Research

Our Research

Andriana Margariti

Phone: +44 (0)28 90634306, +44 (0)28 9097 6476

Mobile: 07890090764

For media contact email comms.office@qub.ac.uk
or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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Research Interests

 

Over the last 9 years, Dr Margariti has developed significant expertise in stem cell biology, with particular emphasis on cell reprogramming, chromatin remodelling, cell signalling and endothelial cell biology. Her postdoctoral training was in the Cardiovascular Division of the BHF Centre of Excellence at King’s College London (KCL). In 2013 she has been appointed as a Lecturer in the Centre of Experimental Medicine (CEM) in Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). Dr Margariti is working in the CEM which provides a vibrant and growing research centre focused on vascular biology. The Centre has now moved into a purpose-designed £32M Research building (~4,742m2) partly funded by a Wellcome Trust-Wolfson Capital Award. Dr Margariti has published a number of high-quality papers, and the impact of her research has been recognised by several prestigious awards, including the PAPANIKOLAOU Prize from the Hellenic Medical Society (October 2012, for significant contribution to medical research) and the prize for outstanding performance and scientific research awarded by the KCL (December 2012). Dr Margariti has recently (September 2014) been awarded a BBSRC new Investigator Award to study the underlying mechanisms of direct reprogramming. She has recently visited and established collaborations with two of the leading cell reprogramming laboratories in the world. Prof Deepak Srivastava in University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), who is internationally renowned for his studies in cell reprogramming, and Prof George Daley, the Director of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Children’s Hospital Boston in Harvard Medical School, whose group are world leaders in the studies in development and cellular reprogramming.

Dr Margariti’s research program is based on the remarkable idea of direct reprogramming which will allow her to realise fundamental principles of cell reprogramming and establish homogeneous populations of endothelial cells. Damage to endothelial cells is a hallmark of the onset of vascular disease (including cardiovascular diseases and diabetic complications) which is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Cell therapy strategies that aim to recover vascular function are being increasingly explored as viable therapeutic avenues. Development of fast and robust new methodologies that produce well-characterised, homogenous, clinical-grade cells suitable for tissue repair/re-modelling would have great utility. Her research team have generated patient-specific iPS cells and PiPS cells and they now have exciting novel data and they are working towards to develop a remarkable new highly efficient strategy of cell reprogramming. Importantly, the potential of the reprogrammed endothelial cells to enhance angiogenesis and neovascularisation and to promote perfusion of ischemic tissue will be established.

Dr Margariti’s research will demonstrate the therapeutic potential of “re-born” reprogrammed endothelial cells which would have transforming consequences for regenerative and personalised medicine.

The road to novel regenerative therapy using direct reprogramming approaches will be challenging and hard, but the journey has already begun...

 

 

Selected Awards

 

2014   BBSRC NEW INVESTIGATOR AWARD

2013    First Contact Initiative Grant from the European Society of Cardiology.

2012    Prize for outstanding performance and scientific research awarding from the 

            Cardiovascular Division, BHF Centre King’s College London UK.

2012    PAPANIKOLAOU Prize for significant contribution to Medical research  

            awarding from the Hellenic Medical Society in London, UK. 

2011    Travel award for best abstract submitted, from the ESC council, 6th European  

            Meeting for Vascular Biology & Medicine 21-24 September Krakow, Poland.

2008    Michael Davies Young Investigator Award Finalist presenter. Spring Meeting

            3-4 April Oxford, UK.

2007    First prize for best poster presentation, European Vascular Genomic Network  

            (EVGN), Sweden.

2006    First prize for best poster presentation, European Vascular Genomic Network

            (EVGN), Sicily.

2006    Best Log Book during PhD studies, St. George’s University of London, UK.

 

 

Invited Speaker

 

2015 Invited Speaker at University of Strathclyde.

2014 St George’s London University, Invited Lecture; “Stem Cells, Cardiovascular Disease and Regenerative Medicine”.

2013 In Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Research in University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), 15th November 2013, a talk “on Cell Reprogramming and Regenerative Medicine”.

