their work.

Dr Juan-Carlos Acosta

Dr Juan-Carlos Acosta works with the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre

His main area of research is cellular senescence and tumour suppression.

Read more about Juan-Carlos's work in his research profile.

Dr Katie Atkins

Dr Katie Atkins is a Chancellor’s Fellow in the Usher Institute for Population Health Sciences and Informatics. 

Her work uses mathematical modelling and phylogenetic analysis to understand infectious disease epidemiology. Her particular research interests include HIV and antibiotic resistance. 

Read more about Katie's work in her research profile.

 

Dr Calum Bain

Dr Calum Bain works with the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research.

His research aims to understand the local environmental factors that imprint the phenotypic and functional identity of pulmonary macrophages in health and how these change in disease.

Read more about Calum's work in his research profile.

Dr Nizar Batada

Dr Nizar Batada works with the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine.

His research seeks to understand defining signatures of genes involved in anti-tumour immunity and to develop tools to aid clinicians in selecting optimal therapies based on the patient's genome.

Read more about Nizar's work in his research profile.

Dr Miguel Bernabau Llinares

Dr Miguel Bernabau Llinares works with the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

His research interests concern the study of vascular remodelling during angiogenesis in order to identify molecular targets for its regulation. In addition, he explores the translational potential of these findings for the treatment diabetic retinopathy.

Read more about Miguel's work in his research profile.

Dr Luke Boulter

Dr Luke Boulter works with the MRC Human Genetics Unit.

His research investigates how how the signals, which come from the regenerative microenvironment drive tissue repair following injury and how these signals are co-opted by the tumour to support cancer growth. He is particularly interested in the role of the Wnt pathway in these processes.

Read more about Luke's work in his research profile.

Dr Mairi Brittan

Dr Mairi Brittan works with the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine and BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science.

The fundamental goal of her research is to apply new strategies and technologies to identify and characterise endogenous endothelial progenitor cells (EPC), to understand how EPC maintain structural integrity of the blood vessel wall during homeostasis, and the mechanisms through which EPC can regenerate the blood vessel wall following disease or injury.

Read more about Mairi's work in her research profile.

Dr Andrea Caporali

Dr Andrea Caporali works with the University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science.

His research aims to understand the importance and role of non-coding RNA, e.g. microRNAs in the pathophysiology of vascular diseases.

Read more about Andrea's work in his research profile.

Dr Jenna Cash

Dr Jenna Cash works with the  Centre for Inflammation Research.

Her research interests are in the role of macrophages and pro-resolving pathways in normal and pathological skin healing.

Read more about Jenna's work in her research profile.

Dr William Cawthorn

Dr William Cawthorn works with the University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science.

His research area explores Bone Marrow Adipose Tissue (MAT) and its impact on metabolic health.

Read more about William's work in his research profile.

Dr Sarah Chan

Dr Sarah Chan works at the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

Her research examines the ethical and societal implications of new and emerging technologies, including genetic modification; uses of genetic information, health data and human biomaterials; stem cells; research ethics; animal ethics and enhancement technologies.

Read more about Sarah's work in her research profile.

Dr Tamir Chandra

Dr Tamir Chandra works with the MRC Human Genetics Unit.

His research aims to understand mechanisms of ageing in a variety of cellular contexts, including cells isolated from older individuals (and even centenarians) and children suffering from premature ageing syndromes.

Read more about Tamir's work in his research profile.

Dr You-Ying Chau

Dr You-Ying Chau works with the University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science.

Her research aims to understand the origins and heterogeneity of adipose tissue and elucidating the molecular mechanisms that regulate fat mass and contribute to the development of obesity and obesity associated diseases. 

Read more about You-Ying's work in her research profile.

Dr Maria Christophorou

Dr Maria Christophorou works with the MRC Human Genetics Unit.

Her research aims to define how enzymes called peptidylarginine deiminases (PADIs) are regulated and understand how their deregulation contributes to disease development.

Read more about Maria's work in her research profile.

Dr Emily Clark

Dr Emily Clark works with the Roslin Institute.

Her main research interests focus on transcriptomics and genomics in livestock in both production animals and indigenous African breeds.  She is particularly interested in functional annotation and the transcriptional control of complex traits.

Read more about Emily's work in her research profile.

Dr Stuart Cobb

Dr Stuart Cobb is a Simons Fellow and Reader in Neuroscience at the Patrick Wild Centre and Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences.

