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I am a British Heart Foundation sponsored research scientist. I'm one of those awkward people who uses their middle name, so most will know me as Lowri. My research focusses on the massice intracellular cardiac ion channel, the ryanodine receptor (RyR2) and its role in health and disease - in particular the generation of cardiac arrhythmia. My role in the Molecular Cardiology Group is to use mutagenesis and expression techniques to make recombinant ion channel proteins and assess their gating behaviour (i.e. the way in which they open and close) using single channel recording in lipid bilayers. I'm also looking at in how these molecular events translate into calcium release dysfunction at the cellular level. As a result, I have an interest in the use of human induced pluripotent stem cell derived cariac myocytes as a model for arrhythmic disease.

Areas of Expertise

  • Single ion channel gating
  • Cardiac channelopathies
  • Molecular biology
  • Calcium imaging

Publications

  1. & Calsequestrin interacts directly with the cardiac ryanodine receptor luminal domain. Journal of Cell Science, jcs.191643
  2. & Effect of flecainide derivatives on sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium release suggests a lack of direct action on the cardiac ryanodine receptor. British Journal of Pharmacology 173(15), 2446-2459.
  3. & Questioning flecainide's mechanism of action in the treatment of catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. The Journal of Physiology 594(21), 6431-6432.
  4. & Unambiguous observation of blocked states reveals altered, blocker-induced, cardiac ryanodine receptor gating. Scientific Reports 6(1)
  5. & Dantrolene rescues aberrant N-terminus intersubunit interactions in mutant pro-arrhythmic cardiac ryanodine receptors. Cardiovascular Research 105(1), 118-128.

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Teaching

  • PM-132 Eukaryotic Cell Biology

    This module will provide a broad introduction to fundamental concepts in Eukaryotic cell biology investigating the origins of the cell, cell structure and specialised cells and cells in disease. There will be a general focus on human cells throughout with reference to other organisms when needed. Students will gain practical experience in identification, differentiation of cells from different human and animal species.

  • PM-266 The Cardiovascular System

    Leading on from the first year Human Physiology Module (PM-139), the Cardiovascular Module will introduce and define the fundamental cellular mechanisms that regulate the physiology of healthy cardiovascular function. The Module will describe the processes that allow regular heartbeat and blood vessel function and how perturbations in the systems covered may lead to pathophysiological conditions. There will be an emphasis on experimental approaches used to study the cardiovascular mechanisms described.

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2017 Present Researcher Swansea University Medical School
2007 2017 Researcher Cardiff University

Key Grants and Projects

  • "Functional assessment of cardiac ryanodine receptor calcium release channel populations: a direct demonstration of coupled gating?" 2016 - 2018

    , with Dr Bevan Cumbes (Swansea University), Dr Oliver Castell (Cardiff University)

  • "Predicting anti-arrhythmic drug afficacy from the divergent molecular basis of RyR2 dysfunction in genetic arrythmia syndromes" 2015 - 2020

    , with Dr Saptarshi Mukherjee

Research Groups

  • Molecular Cardiology Group

    The Molecular Cardiology Group is part of the British Heart Foundation project based at Swansea University Medical School.