University of Aberdeen
School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition
Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS)
Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, UK
2003-2007: American Heart Association Fellowship, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
1999- 2003: University of Dundee: PhD in Biochemistry, MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit, Dundee, UK. Supervisor Professor Dame Patricia T.W. Cohen
1995–1999: University of Edinburgh Medical School: BSc Honours in Pharmacology, Edinburgh, UK.
1994–1995: George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh, UK.
1991–1994: Mesa Selimovic Grammar School, Tuzla, Bosnia & Hercegovina
RESEARCH AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2019-: Dean for Industrial Engagement in Research and Knowledge Exchange
2018-: Director (Diabetes), Aberdeen Cardiovascular and Diabetes Centre, University of Aberdeen
2018-: Systems Physiology Programme Lead, Institute of Medical Sciences
2015-: Professor (Personal Chair), University of Aberdeen
2014-2015: Reader; University of Aberdeen, School of Medical Sciences
2012-2014: Senior Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen, School of medical sciences
2010-2012: Promotion to UoA Grade 7 (Lecturer), University of Aberdeen, School of Biological Sciences
2007-2012: Research Councils UK (RCUK) 5-year tenure-track Fellowship,. University of Aberdeen, School of Biological Sciences.
2003–2007: Harvard Medical School and BIDMC, Department of Medicine. American Heart Association (AHA) Postdoctoral Personal Fellowship. Mentor: Prof. Benjamin Neel.
- PhD Biochemistry2003 - University of Dundee
- BSc Hons Pharmacology1999 - University of Edinburgh
Memberships and Affiliations
- Internal Memberships
Director, Aberdeen Cardiovascular and Diabetes Centre
Systems Physiology Programme Lead, Institute of Medical Sciences
- External Memberships
2021-: Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation, Research Advisory Board
2015-2021: Diabetes UK Main Research Grants Committee
2018–: University of Aberdeen Lead on the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA)
2015-: Carnegie Trust Assessor
2011 (Inaugural elected member): The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Young Academy of Scotland
Prizes and Awards
· Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Young Academy of Scotland Fellow (Inaugural Elected Fellow) (2011)
Winner of the 2018 Wellcome Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Public Engagement in the Biomedical Sciences, University of Aberdeen
· Joint winner: Public prize, Principal’s Prize for Public Engagement with Research 2018, University of Aberdeen
· “Super Zena” (“Super Woman”) 2018 award at the First International Women’s conference, Bosnia and Hercegovina
WE CURRENTLY HAVE A POSITION FOR A POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW (2021-2024) TO WORK ON A BHF-FUNDED PROJECT IN DIABETIC RETINOPATHY.
The aim of our laboratory is to understand how ageing and poor nutrition lead to development of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascuar disease, cancer and other age-associated comorbidities.
Recently one of our publications in which we compared two nutritional interventions, achievable in humans, on metabolic health was selected as the Editor's Choice: highlight in Ageing research by Scientific Reports (nature online journal).
Cohen Global Pharmaceuticals team is growing rapidly and we'll be recruiting shortly for more biologists and chemists! Watch this space! (Nov 2021)
Congratulations to Mr Oliver Helk for successfully defending his PhD thesis on "Investigating the role of PTP1B in human health: a translational approach" in Dec 2020. Oliver is now the clinical associate professor at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria. Special thanks to his examiners Prof Faisal Kahn (University of Dundee) and Dr Antonio Gonzalez Sanchez (Rowett Institute).
Congratulations to Ms Fabiana Baganha Carreiras for successfully defending her dual degree MoGlyNet Program Marie-Curie PhD thesis in Leiden and in Aberdeen (May 2020); 2 viva voce, 1 week apart. Online celebrations still managed to be fun!
Congratulations to Ms Sarah Kamli-Salino for successfully defending her Masters by Research (MRes) thesis (Feb 2020) and being awarded the Distinction! Hard work pays off; Sarah is now doing her PhD in the lab funded by MRS/AstraZeneca PhD studentship. Thanks to Sarah's examiners: Dr Paul Meakin (University of Leeds) and Dr Justin Rochford (Rowett Institute).
I recently run the Royal Parks Half Marathon (Oct 2019) raising funds for Diabetes UK; I managed to raise an amazing £1,521 for this great charity and the funds will go towards funding of new research into causes, treatment and care of diabetes! Thanks to all the supporters!!!!
I am currently accepting PhDs in Biomedical Sciences, Nutrition and Health.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.