His lab aims to understand the tractability of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) to therapeutic intervention. This includes gaining an understanding of those aspects of NDDs that genuinely result from aberrant early brain development to features that result from ongoing dysfunction within the mature nervous system. 

Read more about Stuart's work in his research profile.

Dr Kathrin Cresswell

Dr Kathrin Cresswell is a Chief Scientist Office Chancellor's Fellow at the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

Kathrin's core research interests are: health information technology, evaluation, sociotechnical, qualitative methods, healthcare innovation and information systems.

Read more about Kathrin's work in her research profile.

 

Dr Mihaela Crisan

Dr Mihaela Crisan works with the University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science.

Her research investigates how hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) generate and expand during development; it also seeks to understand whether pericytes support heart development and participate to repair process and regeneration upon injury.

Read more about Mihaela's work in her research profile.

Dr Melissa Cudmore

Dr Melissa Cudmore works with the University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science.

Her main area of research is the role of heterodimerisation between VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 in the regulation of vasculogenesis, angiogenesis and endothelial cell homeostasis.

Read more about Melissa's work in her research profile.

Dr Rafael De Oliveira Silva

Rafael De Oliveira Silva is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security. 

His research focuses on the development of mathematical models for agriculture, food security and biodiversity conservation. He has focused on modelling the nexus of sustainable intensification-deforestation-livestock systems in Brazil.

Read more about Rafael's work in his research profile.

Dr Laura Denby

Dr Laura Denby works with the University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science.

Her primary area of research is investigating the role of non-coding RNA regulation of injury and repair processes within the kidney and cardiovascular system.

Read more about Laura's work in her research profile.

Dr Maria Doitsidou

Dr Maria Doitsidou works with the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences.

The main focus of her research is to decipher mechanisms of neuronal degeneration and identify molecular interventions that prevent neuronal damage.

Read more about Maria's work in her research profile.

Dr Elaine Emmerson

Dr Emily Emmerson works with the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine.

Her research investigates the effect of age on organ innervation and how this influences the progenitor cell niche and the ability to repair/regenerate following injury.

Read more about Elaine's work in her research profile.

Dr Yi Feng

Dr Yi Feng works with the Centre for Inflammation Research.

Her main area of research is cancer of epithelial origin, and she uses live imaging to establish a novel model in which transformed-cell: host interaction can be observed and manipulated in real time at the cellular/sub-cellular level.

Read more about Yi's work in her research profile.

Dr Jonine Figueroa

Dr Jonine Figueroa works with the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics and the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM).

Her research focuses on molecular epidemiology of cancer, with emphasis on breast and bladder cancers, with particular interest on tissue biomarkers and their association with risk, prognosis and treatment outcomes.

Read more about Jonine's work in her research profile.

Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson

Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson works with the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences.

Her main research area is developmental disabilities, in particular, autism.

Read more about Sue's work in her research profile.

Dr Noor Gammoh

Dr Noor Gammoh works with the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre

Her research is primarily interested in understanding survival response processes that fuel cell proliferation and enhance survival in Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), one of the most common and aggresive adult brain tumours.

Read more about Noor's work in her research profile.

Dr Alfredo Ganzalez Sulser

Dr Alfredo Ganzalez Sulser works with the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences.

His research focuses on developing new therapeutic strategies to treat epilepsy that rely on specifically modifying the activity of seizure-generating networks in the brain.

Read more about Alfredo's work in his research profile.

Dr Christos Gkogkas

Dr Christos Gkogkas works with the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences.

His research focuses on the role of dysregulated protein synthesis in neuropsychiatric/neurodevelopmental disorders.

Read more about Christos' work in his research profile.

Dr Erin Greaves

Dr Erin Greaves works with the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health.

Her research hopes to shed new light on disease processes that cause endometriosis-associated pain and to contribute to the development of new therapies that may help improve the quality of life for millions of women that suffer from endometriosis.

Read more about Erin's work in her research profile.

Dr Sebastian Greiss

Dr Sebastian Greiss works with the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences.

His research develops and uses tools based on unnatural amino acids to probe neuronal circuits in C. elegans worms, seeking to understand how a nervous system’s components work together to acquire sensory inputs from the environment and then compute this information to produce behavioural outputs.

Read more about Sebastian's work in his research profile.

Dr Emily Gwyer Findlay

Dr Emily Gwyer Findlay works with the Centre for Inflammation Research.

Her research examine the influence of neutrophils on adaptive immunity, with a particular focus on Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic disease of the central nervous system, by using human and mouse in vitro culture experiments, and mouse in vivo models of disease.

Read more about Emily's work in her research profile.

