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Dr Meike Heurich-Sevcenco

Dr Meike Heurich-Sevcenco

Lecturer

School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Email
heurichm@cardiff.ac.uk
Campuses
Redwood Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

Meike joined the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences as a Lecturer in January 2017.

She is a Biochemist by training (Germany, 2003) and gained her PhD (UK, 2008) in Applied Biochemistry and Biosensor development.

She started working in Complement research in 2008 as a post-doctoral researcher in the Complement Biology group of Prof C. Harris and Prof P. Morgan at the School of Medicine, Cardiff University.

In 2012, she was awarded an independent career development fellowship  (NISCHR, now Health and Care Research Wales) investigating the cross-talk mechanisms of complement with the coagulation system working with Prof P. Collins at the School of Medicine, Cardiff. There, she established an independent research group in the field of Complement and Coagulation research.

In 2017, she moved her research lab to the School of Pharmacy, Cardiff, where she leads a group that focusses on the discovery and functional characterization of molecular crosstalk of blood proteins, primarily of the complement and coagulation pathways and investigates the pathophysiology of these pathways in disease.

Her work also includes biomarker analysis of complement and coagulation components and their activation products in blood plasma in disease. She also undertakes screening of small molecules for the discovery and characterisation of serine protease targeted therapeutics.

Keywords: innate immune system, complement; coagulation

Biography

01/2017 – PRESENT   Lecturer (Teaching & Research, open-ended)

Research in Protein Biochemistry and Experimental Therapeutics, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University, UK.

06/2016 -12/2016          Senior Postdoc in Molecular Virology, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, School of Medicine, Institute of Infection & Immunity, Cardiff University, UK, “Developing human cytomegalovirus (CMV) for expansion of CD8+ T Cells with improved in vivo lifespan for immunotherapy”. 

09/2013 – 08/2014        Lecturer secondment (Clinical Medicine, part-time alongside career development fellowship), School of Medicine, Cardiff University, UK

03/2012 – 06/2016        Career Development Research Fellowship in Blood Protein Biochemistry, Institute of Infection & Immunity, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, UK. “Cross-interaction of the innate immune response (complement system) with coagulation proteins in blood disorders”.                   

09/2011 – 02/2012          Postdoc/Research Associate in Complement Biology, Institute of Psychological Medicine & Clinical Neurosciences and Institute of Infection & Immunity, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, UK. “The role of complement receptor CR1 in Alzheimer’s disease”.

09/2008 – 08/2011           Postdoc/Research Associate in Complement Biology, Department of Infection, Immunity & Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, UK. “The role of complement dysregulation in disease” & “The Complotype: dictating risk for inflammation and infection”.

04/2007-07/2008          Research Assistant in Complement Biology, Department of Medical Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, UK. 

 Education

04/2004 – 04/2008        PhD in Biochemical and Biophysical Research, Cranfield Biotechnology Centre, Cranfield University, UK. “Development of a screen-printed, voltammetric electrochemical biosensor for the immunosuppressant mycotoxin ochratoxin A”. 

03/2003 – 09/2003        Master thesis, Institute of Biomedicine and Chemistry, Kalmar University, Sweden. “Development of a diagnostic tool for markers of ischemic heart disease for early diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction”. 

10/1997 – 09/2003        Diploma in Biochemistry, Germany

Honours and awards

02/2012                         Career Development Research Fellowship Award, NISCHR (now Health and Care Research Wales)

12/2010                         Young Scientist of the Year Award, British Society for Immunology

Professional memberships

2017 – present                                    European Haematology Association

2012 – present                                    International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis

2009 – present                                    British Society for Immunology

2008 – present                                    International Complement Society

2005 – present                                    Biochemical Society, UK

Publications

2021

2019

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

Teaching

2017-present         School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University

MPharm

MSc Cancer Biology

MSc Clinical Research

Module lead         PH1123 module: Biochemistry, Microbiology, Cell biology

Lectures                PH1123    module: Structure and function of cells      - Cell Biology                         

                              PH1124 module: Human body systems                      - Basic Immunology              

                              PH2113 module: Drugs and Diseases 1                     - Clinical Immunology

                              PH3113 module: Drugs and Diseases 2                     -  Rheumatology      

PHT801 Cellular and Molecular Biology of Cancer                                   -  Immunology               

PHT801 Cellular and Molecular Biology of Cancer                                   - Immunotherapy          

PHT804 MSc Cancer Biology                                                                    - Research Methods

PHT202 MSc Clinical Research                                                                 - Immunology

Practical               PH1124 module: Basic Anatomy

                             PH1124 module: Pharmacology

Workshops           PH1124: Immunology in disease

                             PHT801: Immunotherapy in Cancer

                             PHT804: Research Methodology, biophysics, surface plasmon resonance

 Other                  Non-modular teaching and teaching support, postgraduate research student supervision (PhD, MSc)

Research areas

  • Mechanisms of complement and coagulation crosstalk in health and disease
  • Complement and coagulation pathways in psychosis
  • Blood biomarkers
  • Complement therapeutics

My past research has largely focussed on the characterisation of protein structure-function  leading to dysregulation of the complement system, part of the innate immune defence, including the complotype.

https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.molimm.2015.03.248

https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.it.2012.06.001

https://doi.org/10.1073%2Fpnas.1019338108

https://doi.org/10.1172%2Fjci43343

My research lab at the School of Pharmacy investigates the molecular crosstalk between the two innate defence systems against pathogen invasion and bleeding, namely complement and coagulation. Both complement and coagulation systems are structurally and organisationally similar protein cascades that are activated by defined triggers, often in parallel.

