• Room 02.058 - CEM

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Dr Margariti is open to wide-ranging PhD applications from candidates with a basic science or clinical background.

Her fields of interest include:

- Stem Cells
- Diabetes
- Cardiovascular biology
- Vascular Diseases
- Endothelial Dysfunction
- RNA binding proteins
- Epigenetics

Previous research experience is desirable although not essential.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests


Professor Margariti has developed significant expertise in stem cell biology, with particular emphasis on cell reprogramming, chromatin remodelling, cell signalling and endothelial cell biology. She had received her postdoctoral training in the Cardiovascular Division of the BHF Centre of Excellence at King’s College London (KCL). In 2013 Prof Margariti was appointed as a Lecturer in the Centre for Experimental Medicine (CEM), in Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). She has received a BBSRC New Investigator award to study the mechanisms of endothelial cell direct reprogramming and a range of BHF grants to study the endothelial cell dysfunction. Prof Margariti and her team have worked extensively to elucidate the underlying mechanism of endothelial cell reprogramming and they have generated functional endothelial cells based on a fully defined environment. In 2017 Margariti’s Laboratory demonstrated how the RNA binding protein QKI-5 is a key player on EC reprogramming inducing neovascularisation and angiogenesis while more recently they have shown the mechanism whereby FSTL3 and ESM1 enhances the function of iPS-ECs. In 2019, the team showed that QKI-6 is implicated in vascular smooth muscle differentiation, and, by combining QKI-5 and QKI-6, functional blood vessels were generated. Importantly, a breakthrough study in her lab (Yang et al., Nature Communications, 2020) is showing that targeting QKI-7 expression in vivo restores EC function in diabetes. By investing on their unique expertise on cell reprogramming and iPS cell technologies, Prof Margariti’s team has developed patient-specific cells lines of diabetes (diabetic patient-specific iPS cell lines in a petri dish) based on fast and highly efficient approaches (Vilà González et al, Diabetes, 2020)These cell lines are now valuable tools to study the underlying causes and mechanisms of the pathogenesis of EC dysfunction, to develop human blood vessel organoids and generate new knowledge, biomarkers of diabetes and effective therapies. Prof Margariti was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2017, and to Professor in Vascular and Regenerative Medicine in 2020. Prof Margariti is also leading the iPS cell facilities in the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine (WWIEM) in QUB, where iPS cells are generated and differentiated towards vascular cells (including ECs, Smooth Muscle Cells and Pericytes), Cardiomyocytes, Neurons, Macrophages, Retina pigment epithelial cells and many other cell types, including blood vessels organoids and Kidney organoids. Prof 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 for significant contribution to medical research and the prize for outstanding performance and scientific research awarded by the KCL. She has also 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.


Prof Margariti’s research is demonstrating that the therapeutic potential of “re-born” reprogrammed endothelial cells 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 

  • 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

  • 2020 keynote and plenary speakerInternational conference in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine in February 21-22, Paris;
  • 2020 Organiser and Program Committee member in Regenerative Medicine International Conference in May 25-26, Amsterdam, Netherlands;
  • 2018 Invited Speaker on 2nd International Conference in Splicing, 16th 19th July, Caparica, Portugal.
  • 2018 Invited Speaker to give a talk in Imperial College London on 5th July, London, UK.
  • 2018 Invited Speaker to give a talk in Yachay Tech on 25th January, Ecuador.
  • 2017 Invited Speaker, 27th October at King’s College London, UK.
  • 2017 9th Annual Conference on Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Sep 25-26, 2017, Berlin, Germany.
  • 2017 Invited Speaker, 22nd August at National University of Ireland, Galway.
  • 2016 Small Artery Network (SmArt) Vascular Progenitors in Biology and Medicine conference, November 7th to 9th University of Fribourg, Switzerland.
  • 2016 Invited speaker to 2nd Annual International Symposium of Diabetes in ATINER, 2nd May, Athens Greece.
  • 2015 Invited Speaker to BHF Panel in King’s College London, 15th December.
  • 2015 Invited Speaker at University of Strathclyde, 30th September.
  • 2014 St George’s London University, Lecture on Stem Cells, Cardiovascular Disease and Regenerative Medicine, 12h March 2014, London, UK
  • 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

2018-present         Panel Member of the Biochemical Society  

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



Professional Development:

  • 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.
  • GMO Health and Safety Advisor


Education Contribution:


