Dr Victoria Heath MA, DPhil

Dr Victoria Heath

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Lecturer in Molecular Biology

Contact details

Address
Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Institute for Biomedical Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham, B15 2TT

Dr Victoria Heath is interested in the molecular regulation of angiogenesis.  Her work is focused on identifying the roles of various endothelial expressed signalling molecules in endothelial cell biology and in the development of new blood vessels. 

Qualifications

  • MA 1994
  • DPhil 1997

Biography

Victoria Heath is a Lecturer in Molecular Biology in the Institute of Biomedical Research at the University of Birmingham. She did her undergraduate studies in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, followed by a DPhil in the MRC Cellular Immunology Unit in the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at Oxford University. She then did post-doctoral work at both DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, working on cell signalling in T helper cell differentiation and at Stanford University on calcium signalling in budding yeast. She returned to the UK and worked as a Beit Memorial Fellow in the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham studying phosphoinositide signalling before taking up her current post working as part of the Molecular Angiogenesis group. Her work is focused on identifying the roles of various endothelial expressed signalling molecules in endothelial cell biology and in the development of new blood vessels.  

Teaching

Teaching Programmes

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Heath is interested in supervising doctoral research students on the role of the Rho GTPase RhoJ as well other endothelial expressed genes in angiogenesis

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please use the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: dr@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.   

Research

RESEARCH THEMES

Cardiovascular Sciences and Cancer biology

RESEARCH ACTIVITY

Dr Heath is interested in determining the role of novel endothelial expressed genes in endothelial cell biology and angiogenesis. Angiogenesis, the development of new blood vessels, plays a critical role in tumour growth and metastasis as well as in diseases such as atherosclerosis. A current interest of our group is to determine the biological role of RhoJ, a small Rho GTPase, in endothelial cells.   This gene, which is closely related to Cdc42, is highly and specifically expressed in endothelial cells and is involved in regulating endothelial cell movement and in vitro tube formation. We have identified the binding partners of RhoJ and are continuing to explore the molecular regulation of this Rho GTPase and its role in various models of angiogenesis in vivo.  In addition we have identified some novel cell surface proteins involved in angiogenesis and are determining their molecular function and role in vessel formation.

Publications

Wragg JW, Finnity JP, Anderson JA, Ferguson HJ, Porfiri E, Bhatt RI, Murray PG, Heath VL and Bicknell R. (2016) MCAM and LAMA4 are highly enriched in tumor blood vessels of renal cell carcinoma and predict patient outcome. Cancer Res. 2016 Feb 26. pii: canres.1364.2015.

Wilson E, Leszczynska K, Poulter NS, Edelmann F, Salisbury VA, Noy PJ, Bacon A, Rappoport JZ, Heath JK, Bicknell R and Heath VL. (2014) RhoJ interacts with the GIT-PIX complex and regulates focal adhesion disassembly.  J Cell Sci. 127(Pt 14):3039-51.

Kaur S, Leszczynska K, Abraham S, Scarcia M, Hiltbrunner S, Marshall CJ, Mavria G, Bicknell R and Heath VL. (2011) RhoJ/TCL regulates endothelial motility and tube formation and modulates actomyosin contractility and focal adhesion numbers. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 31:657-64

Heath VL, Bicknell R. (2009) Anticancer strategies involving the vasculature. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 6:395-404.

Verissimo AR, Herbert JM, Heath VL, Legg JA, Sheldon H, Andre M, Swain RK and Bicknell R. (2009) Functionally defining the endothelial transcriptome, from Robo4 to ECSCR. Biochem Soc Trans. 37(Pt 6):1214-7.

Sheldon H, Andre M, Legg JA, Heal P, Herbert JM, Sainson R, Sharma AS, Kitajewski JK, Heath VL and Bicknell R. (2008) Active involvement of Robo1 and Robo4 in filopodia formation and endothelial cell motility mediated via WASP and other actin nucleation-promoting factors. FASEB J. 23:513-22.

Herbert JM, Sketel D, Sanderson S, Heath VL and Bicknell R. (2008) A novel method of differential gene expression analysis using multiple cDNA libraries applied to the identification of tumour endothelial genes. BMC Genomics. 9:153

Armstrong LJ, Heath VL, Sanderson S, Kaur S, Beesley JF, Herbert JM, Legg JA, Poulsom R and Bicknell R. (2008) ECSM2, an endothelial specific filamin a binding protein that mediates chemotaxis.Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 28:1640-6