Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7351 8137b.ahmetaj




Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Ahmetaj-Shala is a BHF Research Fellow working in the Vascular Biology section of the National Heart & Lung Institute. Her current research interest is embedded in progenitor/vascular cell biology and focuses on using blood outgrowth endothelial and smooth muscle cells to study how vascular diseases such as pulmonary hypertension happen and how patients with specific diseases can be best treated in a personalised way.

Dr Ahmetaj-Shala completed her PhD in 2013 in the laboratory of Dr Francesca Arrigoni and Prof James Leiper (MRC Clinical Science Centre), studying the role of the nitric oxide pathway on macrophage function and its association to diseases such as sepsis and atherosclerosis. She then joined Prof Jane Mitchell's group at Imperial College London to investigate novel biomarkers or mechanisms which contribute to NSAID ('Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs') induced cardiovascular side-effects.

In 2016, she was the recipient of the Wellcome Trust and Imperial College London Value in People Award. Most recently, in 2019, Dr Ahmetaj-Shala was awarded the Imperial College Springboard Fellowship in recognition of her post-doctoral research work. In the same year, she was also the recipient of the prestigious Bülbring Award awarded by the British Pharmacological Society. Previously, she has received awards from numerous bodies including the British Physiological Society (Pfizer Prize), American Heart Association, The Magdi Yacoub Research Network, British Pharmacological Society and the National Pulmonary Hypertension Research Forum.

As well as research, Dr Ahmetaj-Shala is also the lead of the Public Engagement and Science Communications Team at the Organ-on-a-chip (OOAC) Technologies Network (Queen Mary's University). Dr Ahmetaj-Shala is also actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching at Imperial College London and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2020, she was awarded a Master’s in Education.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Ahmetaj-Shala B, Kirkby NS, Knowles R, et al., 2015, Evidence that links loss of cyclooxygenase-2 with increased asymmetric dimethylarginine novel explanation of cardiovascular side effects associated with anti-inflammatory drugs, Circulation, Vol:131, ISSN:0009-7322, Pages:633-U113

Reed DM, Foldes G, Kirkby NS, et al., 2014, Morphology and vasoactive hormone profiles from endothelial cells derived from stem cells of different sources, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol:455, ISSN:1090-2104, Pages:172-177

Kelly P, Wang Z, Ahmetaj B, et al., 2014, Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase 2 (DDAH2) regulates nitric oxide production, haemodynamics and vascular responsiveness under basal conditions and outcome in polymicrobial sepsis, Nitric Oxide-Biology and Chemistry, Vol:42, ISSN:1089-8603, Pages:130-130


Ahmetaj-Shala B, Kirkby NS, Knowles R, et al., 2015, Evidence That Links Loss of Cyclooxygenase-2 With Increased Asymmetric Dimethylarginine, Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), Pages:633-642, ISSN:0009-7322

Ahmetaj-Shala B, Kirkby NS, Al-yamani M, et al., 2013, Evidence That Links Cyclo-oxygenase-2 Inhibition With Increased Asymmetric Dimethylarginine: Novel Explanation of Cardiovascular Side Effects Associated With Anti-inflammatory Drugs, Scientific Sessions and Resuscitation Science Symposium of the American-Heart-Association, LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, ISSN:0009-7322

More Publications