2013 Atherosclerosis Gordon Research Conference (GRC) in Stowe, Vermont, USA, at the Stoweflake Resort and Conference Center, June 16-21, a talk on “Epigenetic therapies in cardiovascular disease”.

2013 St George’s London University, Lecture on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, 20th March 2013, London, UK

2013 BHF Centres of Excellence Synergy Meeting, 4th February 2013, Oxford, UK. A talk on “Cell Reprogramming”.

2012 Guest invitation in 3rd Annual “Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Production and Utility in Regenerative Medicine 2nd Oct, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, Stevanage, UK.

2012 Small Artery Network (SmArt) Vascular Progenitors in Biology and Medicine conference, September 13-15, University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

2012 European Workshop on Proteomics and Vascular Biology, March 27th-29th, King’s College London, UK.

 

Professional Registration

 

2012-present         Member of International Society of Stem cell Research

2009-present         Member of British Society for Cardiovascular Research 

2008-present         Early Career member of American Heart Association

2004-present         Member of Institute of Biomedical Science

2003-present         Associate member of Royal Society of Chemistry

2003-present         Member of the Biochemical Society

 

 

Education:

Professional Development:

 

  • PGCHET in QUB COMPLETED June 2015
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA); Recognition Reference: PR064209 17/12/2013
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education Module Enhancing Academic Practice (7TTY0023) awarded from King’s College London November 2013.

 

EDUCATION CONTRIBUTION:

 Developmental Studies BMS3003: (3rd Year Human Biology Students) Three Lectures

  • Stem cells
  • Epigenetics
  • Short and Long Non-Coding RNAs

 

MRes SCM8063: Cardiovascular Biology and Disease (MRes Students) Two Lectures

  • Genetically Modified Animals in Cardiovascular Research
  • Atherosclerosis

 

Specialist Lecture Series in Experimental Medicine SCM8059: (Postgraduate level) One Lecture

  • Genetically Modified Animals

 

MRes SCM8064: Translational Cardiovascular Medicine (MRes Students): Two Lectures

  • Stem Cell Biology 2
  • Regenerative Medicine

 

Lectures for the New Postgraduate Students in CEM SCM8056:

  • Health and Safety
  • Tissue Culture Techniques

 

I am contributing as a tutor in The MED1013 Foundations of Clinical Practise I: Gene Molecules and Processes (GMP) module which is delivered to Year 1 Medical Students:

  • Problem solving with Genes, Molecules and Processes
  • Problems in Clinical Genetics
  • Student Oral Presentations
  • Problems in Biochemical Medicine

 

Managing Portfolios for 16 Medical Students (Personal Tutor)

 

 

Current Projects

 

1. Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem cells from Blood cells based on Novel Methods

a. From Healthy Volunteers

b. From Patient-Specific Groups

 

2. Elucidation of the Mechanisms of Vascular Cell Differentiation

a. RNA Binding Proteins

b. Regulation of mRNA Splicing

c. Small Peptides

 

3. Establishing Robust Direct Reprogramming approaches towards Vascular Cell lineages

a. Transcriptional Regulation

b. Epigenetic Modulation

c. Metabolic Switch

 

4. Regenerative Medicine; Test the functional Properties of the Reprogrammed Vascular Cells in vivo and propose potential therapeutic strategies to treat Vascular Disease

a. Angiogenesis

b. Ischemia

c. Vascular Injury/ Myocardial Infarction

d. In vivo Reprogramming

 

 

Group Members

 

Research Fellows

 

  • Dr Letizia Gulino 2015-Present

Project: Investigate the Underlying Mechanisms of Direct Reprogramming towards Vascular Cell Lineages

 

