Dr Helen Heathcote BSc, MRes, PhD

Post Doctoral Research Associate

Helen's previous research has focused mainly on cellular signalling mechanisms in the vasculature, in particular how these are altered in disease states such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 

Helen completed her first degree in Biological Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh focusing on aspects of human health and disease. After completing a summer placement with a vaccine development company based at the Roslin Biocentre in Edinburgh, she moved to study for a research degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Glasgow.  

While at the University of Glasgow, Helen joined the British Heart Foundation's 4-year PhD Program, being awarded an MRes in Translational Medicine for the first year/rotation period of the Program. Helen chose to continue working in the lab of Dr Ian Salt for her PhD, conducting a research project investigating the mechanisms by which vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) modulates the activity of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a key regulator of cellular and whole body energy status. AMPK activity is known to be altered in disease states such as diabetes and atherosclerosis, and is currently of great interest as pharmaceutical agents already liscensed for clinical use are known to improve cellular energy regulation in diseased tissues.

Helen was awarded her PhD in Vascular Pathophysiology and Therapeutics in 2016 and shortly afterwards took up her current position as a Post Doctorate Research Associate at the University of Strathclyde. 

Typically using cell culture models and biochemical analysis methods during her PhD, Helen is now imaging cell signalling events in intact arteries using the technology developed within the McCarron group.

In her spare time, Helen is a keen cyclist and runner, and particularly enjoys eating out and visiting the cinema at weekends. 

Contact Helen via:
email: helen.heathcote@strath.ac.uk               
researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Helen_Heathcote



Wilson, C, Zhang, X, Lee, MD, MacDonald, M, Heathcote, HR, Alorfi, NMN, Buckley, C, Dolan, S, McCarron, JG  2019, 'Disrupted endothelial cell heterogeneity and network organization impair vascular function in prediabetic obesity'. Metabolism. DOI: 10.1016/j.metabol.2020.154340


Wilson, C, Zhang, X, Buckley, C, Heathcote, H, Lee, MD, McCarron, JG 2019, 'Increased Vascular Contractility in Hypertension Results From Impaired Endothelial Calcium Signaling' Hypertension. DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.119.13791

Heathcote, H, Lee, MD, Zhang, X, Wilson, C,  McCarron, JG,(2019). Endothelial TRPV4 channels modulate vascular tone by Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release at IP3 receptors. British Journal of Pharmacology DOI: 10.1111/bph.14762

McCarron, JG, Wilson, C, Heathcote, H, Zhang, X, Buckley, C, and Lee, MD (2019). Heterogeneity and emergent behaviour in the vascular endothelium. Current Opinions in Pharmacology DOI: 10.1016/j.coph.2019.03.008

Wilson, C, Lee, MD, Heathcote, H, Zhang, X, Buckley, C, Girkin, JM, Saunter, CD, McCarron, JG 2019, 'Mitochondrial ATP production provides long-range control of endothelial inositol trisphosphate–evoked calcium signaling' Journal of Biological Chemistry. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.005913


Heathcote H.R., Mancini S.J., Strembitska, A., Jamal, K., Reihill, J.A., Palmer, T.M., Gould, G.W., Salt, I.P. 2016.

Protein kinase C phosphorylates AMP-activated protein kinase α1 Ser487. Biochemical Journal.15;473(24):4681-4697. PMID: 27784766 DOI: 10.1042/BCJ20160211


Hudson, B.D., Shimpukade, B., Mackenzie, A.E., Butcher, A.J., Pediani, J.D., Christiansen, E., Heathcote, H., Tobin, A.B., Ulven, T. and Milligan, G., 2013. The pharmacology of a potent and selective agonist, TUG-891, demonstrates both potential opportunity and possible challenges to therapeutic agonism of FFA4 (GPR120). Molecular pharmacology, pp.mol-113. DOI: 10.1124/mol.113.087783

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