Cluster Members & Research Interests in Healthy Ageing

Ageing & Metabolism Cluster

Dr Zita Baklava
Research interests include cell signalling and vesicular transport mechanisms and how these 2 processes interact in the cell. In particular I study how Fibroblast Growth factor receptor mediated signalling regulates membrane transport.

Professor Clifford Bailey
Pathogenesis and treatment of diabetes and obesity, especially the identification of new drug targets, development of new medications, and use of surrogate hormone-secreting cells for therapeutic purposes.

Dr Sri Bellary
Interested in:
Epidemiology of  type  2 diabetes;Metabolic  regulation of  ageing; New therapies in diabetes.

Professor Roslyn Bill  
Developing yeast as a “cell factory” to make membrane proteins in sufficient quantity and of appropriate quality for further study. 
Regulation of water channel proteins (aquaporins), (one of the protein families produced by yeast cell factories and are of interest as novel drug targets. A focus on developing drugs associated with diseases experienced by an ageing population, using yeast as a model organism to study ageing, and work on the maintenance of water homeostasis.  

Charlotte Bland

Dr James  Brown 
Research interests include metabolic regulation of cellular ageing, diabetes and frailty, body composition and ageing, exercise in older adults and glycation gap. 

Dr Andrew Devitt 
As we age our immune systems become less able to appropriately respond to challenge from infectious agents. Macrophages  become less able to kill bacteria and cancer cells and this ‘immunosensecence’ is an important factor in age-related decline. My research into macrophage biology and innate immunity directly involves research into the ageing immune system.

Dr Irundika Dias
My research focuses on understanding cellular effects of oxidative stress and its relevance to disease. Oxidative stress, an imbalance of oxidants and antioxidants in the favour of oxidants, has been thought to play a central part in the complications of many diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and chronic inflammatory periodontitis.

 In a second line of studies, I have focussed on the role of blood brain barrier on neurodegeneration.  Raised blood cholesterol levels in mid−life are related to the development of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease later on in life. Our study investigated the characteristics of lipid modifications that make it damaging to the brain. In our most recent study, I am looking at the effects of systemic changes of lipids in modulating micro RNA (miRNA) in blood brain barrier. 

Professor  Helen Griffiths 
Interested in: Alteration in metabolism as a driver of inflammation and ageing;
Post-translational modifications and biomarkers of ageing and chronic inflammation;
Redox signalling and epigenetic control of expression;
Understanding mechanisms and identifying solutions.  

Dr Stephane Gross
Cellular longevity is dependent on appropriate regulation of translation throughout life as regulating protein synthesis affects cellular ageing and therefore understanding such link is regulated is essential to comprehend the mechanism of age-related transition. One of the components of the translational machinery that can induce substantial changes in lifespan is the elongation factor 1 alpha (eEF1A) whose canonical function is to deliver aminoacyl-tRNA to the translating ribosome, as a reduction in the levels of eEF1A has been reported in ageing cells and subsequently bringing quantities of eEF1A back to normal seem to prolong cell life span.

Professor  Alan  Hipkiss
Research interests include relationships between regulation of energy metabolism, proteotoxicity and ageing, especially in response to the presence of carnosine. Suppression of age-related protein glycation. 

Professor  Ian Nabney 
Modelling and visualisation of data with particular relevance to biomarkers.

Mr Chataran Pararasa
In principal the research I am conducting focuses upon dietary fatty acids, ageing and monocytes with a particular mainly looking at atherosclerosis.  At the moment I am establishing the effect of dietary fatty acids palmitate and oleate on THP-1 cells to determine what changes occur with viability, cell surface marker expression and ox stress.  I would then go onto to determine if there are any changes in plasma fatty acid profile with age and how the former data can be applied to this.

Dr  David  Poyner
The molecular pharmacology of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), especially family B GPCRs and receptor activity modifying proteins (RAMPs). 


Updated January 2013 Wendy Overton