7th International Caparica Conference on Analytical Proteomics (ICAP)

On the 14th July Dr Alan Stewart gave an online invited talk at the 7th International Caparica Conference on Analytical Proteomics (ICAP), 2021 held in Lisbon, Portugal. The talk was entitled “Plasma fatty acid levels control circulatory zinc speciation: Relevance to pro-coagulatory disorders from speciomic and lipidomic studies”. He would like to thank the organisers, especially Prof Capelo for (as always!) a really exciting and engaging meeting.

£1M UKRI-BBSRC/FAPESP Grant Award to Alan Stewart: A “speciomic” toolkit to investigate fatty acid-mediated changes in plasma zinc speciation and their physiological effects

Dr Alan Stewart has been awarded £978,876 from the BBSRC to fund a new bilateral project entitled “A “speciomic” toolkit to investigate fatty acid-mediated changes in plasma zinc speciation and their physiological effects”. The work will be a collaboration between researchers at the Universities of St Andrews, Warwick in the UK and Campinas in Brazil. The project, which Dr Stewart will lead, has been awarded additional funding from FAPESP (The São Paulo Research Foundation) to support the work in Brazil. As part of this study, state-of-the-art and bespoke analytical methods will be employed to understand the (re)distribution of zinc within plasma in the presence of high concentrations of fatty acids, mirroring conditions observed in disease states. The impact of this dynamic on physiological processes including insulin signalling and cellular zinc uptake will also be examined. Prof Claudia Blindauer will oversee work at the University of Warwick and Profs Marco Arruda and Carlos Ramos the research at University of Campinas.

Samantha Pitt has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology

Samantha Pitt has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB).

The Royal Society of Biology works to facilitate the promotion of new discoveries in biological science for national and international benefit, and to engage the wider public with the work of the Society.

For election as a Fellow an individual needs to have made a prominent contribution to the advancement of the biological sciences and gained no less than five years’ experience in a position of senior responsibility.

British Heart Foundation – Lunch and Learn Talk

On the 15th June 2021, Dr Alan Stewart gave a Lunch and Learn talk for the British Heart Foundation based upon his research.

The talk was entitled “Could zinc be the key to new diabetes treatments?” and featured a small quiz. The audience was made up of fundraisers and other BHF staff based throughout the UK.

BHF Project Grant Awarded to Samantha Pitt: Cellular zinc is at the heart of sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium leak in cardiac muscle

Dr Samantha Pitt has just been awarded a 3 year BHF project grant to investigate how zinc regulates diastolic calcium leak to drive cardiac dysfunction. This award will enable the talented Amy Dorward to continue her work in this area as a PDRA. The project will use a combination of electrophysiology, molecular biology and cutting-edge microscopy techniques (supervised by Dr Juan Varela, School of Biology) to understand the intrinsic relationship between cardiac cellular Zn2+ and Ca2+-dynamics in the failing heart.

We would like to thank the BHF for their continued support of our research.