Personal profile

Research interests

Cardiac Physiology with the emphasis on the molecular mechanisms of heart disease and cardioprotection has been the main area of my research. I endeavour to carry out interdisciplinary studies aimed at translation of the experimental findings into clinical practice.

I have joined the group of Professor Raimondo Ascione (Cardiovascular Surgery and Vascular Biology, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol) from December 2018 and now involved in our research project on a pig model of cardiac surgery and myocardial infarction. This study is focused on the prevention of ischaemia/reperfusion heart injury using the treatment, which I previously discovered on rats (consecutive PKA/PKC activation). This could be the final validation step before the translation of this treatment to clinical practice. My current research is also focused on the cardioprotective effects of the cell-permeable cyclic AMP (cAMP) agonists, selective activators of protein kinase A (PKA) and guanine nucleotide exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac). I have recently found that simultaneous transient activation of PKA and Epac, is critical for achieving the optimal protective effect. Meanwhile, the cardiogenic effects of Epac, and particularly the differential effects of the two isoforms of this enzyme (Epac1 and Epac2), represent a novel area of research that constitutes my new research programme. The advantage of this novel pharmacological strategy is that it does not involve the activation of G-protein-coupled receptors and their immediate downstream targets that often fail to work properly in different pathological conditions.

Other areas of my interest include but are not limited to:

  • Targeted drug delivery using nanoparticles;
  • Cardiogenic effects of cannabinoid and opioid receptor agonists;
  • Mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias;
  • Evaluation of autonomic regulation of cardiac function using heart rate variability assays. 


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