Associate Professor Lisa Heather
Professor Heather's research revolves around metabolism and the heart – understanding why metabolism is important and what the consequences are when it goes wrong.
Her passion for metabolism began during her undergraduate degree in Medical Biochemistry at the University of Surrey. She loved the way everything fitted together into this complex jigsaw, which in many ways resembled the London Underground map. And just like a public transport network, if something goes wrong with one enzyme or pathway, the whole system can either adapt or grind to a halt.
Lisa joined the Department in 2003 as a DPhil student of Professor Kieran Clarke. Her doctoral research investigated the role of abnormal substrate metabolism in the development of cardiac hypertrophy. Her subsequent post-doctoral research focused on the role of mitochondrial metabolism in cardiac disease progression.
In 2011 she was awarded a Diabetes UK RD Lawrence Fellowship, to study the role of hypoxia and metabolism in the type 2 diabetic heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes, and patients have increased incidence of, and decreased recovery following myocardial infarction.
In 2018 she was awarded a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Fellowship, to study why fat accumulation in the diabetic heart is such a bad thing. She is currently studying what fats can do to the function of the cardiomyocyte, and how they might be signalling to activate deleterious processes.