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Sevasti Zervou

BSc (Hons); PhD

Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Molecular and cellular aspects of cardiac energetics


My research career started at the University of Warwick where I completed my PhD in Molecular Medicine, working on nitric oxide synthase signalling in the uterine smooth muscle. I then carried on working at Warwick on multi-disciplinary projects in the area of Molecular Endocrinology, until I took up a Research Fellow role in Cardiovascular Diabetes and Metabolism, funded by the Wellcome Trust (2005-2009).  

I joined the Lygate/Neubauer Group at the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in 2009 as part of the Basic Science team, funded by the British Heart Foundation. Since then, I have been involved in several projects on translational aspects of myocardial energetics. I am a member of the Congregation, an official graduate student co- supervisor (2010-), RDM mentor and member of the British Society for Cardiovascular Research (2009-). Other activities include being a member of the CVMED Athena SWAN Self-Assessment group and  CVMED Networking Day 2018 organising committee.

Research Expertise and Interests

I have been part of several exciting projects on the Creatine transporter (CrT) and Creatine Kinase (CK) isoenzymes, including creating DNA constructs towards transgenesis, both in vivo and in vitro. Other work has involved molecular phenotyping of murine models through RNA and protein detection including post-translational modifications such as S-nitrosylation, acetylation and carbonylation; cell-based plate reader assays for oxidative stress and membrane potential; hypoxia/reoxygenation. 

A substantial part of my work is screening for small molecule activators of CrT in cell lines. This work involves setting up primary assays (for example enzymatic or reporter) and identifying positive hits to be tested through secondary and counter screens.  

A recent set of results from our group pointed towards a link between creatine and glucose metabolism in the heart of a transgenic murine model with elevated intracellular creatine. I have been interrogating this crosstalk between creatine and glucose, in both cardiac tissue and cells, with the potential of finding new tools to modulate glucose metabolism, against diabetic cardiomyopathy. At the same time, I am testing the involvement of shared molecules in the creatine and glucose signalling pathways, such as Thioredoxin interacting protein (Txnip).

ORCID 0000-0002-4665-2747

Key publications