Nutrition and HealthSupervising
Ruta Dekeryte (2014-2018) was awarded the competitive IMS PhD studentship to work on the project investigating dietary and pharmacological approaches in combating cognitive dysfunction in models of Alzheimer's disease. Ruta is now working as Research Fellow in the lab on the Cohen Global Pharmaceuticals drug discovery project (2018-2022).
Dr Andrew Mcewan (2019- 2022) is research fellow in the lab working on the Cohen Global Pharmaceuticals project. Andy obtained his PhD in chemistry from the University of St Andrews.
Dr Azita Kouchmeshky (2021- ) is a research fellow in the lab working on the Cohen Global Pharmaceuticals project. Azita obtained her PhD in neuroscience from the University of Aberdeen and is working as the in vivo biologist.
Meghan Hamer (2021-) is a research fellow in the lab working on the Cohen Global Pharmaceuticals project. Meghan is a peptide chemist working alongside Dr Sergio Dall'Angelo. Meghan did her PhD at the University of Strathclyde.
WE CURRENTLY HAVE A POSITION FOR A POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW (2021-2024) TO WORK ON A BHF-FUNDED PROJECT IN DIABETIC RETINOPATHY.
Current PhD students
Fiona Clegg is a SCREDS Clinical Lecturer in Gastroenterology, working towards her PhD in my lab. Fiona's research interests are in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and particularly in liver fibrosis, hepatocarcinogenesis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Ms Sarah Kamli-Salino did her final year Honours project in our laboratory and obtained her BSc Hons in Physiology at the University of Aberdeen in 2018. She then did her 1-year MRes project (2018-2019) in our laboratory, testing novel drugs for treatment of cardiovascular disease, funded by the Development Trust. She is now funded by Medical Research Scotland/ Astra Zeneca (2019-2023) for her PhD studies on synthetic cannabinoids in diabetic nephropathy.
Miss Besa Emini is a joint, dual degree PhD student at the University of Antwerp and University of Aberdeen, as a part of the MoglyNet EU Consortium. She is working on novel drugs for treatment of atherosclerosis.
Ms Abrar Othman is a PhD student (2019-2022) funded by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau working on the role of PTP1B in macrophage signalling and inflammation. She obtained her Bachelor of Applied Medical Sciences at King Abdul-Aziz University (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) and her Masters (Honours) of Clinical Biochemistry from the University of Manchester in 2016.
Ms Marina Souza Matos is a Brazilian PhD student in the lab (2019-2022) funded by two separate PhD studentships (Elphinstone Scholarship and the IMS studentship), co-supervised by Prof Bettina Platt, and working on the role of essential amino acid signalling in cognitive function. She obtained her undergraduate in Pharmacy from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 2016. She did her undergraduate internship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, Harvard medical school, in the laboratory of Prof Hollenberg in 2015. In 2019, she obtained her Masters in Physiology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
Ms Michela Donarumma joined our laboratory as the core lab technician in December 2020; prior to her joining the University of Aberdeen in 2010, Michela worked as a reseach assistant at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, USA.
Public Engagement in Research Awards
To listen to our podcast on the panel dicussion organised for International Women's Day 2021 "Different Day Same Problem: Covid-19, Leadership and Inequality" follow this link: https://share.transistor.fm/s/05c80a76
For the BHF Alumni organised panel discussion in which I took part on "The Future of the Lab after Covid-19" register here: https://alumni.bhf.org.uk/events/45004
• Winner of the 2018 Wellcome Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Public Engagement in the Biomedical Sciences
• Joint winner: Public prize, Principal’s Prize for Public Engagement with Research 2018
• “Super Zena” (“Super Woman”) 2018 award at the First International Women’s conference, Bosnia and Hercegovina
• Vitae (global leader in supporting the professional development of researchers) “Talking heads: PIs on mentoring research staff” project; invited speaker to help new PIs achieve most from their research staff; series of short online videos
• National Coordinating Centre for Public Outreach – recognized as 1 out of 20 top UK scientists in 2010 for their outreach activities.
