Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Advanced Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7351 8137b.ahmetaj




Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Ahmetaj-Shala is an Advanced Research Fellow and MRC New Investigator at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Faculty of Medicine.

Dr Ahmetaj-Shala's research group focuses on using 2D and 3D heterogenous cell-co-culture, including the use of blood derived vascular cells, to study disease. Blood vessels form an essential part of the circulatory system delivering blood and nutrients to our organs. Dysfunction in the vasculature is the major contributor of many cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Dr Ahmetaj-Shala's publications using human blood outgrowth vascular cells highlight their usefulness in studying vascular function non-invasively and show a clear potential for regenerative medicine.

Dr Ahmetaj-Shala has a PhD, MSc, BSc and most recently was awarded a MEd (Masters in Education) from Imperial College London. In 2023 she was awarded a MRC New Investigator Research Grant in collaboration between the National Heart and Lung Institute and the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction to investigate the impact of statin use and type 1 diabetes on vascular cells.

She has been the recipient of a British Heart Foundation Transitional Fellowship (2021-2023), a Wellcome Trust/ Imperial College Springboard Fellowship (2019-2021), the B├╝lbring Award from the British Pharmacological Society (2019) and the Imperial College London Value in People Award (2016). She has also 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 lectures and leads undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the Faculty of Medicine (see Teaching section). She is the lead of the Public Engagement and Science Communications Team at the Organ-on-a-chip (OOAC) Technologies Network (Queen Mary's University). 

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