Sarah Withers

Sarah Withers

I was awarded my BSc (Hons) Pharmacology in Sheffield in 2001, during which time I had spent a summer internship with Dr Cathy Holt working in the cardiac sciences department based at the Northern General Hospital site at the University of Sheffield. Following which I was offered a PhD, with a relocation of the Holt group to Manchester, during which I investigated the pathways of apoptosis following dysregulation of the proto-oncogene c-Myb. My PhD was awarded in 2005, following which I spent 9 months working within the Neyses lab developing assays to assess the level of Calcium-ATPase activity in erythrocyte ghosts. 
As my main interest resided in cardiovascular science, my current position, with Prof AM Heagerty, allowed me to move into a more physiological based project with the benefit of developing my technique profile. My day-to-day work is currently using the pressure and wire myograph system to understand the response of arteries to changes in pressure and agonist stimulation respectively. My research aims to understand the role of inflammation in dysregulating the function of perivascular adipose tissue and its effects on small artery function. Much of my work focuses on defining the relationship of inflammation with adipocytes and the pathways involved in the anticontractile effect of healthy adipose tissue and how these are affected in disease, such as obesity. My studies utilise experimental and animal models of inflammation to investigate its effect on perivascular adipose tissue function.  The availability of inflammation models has allowed me to establish my own research area in which immune cells, particularly eosinophils, influence adipose tissue homeostasis and vascular reactivity. This has widened into a European collaborations. 

I am a strong advocate of the BSCR and have presented at various meetings held by the Society. I also have contributed to the BSCR bulletin and am currently on the editorial team. I believe that the BSCR provides an excellent forum for young and more experienced scientists to interact, and wish to support the society’s growth within the Cardiovascular field.