Lab Members

IMG_20150909_145807Dr Swati Arya

Research Fellow (Post-doc)

Swati initially joined the Stewart lab in September 2015 to work on a Fight for Sight-funded project examining the involvement of serum proteins in the formation of sub-retinal pigment epithelial deposits in age-related macular degeneration. Since September 2017 she has been working on a Leverhulme Trust-funded project focussed on circulatory zinc handling and it’s impact on cellular uptake.



Amy Dorward

PhD Student

Amy joined the Pitt lab in September 2017 to take up a PhD studentship supported by the BHF. She is currently investigating  how zinc regulates ion channel function in heart failure and how this modulates the release of calcium from intracellular stores.



IMG_20150724_104752Dr Kondwani Katundu

PhD Student

Following completion of his medical degree, Kondwani joined the Stewart lab in June 2015 to take up a PhD studentship in collaboration with the College of Medicine, University of Malawi. He is currently examining the use serum biomarkers in diagnosis of acute phase response and metabolic disease complications.




Dr Siavash KhazSiavashaipoul

Research Fellow (Post-doc)

Siavash initially joined the Stewart lab in April 2012 to carry out a BBSRC-funded project examining the molecular mechanisms responsible for modulating circulatory zinc dyamincs. Since June 2015 he has been working on a BHF-funded project examining the role of circulatory zinc and histidine-rich glycoprotein in regulating blood clotting.



Angela Martinella

(Co-supervised with Dr Silvia Paracchini)

PhD Student

Angela joined the Paracchini and Pitt lab in November 2017 to take up a PhD scholarship supported by the Cunningham Trust. She is investigating the role of ATP2C2, a susceptibility gene for Specific Language Impairment (SLI). The main goal of her project is to study the role of ATP2C2 in brain development and look at the effects of specific mutations on the protein function. This will involve the generation of knock-out and mutated cell lines and the application of electrophysiological approaches. Angela is supported by the Cunningham Trust.


Ben Reilly O’Donnellreilly

PhD Student

Ben joined the Pitt lab in May 2014 as a PhD Student. He was awarded a 600th Anniversary Scholarship from the University of St Andrews. He is currently investigating novel pH control mechanisms in the endo-lysosomal system. 




robertsonGavin Robertson

(Co-supervised with Dr Alan Stewart)

PhD Student

Gavin joined the Pitt lab in January 2015 to take up a PhD studentship supported by the BHF. He is currently investigating how zinc modulates intracellular Ca2+-release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum.




Amélie SobczakIMG_20151105_162147

(Co-supervised with Dr Samantha Pitt)

PhD Student

Amélie joined the Stewart lab in October 2015 to take up a PhD studentship supported by the BHF. She is examining the roles of histidine-rich glycoprotein and fibrinogen in zinc-dependent heparin neutralisation.



RuitaoDr Ruitao Yu

Visiting Scholar

Ruitao is visiting the Stewart lab between May-August 2018 for a second time, having previously been here between 2013-14. She is based in the Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology in Qinghai Province, China where she is an Associate Professor. Whilst in St Andrews she is undertaking a Chinese Academy of Sciences-funded project examining the binding of therapeutic natural products to serum albumin.



Previous Group Members:

Stewart Group: Dr Mohammed Arastoo (now University of Aberdeen, UK), Dr Omar Kassaar (now University of Bath, UK), Dr Petra Popovics (now University of Miami, FL, USA), Dr Dagmara Wiatrek (now Masaryk University, Czech Rep.).

Pitt Group: Jason Woodier, Craig Balmforth