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Cardiovascular Health and Immune Function

Vascular health and immune function are inter-dependent. We study the mechanisms that link events that occur in the circulation with the way they enable the cardiovascular system to adapt to different patho-physiological conditions (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease, renal failure). The role that the immune system, and particularly its glycoprotein components, play in the complications that accompany these conditions in adults and in early childhood are major research interests of the unit.

Similarly, we study the effects of dietary intake of salt and bioactive plant components on the cellular signals that can affect blood pressure or help to combat cancer, respectively. The work carried out under this Theme links closely with that performed at a molecular level (e.g. in enabling drug- and biomarker- discovery). Translationally, it is complemented by the delivery of patient care through close collaboration between scientists and clinicians.

Principal Investigators



Daniel Mitchell

Dr Daniel Mitchell Associate Professor

Research interests: Functional glycomics of the immune system



Dr Naila Rabbani
Associate Professor

Research interests: Protein damage, glyoxylase and biomarkers of vascular disease




Prof Paul Thornalley
Professor in Systems Biology

Research interests: Nutritional aspects, nrf2 actions, protein damage, glyoxalase



Recent Publications

  • Cappuccio, F. P., D. Cooper, L. D'Elia, P. Strazzullo and M. A. Miller (2011). "Sleep duration predicts cardiovascular outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies." Eur Heart J 32(12): 1484-1492.
  • D'Elia, L., G. Barba, F. P. Cappuccio and P. Strazzullo (2011). "Potassium intake, stroke, and cardiovascular disease a meta-analysis of prospective studies." J Am Coll Cardiol 57(10): 1210-1219.
  • Edwards, L. A., C. O'Neill, M. A. Furman, S. Hicks, F. Torrente, M. Perez-Machado, E. M. Wellington, A. D. Phillips and S. H. Murch (2011). "Enterotoxin-producing staphylococci cause intestinal inflammation by a combination of direct epithelial cytopathy and superantigen-mediated T-cell activation." Inflamm Bowel Dis.
  • Ilyas, R., R. Wallis, E. J. Soilleux, P. Townsend, D. Zehnder, B. K. Tan, R. B. Sim, H. Lehnert, H. S. Randeva and D. A. Mitchell (2011). "High glucose disrupts oligosaccharide recognition function via competitive inhibition: a potential mechanism for immune dysregulation in diabetes mellitus." Immunobiology 216(1-2): 126-131.
  • Ormerod, J. O., H. Ashrafian, A. R. Maher, S. Arif, V. Steeples, G. V. Born, S. Egginton, M. Feelisch, H. Watkins and M. P. Frenneaux (2011). "The role of vascular myoglobin in nitrite-mediated blood vessel relaxation." Cardiovasc Res 89(3): 560-565.
  • Rabbani, N., L. Godfrey, M. Xue, F. Shaheen, M. Geoffrion, R. Milne and P. J. Thornalley (2011). "Glycation of LDL by methylglyoxal increases arterial atherogenicity: a possible contributor to increased risk of cardiovascular disease in diabetes." Diabetes 60(7): 1973-1980.
  • Thornalley, P. J. and N. Rabbani (2011). "Glyoxalase in tumourigenesis and multidrug resistance." Semin Cell Dev Biol 22(3): 318-325.