Imperial College London

Dr Charis Pericleous

Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 2728c.pericleous Website




ICTEM buildingHammersmith Campus





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.



Ahmetaj-Shala B, Marei I, Kawai R, et al., 2021, Activation and contraction of human ‘vascular’ smooth muscle cells grown from circulating blood progenitors, Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, Vol:9, ISSN:2296-634X, Pages:1-6

Ramirez GA, Mackie I, Nallamilli S, et al., 2021, Anti-protein C antibodies and acquired protein C resistance in SLE: novel markers for thromboembolic events and disease activity?, Rheumatology, Vol:60, ISSN:1462-0324, Pages:1376-1386

Khawaja AA, Chong DLW, Sahota J, et al., 2020, Identification of a Novel HIF-1 alpha-alpha(M)beta(2) Integrin-NET Axis in Fibrotic Interstitial Lung Disease, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol:11, ISSN:1664-3224


Khawaja AA, Maughan RT, Paschalaki KE, et al., 2020, Modelling endothelial function in vitro and via blood sampling to evaluate cardiovascular risk in people living with HIV, WILEY, Pages:39-39, ISSN:1464-2662

Khawaja AA, Maughan RT, Paschalaki KE, et al., 2020, Modelling endothelial function in vitro and via blood sampling to assess cardiovascular risk in people living with HIV, JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD, Pages:105-105

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