Imperial College London

Professor Martin Wilkins

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Medicine

Head of the Department of Medicine



+44 (0)20 3313 2049m.wilkins




NIHR / Wellcome Trust Clinical Research FacilityICTEM buildingHammersmith Campus




Research Summary

  • We have recently reported that the zinc transporter, ZIP12, has a critical role in the pulmonary vascular response to hypoxia and is upregulated in the remodelled pulmonary vessels in other presentations of pulmonary arterial hypertension (Zhao et al Nature 2015).
  • Our studies identified phosphodiesterase type 5 as a therapeutic target for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) using cell and animal models and clinical trials (Zhao et al Circulation 2001; Sebkhi et al Circulation 2003; Wilkins et al AJRCCM 2005; Francis et al ERJ 2010). The phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor, sildenafil, was approved for the treatment of PAH by the FDA in May 2005.
  • Our studies have demonstrated that iron deficiency in PAH is associated with poor survival (Rhodes et al JACC 2011). We have a BHF funded programme grant to investigate iron replacement in PAH, using haemodynamics and exercise testing as outcome measures (Howard et al Pulm Circ 2012).
  • We have established a cohort study with electronic data capture and associated tissue bank for biomarker studies. We have screened tissue and plasma to identify protein markers that distinguish pulmonary hypertension from health and may be useful for diagnosis and disease monitoring (Abdul-Salam et al Circulation 2010). A BHF Special Project grant is funding further collections with a view to exome sequencing 1000 genomes later this year.

Guest Lectures

Novel Biomarkers for Pulmonary Vascular Disease and Right Ventricular Function, Keystone Symposium, Monterey, Monterey, USA, 2012