epithelial cells

Epithelial cell to cell contact stained with E-cadherin to mark junctions and F-actin to label the cytoskeleton

researchers in lab

topographical map

Topographical (left) and elasticity maps of cell doublets seeded on a square (by Prof Julia Gorelik)

What we do

Research in the Cardio Respiratory Interface Section encompasses physiology and pathology of the cardiovascular system and lung plus their associated diseases. Our expertise includes molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, microscopy, pharmacology and clinical medicine. Our broader interests extend to muscle wasting, cancer, HIV, pulmonary hypertension, chronic cardiopulmonary diseases and drug discovery.

Why it is important

Our research identifies mechanisms of physiology and disease whilst providing key approaches that underpin the study of heart and lung disease through interdisciplinary collaboration within the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) and via cross-Faculty, national and international collaborators.

Impact of our research

We study biological and pathological processes at the fundamental molecular and cellular level, to understand normal physiological function, disease processes and the therapeutic effects of drug-like molecules. We use a variety of model systems and also human or patient resources. Much of our research will have longer term benefits for human health, and some is aimed at rapidly impacting patients.

Summary of current research

Find out more about our current research.


Core Facility

Key publications

Erasmus, J.C., S. Bruche, L. Pizarro., N. Maimari, T. Poggioli, C. Tomlinson, J. Lees, I. Zalivina, A. Wheeler, A., A. Alberts, A. Russo & V.M.M. Braga (2016). Defining functional interactions during biogenesis of epithelial junctions.  Nature Communications7: 13542 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13542

Juskaite V, DS Corcoran, B. Leitinger Collagen induces activation of DDR1 through lateral dimer association and phosphorylation between dimers. Elife 6, (2017). DOI: 10.7554/eLife.25716.001.

Akram, K.M., L.L. Yates, R. Mongey, S. Rothery, D.C.A. Gaboriau, J. Sanderson, M. Hind, M. Griffiths, and C.H. Dean. 2019. Live imaging of alveologenesis in precision-cut lung slices reveals dynamic epithelial cell behaviour. Nat Commun. 10:1178. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09067-3. 

Taylor KA, Smyth E, Rauzi F, Cerrone M, Khawaja AA, Gazzard B, Nelson M, Boffito M, Emerson M (2019). Pharmacological impact of antiretroviral therapy on platelet function to investigate HIV-associated cardiovascular risk. Br. J. Pharmacol. DOI: 10.1111/bph.14589. 

Ramakrishnan, L., S.L. Pedersen, Q.K. Toe, L.E. West, S. Mumby, H. Casbolt, T. Issitt, B. Garfield, A. Lawrie, S.J. Wort, and G.J. Quinlan. 2018. The Hepcidin/Ferroportin axis modulates proliferation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. Sci Rep. 8:12972. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-31095-0.

Bloch, S.A.A., J.Y. Lee, T. Syburra, U. Rosendahl, M.J.D. Griffiths, Kemp, P.R. and M.I. Polkey, 2015. Increased expression of GDF-15 may mediate ICU-acquired weakness by down-regulating muscle microRNAs. THORAX, 70: 219-228, ISSN: 0040-6376. DOI: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2014-206225.

Our researchers