Funding and Grants
Research Grants (active)
- British Heart Foundation Project Grant (2021-2024): Targetting PTP1B to prevent diabetic retinopathy; Principal Investigator (co-PI: Prof John Forrester, Dr Lucia Kuffova)
- Chief Scientist Office (2020-2021): Rapid Research in Covid-19 programe (RARC-19 programme) (2020): Development of sensitive, rapid and high-throughput antibody assays for COVID-19; Principal Investigator (co-PI: Vertebrate Antibodies Ltd, NHS Grampian; UoA: Dr Nimesh Mody, Prof Graeme Murray)
- British Heart Foundation Non-clinical PhD studentship (2021-2024): "Targeting myeloid PTP1B to prevent obesity related retinal microvascular disease" PI (co-PIs: Prof John Forrester, Dr Lucia Kuffova)
- British Heart Foundation Project Grant (2020-2023); The FPR2 ligand W-peptide: A new therapeutic approach to treat atherosclerosis. Co-PI (PI: Dr Dawn Thompson)
- Medical Research Scotland PhD studentship (2019-2023): Principal Investigator (with Dr Heather Wilson as co-PI and Dr Denis Feliers, AstraZeneca industrial partnership).
- Cohen Global Pharmaceuticals LLP: Commercial Project (2018-2022): Principal Investigator; Commercial drug development project
- Diabetes UK Project Grant (2018-2021) “Inhibition of macrophage PTP1B as a novel therapy for improved wound healing in diabetes" Principal Investigator (co-PI: Carvalho E., Wilson, H. M., Rajnicek, A. M.)
- Tenovus Scotland (2018-2021): Characterising the role of FGF21 in hepatocarcinogenesis in humans; Co-PI (PI: Fiona Clegg; co-PIs: Graeme Murray, Mairi McLean)
- Alzheimer’s Research UK Major Project Grant (2017-2022) “Neruronal hBACE1: the link between Alzheimer's disease and diabetes" Co-applicant (PI: Platt, B., co-PI: Riedel, G.)
- British Heart Foundation Project Grant (2017-2021): "Synthetic derivatives of Fenretinide: a novel approach to prevent lipotoxicity, insulin resistance and vascular endothelial dysfunction" Co-applicant (PI: Dr Nimesh Mody; co-PI: Prof Matteo Zanda).
Research Grants (completed)
British Heart Foundation PhD studentship (2016-2019): “The regulation of phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes-15 in vascular smooth muscle cells”. Co-applicant (PI: Prof Graeme Nixon)
- Tenovus Scotland Project Grant (2018-2019) Principal Investigator
- NHS Grampian Endowment Grant (2017-2018) “New treatments for diabetic nephropathy" Co-applicant (PI: Wilson, H. M.)
- The Horizon 2020 MSCA joint doctoral project MoGlyNet (2016-2019): “Modulation of glycolytic flux as a new approach for treatment of atherosclerosis and plaque stabilization: a multidisciplinary study”. Academic partners: Lead: University of Milano (Italy), Co-lead: University of Aberdeen (Mirela Delibegovic and Matteo Zanda), University of Leiden (Netherlands), University of Antwerp (Belgium) and University of Barcelona (Spain).
- BBSRC Project Grant (2016-2019): "Determining the effects of genetic variation and early life stress on the regulation of the galanin gene in fat and alcohol selection." Co-applicant (PI: Dr. Alasdair MacKenzie)
- British Heart Foundation Project Grant (2016 – 2018): “Muscle fat compartments and turnover as a determinant of insulin sensitivity”. Co-applicant (PI: Dr. Dana Dawson)
- Diabetes UK Project Grant (2015-2017) Principal Investigator (with Prof. Roger Pertwee and Dr. Maria Cascio as co-applicants)
- British Heart Foundation Project Grant (2014-2017) Principal Investigator (with Dr. Heather Wilson, Dr. Nimesh Mody, Dr. Dana Dawson, Dr. Paul Brown and Prof. Phil Whitfield)
- BBSRC Doctoral Training Grant (DTG) (2011-2015) 'Elucidating the role of tyrosine phosphorylation in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease' Principal Investigator
- British Heart Foundation Project Grant (2011-2014) Principal Investigator
- NHS Grampian Endowment Grant (2015-2016) co-applicant (PI: Dr. Dawn Thompson, other co-applicants: Dr. Heather Wilson and Prof. Julie Brittenden)
- NHS Grampian Endowment Grant (2014-2015) Principal Investigator (with Dr. Heather Wilson and Dr. Paul Brown)
- Alzheimer’s Research UK (2014-2016) Co-applicant with Prof. Bettina Platt as lead PI and Dr. David Koss
- Alzheimer’s Research UK Network (2014-2015) Principal Investigator (with Prof. Bettina Platt)
- Kosterlitz Centre for Therepeutics project grant (2013-2014) Principal Investigator(with Prof. Bettina Platt and Dr. Nimesh Mody as co-PIs)
- EFSD/Lilly European Diabetes Research Programme Grant (2012 - 2013) Principal Investigator (with Dr. Nimesh Mody as a co-PI)
- Tenovus Scotland, 1-year Research Grant (2013-2014) "Diet, obesity and diabetes" Principal Investigator (with Dr. Nimesh Mody as a co-PI)
- Medical Research Scotland, Vacation Scholarship (2013), Principal Investigator
- Tenovus Scotland, 1-year Research Grant (2012-2013) "Protein X and Dementia Risk" co-applicant (PI: Prof A. Murray).