 Developmental Studies BMS3003

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


MED1013 Foundations of Clinical Practise I

  • Lectures on Metabolism 
  • Catalysis and Energy: An overview
  • Metabolism and glucose
  • Amino acid and nucleotide metabolism
  • Lipid metabolism and Formation
  • Mitochondria and ATP production
  • Regulation of Metabolism



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


 Vascular Biology BMS3027

  • Pluripotent Stem Cells: Biology and Generation
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells: Therapeutic tools


MSc in Experimental Medicine

Program Co-ordinator


MSc in Experimental Medicine: Research Projects (SCM8146)

Module Co-ordinator


MSc SCM8110: Cardiovascular Biology and Disease

  • Genetically Modified Animals in Diabetes and Cardiovascular Research
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
  • Stem-Cell based therapies in diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease


MSc SCM8111: Diabetes and Cardiovascular Medicine: Clinical Translation

  • Advanced Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine  
  • iPSC Genome Engineering


MSc SCM8062: Inflammation and Immunology; from Cell to Clinic

  • Novel Immunological Therapies (CAR-Ts, IPSCs, other therapies)


Current Projects in our Lab

1. Elucidate the Endothelial Cell dysfunction using Induced Pluripotent Stem cells from Blood cells based on Novel Methods

a. From Healthy Donors

b. From Patient-Specific Groups


2. Elucidation of the Mechanisms of Vascular Cell Differentiation and human blood vessel organoids

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 Hojjat Naderi-Meshkin 2020-Present

Project: Generation of human blood vessel Organoids from diabetic donors.

  • Dr Thomas Morrison 2019-2020

Project: Generation of human blood vessel Organoids using iPS cells from non-diabetic and diabetic donors.

  • Dr Chunbo Yang 2017-2019

Project: Endothelial dysfunction in Diabetic patients and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

  • Dr Letizia Gulino 2015-2016

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 Victoria Cornelius 2020-Present

Project: Drug Screening Using Human Diabetic Models and iPS cell Technologies

  • Mr Andrew Yacoub 2020-Present

Project: Discovery of novel therapies for Diabetic and Cardiovascular disease patients through Cell Reprogramming

  • Miss Magdalini Eleftheriadou 2017-Present

Project: Investigate the role of non-coding RNAs during Endothelial cells differentiation from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

  • Dr Rachel Caines 2015-2019

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

  • Dr Marta Vilà-González 2014-2017

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

  • Dr Amy Cochrane 2013-2016

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


MSc Students

  • Miss Jenna Fulton 2020-2021
  • Miss Victoria Cornelius 2019-2020
  • Miss Shonagh Flanagan 2018-2019
  • Mr Andrew Yacoub 2017-2018

Project: Discovery of novel therapies for Diabetic and Cardiovascular disease patients through the powerful approach of Cell Repogramming in a petri-dish  

  • Mr Corey Magee 2016-2017

Project: Combining Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and RNA Sequencing Technologies to Identify Novel Mediators of Endothelial Differentiation and Dysfunction

  • 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


 MSci Students

  • Miss Amanda Boyle 2020-2021
  • Mr Garrett Carney 2019-2020
  • Miss Grace Todd 2018-2019
  • Miss Olivia Sharpe 2018-2019
  • Miss Wiktoria Ratajczak  2017-2018
  • Miss Anya Harris 2016-2017
  • Miss Charlotte McBrien 2016-2017


Undergraduate Supervision

  • Miss Celine Chan 2020-2021
  • Mr David Barr 2019-2020
  • Miss Sarah Fairley 2018-2019
  • Miss Jasmyn Ferson 2017-2018 
  • Miss Shannon O' Doherty (Intercalated BSc)  2017-2018
  • Mr Ryan Sterritt (Intercalated BSc)  2016-2017
  • Miss Marianna Tsifaki Erasmus / Technician 2016-2018 
  • 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
  • MrWilson Cheah (Intercalated BSc) 2013-2014


Summer Students

  • Miss Lisa Benrejdal University of Rennes France 2018
  • Mr Michael Breen (Nuffield Research Placement)  2017
  • 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 



  • Prof Alan Stitt Centre for Experimental Medicine Queen’s University Belfast, UK
  • Prof 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
  • Dr David Simpson  Centre for Experimental Medicine Queen’s University Belfast, UK
  • Dr Guillermo Lopez Campos  Centre for Experimental Medicine Queen’s University Belfast, UK
  • Dr Jose Sousa Queen’s University Belfast, UK
  • Dr Fionna Wilkinson Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
  • Prof Yvonne Alexander Manchester Metropolitan University, UK









Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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