Dr Carsten Hansen

Dr Carsten Hansen works with the Centre for Inflammation Research.

His research seeks to understand the biological role of the Hippo pathway in biological processes important for human health with a focus on regeneration, inflammation and cancer.

Read more about Carsten's work in his research profile.

Dr Musa Hassan

Dr Musa Hassan is based at the Roslin Institute.

His research is in understanding the complex nature of host-pathogen interactions. Specifically, the overarching goal of his research is to elucidate the molecular basis for inter-individual differences in susceptibility to infectious diseases, using the obligate intracellular protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii and its mammalian hosts, as a model.

Read more about Musa's work in his research profile.

Dr Leah Herrgen

Dr Leah Herrgen works with the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences.

Her research is interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms that mediate the speed and completeness of wound healing and regeneration in the developing brain.

Read more about Leah's work in her research profile.

Dr Toby Hurd

Dr Toby Hurd works with the MRC Human Genetics Unit.

His research aims to understand at the molecular and organismal level how mutation of causative genes alters cellular function and ultimately leads to onset and progression of disease in renal and retinal ciliopathies.

Read more about Toby's work in his research profile.

Dr Caroline Jackson

Dr Caroline Jackson works with the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

Her main area of research is epidemiology of chronic disease, with a focus on cardiometabolic disease, multimorbidity, health inequalities and gender differences in disease occurrence and outcome.

Read more about Caroline's work in her research profile.

Dr Peter Joshi

Peter Joshi works with the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

His research goal is to improve understanding of the genetic basis of human disease, particularly the allelic architecture of complex diseases and the extent to which sibling resemblance can be explained by rare and/or recessive variants, rather than common genetic variants with an additive effect.

Read more about Peter's work in his research profile.

Dr Takanori Kitamura

Dr Takanori Kitamura works with the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health.

His research goal is to find effective and tumour specific targets to suppress pro-metastatic functions of stromal cells, in particular myeloid cells.

Read more about Takanori's work in his research profile.

Dr Grzegorz Kudla

Dr Grzegorz Kudla works with the MRC Human Genetics Unit.

His lab combines synthetic biology, next-generation sequencing, and computational modelling to study the relationships between RNA sequence, structure, expression, and function.

Read more about Grzegorz's work in his research profile.

Dr Chih-Jen (Lance) Lin

Dr Chih-Jen (Lance) Lin works with the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health

His main research area is epigenetic regulation in oocyte and early embryo development.

Read more about Lance’s work in his research profile.

Dr Saturnino Luz Filho

Dr Saturnino Luz Filho works at the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

His research investigates inference in high-dimensional data sets, and employs machine learning and signal processing methods to the study of communication in medical settings such as multidisciplinary medical team meetings, doctor-patient consultations and telemedicine.

Read more about Saturnino's work in his research profile.

Dr Sam Lycett

Dr Sam Lycett works at The Roslin Institute.

Her main area of research is Pathogen Phylodynamics - evolution and epidemiology of viruses and bacteria using bayesian and machine learning methods.

Read more about Sam's work in her research profile.

Dr Riccardo Marioni

Dr Riccardo Marioni works with the Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine.

His main area of interest is understanding the influences on human cognitive ability and non-pathological cognitive decline.

Read more about Riccaro's work in his research profile.

Dr Joe Marsh

Dr Joe Marsh works with the MRC Human Genetics Unit.

His research is interested in the biology of protein complex assembly and the role of protein complexes in human disease.

Read more about Joe's work in his research profile.

Dr Henry McSorley

Dr Henry McSorley works with the Centre for Inflammation Research and the Centre for Reproductive Health.

His research aims to identify the individual molecules in H. polygyrus (HES) responsible for its immunomodulatory effects with a view to producing these (or derivatives of these) as potential therapeutic agents for human disease. In conjuction with this work, his lab also aims to dissect the mechanisms by which HES suppresses the release of IL-33, as this may give us new insights into the biology of IL-33, ILC2 responses and asthma in general.

Read more about Henry's work in his research profile.

Dr Zoi Michailidou

Dr Zoi Michailidou works with the University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science.

Her research focuses on a vital pathway, the oxygen sensing/hypoxia signalling in fat cells and how modulation of this pathway impacts obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, dislipideamias and cancer. 

Read more about Zoi's work in her research profile.

Dr Pleasantine Mill

Dr Pleasantine Mill works with the MRC Human Genetics Unit.

Her lab uses the power of genetics combined with the latest molecular and cellular biology tools to address questions of cilia function and genetics.

