Dr Pericleous is a Versus Arthritis Career Development Fellow, based within Vascular Science at the National Heart and Lung Institute. She obtained her PhD in Medicine/Rheumatology at University College London, followed by two post doctoral positions in the same department. Her work at University College London focused on improving the management of systemic autoimmune diseases through the development of novel diagnostic tests and targeted therapeutics. Dr Pericleous joined Imperial College in 2016. Her fellowship aims to further inform the design and application of therapeutics for systemic autoimmune diseases by providing a better understanding of how cardiovascular disease (CVD) develops in these patients.
Endothelial injury leading to dysfunction is central to the development of CVD. Antiphosholipid syndrome (APS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in particular, carry a significant burden of associated CVD. Clinically, APS is defined by recurrent thrombotic events, while SLE is the archetypal example for autoimmune-mediated accelerated CVD. Despite this, there are no targeted treatments to prevent CVD in these patients.
Circulating autoantibodies are key players in autoimmune-mediated vasculopathy. During her PhD and subsequent post doctoral research, Dr Pericleous worked primarily on antiphospholipid autoantibodies (aPL), the serological hallmark for APS and an independent risk factor for CVD in SLE. Of all autoantibody families, aPL are the best characterised for their ability to induce a procoagulant, proinflammatory and oxidative endothelial phenotype. However, the molecular mechanisms that underpin these aPL-mediated changes to endothelial function are ill-defined. In SLE, other autoantibody families could also contribute to CVD, but this area remains largely unexplored. Dr Pericleous' fellowship focuses on delineating the intracellular molecular basis of autoantibody-mediated endothelial dysfunction in order to improve our understanding of vasculopathy in APS and SLE, with the ultimate aim of identifying novel therapeutic targets to modulate dysfunction in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases.
et al., 2019, Antiphospholipid antibody levels in early systemic lupus erythematosus: are they associated with subsequent mortality and vascular events?, Rheumatology (oxford)
et al., 2019, Domain I of beta 2GPI is capable of blocking serum IgA antiphospholipid antibodies binding in vitro: an effect enhanced by PEGylation, Lupus, Vol:28, ISSN:1477-0962, Pages:893-897
et al., 2019, Autoimmune rheumatic disease IgG has differential effects upon neutrophil integrin activation that is modulated by the endothelium, Scientific Reports, Vol:9, ISSN:2045-2322
et al., 2019, THE EFFECTS OF METHOTREXATE ON THE VASCULAR ENDOTHELIUM, Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR), BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, Pages:1524-1525, ISSN:0003-4967
et al., 2019, The Effects of Methotrexate on the Vascular Endothelium, 3rd Joint Meeting of the European-Society-for-Microcirculation (ESM) and the European-Vascular-Biology-Organization (EVBO), KARGER, Pages:70-70, ISSN:1018-1172