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Ioannis Akoumianakis

MD, DPhil (Oxon)

Research Associate, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

My research focuses on investigating the direct vascular effects of insulin in humans with atherosclerosis, and how these may be influenced by molecules that the adipose tissue (AT) secretes.

Obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes comprise interrelated entities linked to increased risk for vascular complications. Despite recent advances, there is still an unmet need to explore the biology underlying the vascular effects of these global metabolic disease burdens.

Work from our group has identified AT as a dynamic regulator of vascular function via the secretion of molecules called adipokines. Importantly, the secretome of AT may undergo drastic changes in response to obesity and diabetes, with direct, and not adequately characterised, implications for vascular disease.

During my collaboration with the Antoniades Group, I have been focusing on performing various ex vivo techniques using fresh human tissue to investigate the effects of obesity and diabetes on the human vasculature in multiple levels, while driving the management of the actively recruiting Oxford cohort for Heart, Vessels and Fat (Ox-HVF). Ox-HVF comprises a unique bioresource able to provide invaluable insights into the molecular mechanisms governing vascular injury associated with obesity and diabetes, as well as the role of AT in regulating such mechanisms.

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