Read more about Pleasantine's work in her research profile.

Dr Véronique Miron

Dr Véronique Miron works with the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health.

Her research focuses on investigating the regenerative properties of inflammation to drive central nervous system white matter regeneration, with implications for neurological disorders with high worldwide prevalence (such as cerebral palsy and MS).

Read more about her work in her research profile.

Dr Kevin Myant

Dr Kevin Myant works with the the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre.

His lab investigates stem cell transformation in the colon with the aim of identifying novel pathways that drive it.

Read more about Kevin's work in his research profile.

Dr Kristin Nicodemus

Dr Kristin Nicodemus works with the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine.

Her main research areas are statistical genetics and psychiatric genomics.

Read more about Kristin's work in her research profile.

Dr Dimitrios Papadopoulos  

Dr Dimitrios Papadopoulos works with the MRC Human Genetics Unit.

His research uses a multidisciplinary approach to understand transcription factor function at single-molecule resolution, combining genetics, fluorescence imaging and methods with single-molecule sensitivity such as Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS).

Read more about Dimitrios's work in his research profile.

Dr Nicola Pirastu

Dr Nicola Pirastu works at the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

His research is focused on understanding the genetic factors underlying complex traits, in particular the genetic determinants of food preferences and how they affect food consumption and impact on human health.

Read more about Nicola's work in his research profile.

Dr Clare Pridans

Dr Clare Pridans works with the Centre for Inflammation Research.

Her lab is interested in the role of CSF1R signalling during macrophage development and also during postnatal development of the rat. To achieve this we make use of rats deficient in CSF1 and CSF1R as well as CSF1R-mApple reporter transgenic rats. 

Read more about Clare's work in her research profile.

 

Dr Bin-Zhi Qian

Dr Bin-Zhi Qian works with the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre  and the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health.

His main area of research is tumour microenvironment in metastasis of breast and prostate cancer.

Read more about Bin-Zhi's work in his research profile.

Dr Nathalie Rochefort

Dr Nathalie Rochefort works with the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences.

Her main area of research seeks to understand how brain neuronal networks represent the outside world and how experience durably modifies the activity of such networks.

Read more about Nathalie's work in her research profile.

Dr Jeffrey Schoenebeck

Dr Jeffrey Schoenebeck works with Genetics and Genomics at The Roslin Institute.

His research takes genetic, genomic, and phenotyping approaches to studying the biological mechanisms that underlie canine morphology and disease.

Read more about Jeffrey's work in his research profile.

Dr Linus Schumacher

Dr Linus Schumacher is a Chancellor's Fellow with the Centre for Regenerative Medicine.

He is interested in the collective behaviour of cells in complex biological systems, like development and regeneration.

Read more about Linus' work in his research profile.

Dr Nayha Sethi

Dr Nayha Sethi is a Chancellor's Fellow with the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

Her research focuses on ethical legal and social issues of secondary uses of data for research purposes, particularly issues of consent, privacy, data protection, data linkage and on a broader level, information governance.

Read more about Nayha's research in her research profile.

 

Dr Syed Ahmar Shah

Dr Syed Ahmar Shah is a Chancellor's Fellow at the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

His research focuses on integrating data-driven technologies in healthcare. He is particularly interested in developing novel algorithms using signal processing techniques for time-series analysis, machine learning for decision support and digital technologies for deployment of those algorithms in practice.

Read more about Syed's research in his research profile.

Dr Xia Shen

Dr Xia Shen works with the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

His interdisciplinary research consist of genetics, computational biology, and statistical inference.

Read more about Xia's work in his research profile.

Dr Dirk Sieger

Dr. Dirk Sieger works with the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences.

His main area of research is the interactions of residential brain macrophages (microglia) and brain tumours.

Read more about Dirk's work in his research profile.

 

Dr Athina Spiliopoulou

Dr  Athina Spiliopoulou is a Chancellor's Fellow with the Usher Institute of Poulation Health Sciences and Informatics.

Her research goal is to identify sub-groups within the general population or a heterogeneous disease population (e.g. based on genetics or biomarker signatures) that are distinguishable with respect to disease pathogenesis, risk of disease progression, or response to treatment.

Read more aboout Athina's work in her research profile.

Dr Duncan Sproul

Dr Duncan Sproul works with the MRC Human Genetics Unit and the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre.

His group focuses on understanding the impact of epigenetic dysfunction in human disease.

Read more about Duncan's work in his research profile.