Dysregulation of these systems have been associated with many diseases with pro-inflammatory and pro-coagulant pathology.

We are currently studying complement and coagulation crosstalk on the protein and cellular level in vitro and investigating in vivo mechanisms.

Current projects include:

i) With clinical colleagues at the School of Medicine and UHW Cardiff we are analysing the impact of complement factor H on coagulation function building on past work characterising the crosstalk of coagulation regulator thrombomodulin with complement regulator factor H.

https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.thromres.2016.07.017

ii) In collaboration with colleagues at RCSI Dublin and RSCI Dublin my lab is studying the impact of complement and coagulation activation in individuals who progress to psychotic experiences or psychotic disorders.

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-018-0306-z

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.01.018

https://doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.245

Postdoc opportunities

Dr Heurich was awarded Wellcome Trust funding for a postdoctoral position in her lab commencing in 2021.

Schizophrenia is among the most expensive disorders in terms of quality of life and societal cost and there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of the interplay between genetic and environmental factors is important in the disease. We are investigating the plasma protein biomarkers of psychosis using mass spectrometry-based and biochemistry methods. We are using internationally unique samples, which we will use for discovery and validation studies. The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with Dr Gerard Cagney's proteomics lab at University College Dublin and Prof David Cotter’s lab at RSCI Dublin (see above for collaboration and publications, ii)

We are currently seeking a postdoctoral research associate to join the project team led by Dr Meike Heurich at the Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences studying functional blood plasma biomarkers to analyse the risk of transition from clinical high risk to psychotic disorder. This research project is funded by the Wellcome Trust  Innovations Flagship Programme.

Starting date in Spring/Summer 2021 (job opening/advert TBA). 

Please email heurichm@cardiff.ac.uk for further inquiries.

PhD opportunities

(SELF-FUNDED ONLY)

Dr Heurich with Prof. Collins (School of Medicine, Cardiff) is offering a PhD student opportunity. Note, self-funded only. 

Characterising the interaction of coagulation and innate immunity in people being treated for bleeding disorder haemophilia A

A novel treatment for haemophilia patients has been associated with thrombosis in small blood vessels in the kidney. This is also found in a rare kidney disorder caused by the impaired immune function of blood proteins. This project will determine the mechanisms of this treatment on coagulation and immune system by in vitro tests and clinical samples.

Please email heurichm@cardiff.ac.uk for further inquiries.

What's going on in the Heurich lab:

Here is the link to the ISTH 2020 congress (https://www.isth2020.org/), where our abstract was selected for oral presentation, which was delivered by PhD student Genevieve McCluskey.

here is the link to the ISTH highlights interview:

Here is the link to the Complement UK meeting 2021, where our abstract was selected for both oral and poster presentation. PhD student Genevieve McCluskey presented and won the oral presentation price.Congratulations!

 https://complement.org.uk/conference/

Recent events

Dr Meike Heurich giving an oral presentation in Session 5 on 1st April 3021 at the virtual Hemostasis Science Weeks 2021.

hthttps://www.siemens-healthineers.com/news-and-events/conferences-events-new/hemostasis-science-weekstps://live.hemostasis-science-weeks.siemens-healthineers-events.com/

SPR Symposium 2021, our virtual Biacore SPR Symposium on the 20th April 2020 from 13.30pm is bringing together scientists to share and enhance their knowledge of Biacore Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) technology for the analysis of a range of biomolecular interactions. 

For registration and details:

https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/events/view/2501591-biacore-spr-symposium-2021

organised by Central Biotechnology Services Cardiff and Dr Meike Heurich.

                                         --------------------------------

Upcoming events

We hope that you found the virtual SPR symposium on the 20th of April interesting - and are now inspired to start thinking about how you can use SPR-Biacore technology for your work! 

CBS Cardiff is hosting another free, virtual event focussing on SPR/Biacore application and training presented by Biacore specialist John Sinfield: 

'Biacore SPR Symposium Application Training Day by Cytiva (hosted by CBS)' on Tuesday 11th May. 

Here is the link to register: 

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments. 

                 ------------------------------

Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine - Call for papers

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/expert-reviews-in-molecular-medicine/information/call-for-papers

Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine - Author webinars

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/expert-reviews-in-molecular-medicine/information/author-webinars

Supervision

Protein Biochemistry

Protein-protein interaction

Complement Biology

Blood proteins of the immune and coagulation systems

Blood proteins in the pathophysiology of disease

Current supervision

Genevieve McCluskey

Research student