- Diabetes UK Project Grant (2009-2012) Principal Investigator
- Tenovus Scotland, 1-year Research Grant (2011-2012) Principal Investigator
- Medical Research Scotland, Vacation Scholarship (2011), Principal Investigator
- UKRC for Women in SET, Travel bursary, USA conference and collaboration trip (2010)
- Royal Society of Edinburgh Interdisciplinary Scottish Crucible Grant; Rhodes, SM, Wheate, N., Blythe, R., Delibegovic, M. "Tailoring the science curriculum and teaching methods to children's cognitive development: a pilot study". (2009-2010) Co-PI
- British Heart Foundation Project Grant (2009-2010) Principal Investigator
- BBSRC Doctoral Training Grant (DTG) (2009-2013) 'Role of Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) in body mass regulation and glucose homeostasis' Principal Investigator
- The Royal Society Research Grant (2009-2010) Principal Investigator
- College of Life Sciences and Medicine Start-up Fund (2007-2012)
- Research Councils UK (RCUK) Fellowship, University of Aberdeen, Study of mouse models of ageing and obesity (2007-2012)
- American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship (2005-2007) Principal Investigator
- Programme and Course coordinator for the PGT course: MSc in Cardiovascular Science and Diabetes
- Teaching on:
- BM4004 (2015-16): Advanced molecules, membranes and cells
- BM4009 (2015-16): Staying Alive - Adaptation in Physiological Systems
- BM4010 (2015-16): Advanced Molecules Membranes and Cells (Stem Cells and Regeneration)
- BMS Honours Projects (2015-16)
- BT5007 (2015-16): Year in Industry
- MB4050 (2015-16): Honours Advanced Molecular Biology
- MT5903 (2015-16): Research Project
- PA4005 (2015-16): Molecular Pharmacology
- SR4006 (2015-16): Promoting health with sports and exercise
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Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B inhibition promotes diabetic wound healing via activation of the antioxidant enzyme heme oxygenase 1Diabetologia, vol. 64, no. SUPPL 1, pp. 102-103Contributions to Journals: Abstracts
Atorvastatin pleiotropically decreases intraplaque angiogenesis and intraplaque haemorrhage by inhibiting ANGPT2 release and VE-Cadherin internalizationAngiogenesis, vol. 24, pp. 567-581Contributions to Journals: Articles
The BACE1 inhibitor LY2886721 improves diabetic phenotypes of BACE1 knock-in miceBiochimica et Biophysica Acta. Molecular Basis of Disease : BBA , vol. 1867, no. 7, 166149Contributions to Journals: Articles
The PFKFB3 Inhibitor AZ67 Inhibits Angiogenesis Independently of Glycolysis InhibitionInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 22, no. 11, e5970Contributions to Journals: Articles
Positive and negative inflammatory markers for falls and sarcopaenia in the Malaysian Elders Longitudinal Research study - A five-year prospective studyAustralasian journal on ageing, vol. 40, no. S1, pp. 1-2Contributions to Journals: Abstracts
Phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes (PEA)-15 is a novel regulator of adipose tissue expansionScientific Reports, vol. 11, 6949Contributions to Journals: Articles
Metabolic alterations in a rat model of Takotsubo syndromeCardiovascular Research, cva081Contributions to Journals: Articles
The anxiety and ethanol intake controlling GAL5.1 enhancer is epigenetically modulated by, and controls preference for, high-fat dietCellular and Molecular Life Sciences, vol. 78, no. 6, pp. 3045-3055Contributions to Journals: Articles
NLRP3 inflammasome inhibition with MCC950 improves insulin sensitivity and inflammation in a mouse model of frontotemporal dementiaNeuropharmacology, vol. 180, 108305Contributions to Journals: Articles
The Role of Inflammation in Diabetic RetinopathyFrontiers in Immunology, vol. 11, no. 20, pp. 10319-10329Contributions to Journals: Articles