Dr Helen Stagg

Dr Helen Stagg is a Chancellor's Fellow with the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

Her works focuses on applying different quantitative methodology frameworks (epidemiology, statistics, pharmacological modelling, mathematical modelling, bioinformatics) to provide a scientific evidence base to unanswered or neglected questions in infectious disease epidemiology.

Read more about Helen's work in her research profile.

 

Dr Ellen Stewart

Dr Ellen Stewart works at the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

She is a social scientist working at the intersection of medical sociology, health policy and public administration. She is interested in how health systems accommodate and negotiate different forms of ‘lay’ and ‘expert’ knowledge, including demands for public engagement and for evidence-based policy.

Read more about Ellen's work in her research profile.

Dr Gülşen Sürmeli

Dr Gülşen Sürmeli works as a Chancellor's Fellow with the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences.

Her lab investigates cortical memory networks using advanced anatomical, electrophysiological, optogenetic and imaging methods.

Read more about Gülşen's work in her research profile.

 

Dr Sergiy Sylantyev

Dr Sergiy Sylantyev works with the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences.

His main area of research is investigation of the mechanisms of high-speed receptor modulation induced by electrical fields in the synaptic cleft.

Read more about Sergiy's work in his research profile.

Dr Athanasios Tsanas

Dr Athanasios Tsanas works with the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

His research focuses on developing novel tools for data mining and extracting domain information through time series analysis, signal processing, and statistical machine learning.

Read more about Athanasios's work in his research profile.

Dr Asier Unciti-Broceta

Dr Asier Unciti-Broceta works with the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre.

His research group focuses on the development of novel kinase inhibitors and prodrug strategies to improve the efficacy and safety of cancer treatments.

Read more about Asier's work in his research profile.

Dr Catalina Vallejos

Dr Catalina Vallejos is a Chancellor's Fellow with the MRC Human Genetics Unit.

Her lab's work focuses on the development of novel statistical methodology to address and study sources of heterogeneity in biomedical data. This is a highly multidisciplinary task: from the understanding of complex biomedical problems and technologies, to the development of new methodology and the implementation of open-source analysis tools.

Read more about Catalina's work in her research profile.

 

Dr Douglas Vernimmen

Dr Douglas Vernimmen works with Developmental Biology at The Roslin Institute.

His main area of research is enhancers activity and epigenetic regulation.

Read more about Douglas's work in his research profile.

Dr Szu-Han Wang

Dr Szu-Han Wang works with the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences.

Her research investigates how peri-learning events affect memory persistence (Fig 1), how prior experience affects subsequent learning, and how memory consolidation (Fig 2) and reconsolidation (Fig 3) occur in the brain (focusing on the hippocampus, amygdala, and frontal cortex).

Read more about Szu-Han's work in her research profile.

Dr Heather Whalley

Dr Heather Whalley works with the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences.

Her main area of research interest and expertise is in the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate underlying mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Read more about Heather's work in her research profile.

Dr Simon Wilkinson

Dr Simon Wilkinson works with the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre.

His lab uses protein-protein interaction screens to determine the targets and regulatory molecules for autophagy, specifically in cancer cells.

Read more about Simon's work in his research profile.

Dr Andrew Wood

Dr Andrew Wood works with the MRC Human Genetics Unit.

His research uses blood cell development to understand how effectively cellular processes operate during the course of normal tissue development and homeostasis, and the consequences of their malfunction on cellular proliferation, differentiation and malignancy.

Read more about Andrew's work in his research profile.

Dr Chengcan Yao

Dr Chengcan Yao works with the Centre for Inflammation Research.

His research investigates whether targeting particular PGE2, receptor(s) on (both adaptive and innate) immune cells would be of functional relevance and could be a successful strategy to pursue for future therapy against autoimmunity and other inflammatory disorders.

Read more about Chengcan's work in his research profile.

Dr Ingrid Young

Dr Ingrid Young works with the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

Her research currently focuses on Developing HIV Literacy. This project works collaboratively with health and community practitioners and other stakeholders (NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, HIV Scotland, Terrence Higgins Trust, Waverly Care, aidsmap) to understand and support HIV literacy in the context of new and emerging HIV prevention technologies (e.g. Pre-exposure Prophylaxis).

Read more about Ingrid's work in her research profile.

Dr Hongyan Zhang

Dr Hongyan Zhang is a Chancellor's Fellow with the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences.

Her research focuses on locomotor control and rhythm generation and locomotor circuit recovery following spinal cord injury.

Read more about Hongyan's work in her research profile.