  • Dr Sophia Kelaini 2014-Present

Project: Direct reprogramming towards Vascular Cell lineages; A Merging Approach

 

PhD Students

 

  • Miss Rachel Caines 2015-Present

Project: Dedifferentiated or re-Born Again? Elucidating the chromatin remodelling mechanisms during endothelial cell reprogramming for cardiovascular therapy (BHF Studentship)

 

  • Miss Marta Vilà-González 2014-Present

Project: Diabetic macular oedema: insight into the disease and iPSC for the stratifications of its treatment based on novel technologies

 

  • Miss Amy Cochrane 2013-Present

Project: Mechanisms of vascular cell differentiation from induced Pluripotent stem Cells (iPS cells); RNA binding Proteins

 

MRes Students

 

  • Mr Thomas Noteman 2014-2015

Project: Elucidate the Unique Epigenetic Signature of reprogramming endothelial cells derived from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for use in Cardiovascular Therapy and Personalised Medicine

 

  • Mr Philip McCaughey 2013-2014

Project: Mechanisms of vascular cell differentiation; Regenerative Medicine

 

 

Undergraduate Supervision

 

  • Miss Fiona Cunningham 2015-2016

  • Miss Emma Martelli 2015-2016

  • Miss Daiana Drehmer (Science without Borders programme) 2015-2016

  • Mr Andrew Carmichael 2015-2016

  • Mr Peter Crossley (Intercalated BSc) 2015-2016

  • Mr Sean Mc Mahon (Intercalated BSc) 2014-2015

  • Miss Karin Yeoh 2014-2015

  • Mr Wilson Cheah (Intercalated BSc) 2013-2014

 

Summer Students

 

  • Miss Azah Kadir 2015

  • Miss Medine Gumustas (Erasmus Student) 2015

  • Mr Gabriel Pena Machado (Science without Borders programme) 2015

  • Miss Rachel Caines 2014

  • Miss Rebekah Craig (Nuffield Research Placement) 2014

     

 

Collaborators

 

Prof Alan Stitt Centre for Experimental Medicine Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Dr David Grieve Centre for Experimental Medicine, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Prof Noemi Lois Clinical Professor Centre for Experimental Medicine, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Dr Sandra McAllister Clinical Lecturer Centre for Experimental Medicine, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Prof George Daley Boston Children’s Hospital Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA

Dr Thorsten Schlaeger Head of pluripotent stem cells Core Facility Boston Children’s Hospital Harvard Medical School, USA

Prof Deepak Srivastava Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Research in University of California, San Francisco, USA

Dr Alisha Holloway (Bioinformatics Core) Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Research in University of California, San Francisco, USA

Prof Qingbo Xu BHF Centre of Excellence King’s College London, UK

Dr Lingfang Zeng BHF Centre of Excellence King’s College London, UK

Dr Anna Zampetaki BHF Centre of Excellence King’s College London, UK

Prof John McCarron  University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Dr Steve Shnyder Institute of Cancer Therapeutics University of Bradford, UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frequent Journals

  • Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology

    ISSNs: 1079-5642

    Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1524-4636

    Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

    Scopus rating (2015): SJR 3.356 SNIP 1.522

    Journal

  • Journal of biological chemistry

    ISSNs: 0021-9258

    Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1083-351X

    American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Inc.

    Scopus rating (2015): SJR 3.151 SNIP 1.136

    Journal

  • Stem Cells

    ISSNs: 1066-5099

    Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1549-4918

    AlphaMed Press

    Scopus rating (2015): SJR 3.438 SNIP 1.459

    Journal

  • American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology

    ISSNs: 0363-6143

    Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1522-1563

    American Physiological Society

    Scopus rating (2015): SJR 1.893 SNIP 0.97

    Journal

  • Circulation Research

    ISSNs: 0009-7330

    Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1524-4571

    Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

    Scopus rating (2015): SJR 5.755 SNIP 2.213

    Journal

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Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

ID: 2506301