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I am a British Heart Foundation funded Research Associate looking at the cardiac calcium release channel, RyR2. I use the techniques of droplet interface bilayers and TIRF microscopy to obtain spatial information simultaneously with ion flux measurements from multiple RyR2 channels. The aim of my current project is to determine whether simultaneous gating of RyR2 channels, as sometimes observed indirectly by electrophysiology from planar bilayers, involves true channel coupling (and allosteric interaction) or whether these observations are actually spatially-separate stochastic events. This will help answer the question of how coordinated termination of SR calcium release can occur within physiological time frames.

Areas of Expertise

  • TIRF Microscopy
  • Molecular Biology
  • Protein Purification


  1. Jenkins, R., Davies, L., Taylor, P., Akiyama, H., Cumbes, B., Beltrami, C., Carrington, C., Phillips, A., Bowen, T., Fraser, D. miR-192 Induces G2/M Growth Arrest in Aristolochic Acid Nephropathy The American Journal of Pathology 184 4 996 1009
  2. Nomikos, M., Elgmati, K., Theodoridou, M., Calver, B., Cumbes, B., Nounesis, G., Swann, K., Lai, F. Male infertility-linked point mutation disrupts the Ca2+oscillation-inducing and PIP2hydrolysis activity of sperm PLCζ Biochemical Journal 434 2 211 217
  3. Zissimopoulos, S., Viero, C., Seidel, M., Cumbes, B., White, J., Cheung, I., Stewart, R., Jeyakumar, L., Fleischer, S., Mukherjee, S., Lowri Thomas, N., Williams, A., Anthony Lai, F., Cumbes, B., Thomas, N., Zisimopoulos, S., Mukherjee, S., Williams, A. N-terminus oligomerization regulates the function of cardiac ryanodine receptors Journal of Cell Science 126 21 5042 5051
  4. Phillips, S., Yu, Y., Rossbach, A., Nomikos, M., Vassilakopoulou, V., Livaniou, E., Cumbes, B., Lai, F., George, C., Swann, K., Cumbes, B., George, C. Divergent effect of mammalian PLCζ in generating Ca2+oscillations in somatic cells compared with eggs Biochemical Journal 438 3 545 553

Research Groups

  • Molecular Cardiology

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

Key Grants and Projects

  • BHF Project Grant 2016 - 2018

    , with Lowri Thomas (Swansea Uni), Oliver Castell (Cardiff Uni)