Dr Katja Gehmlich

Katja Gehmlich

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
Univeristy of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr. Katja Gehmlich is Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences.

She is interested in how genetic variants in genes coding for proteins involved in biomechanical stress signalling cause inherited cardiac conditions (cardiomyopathies). She employs molecular, biophysical, cellular and in vivo models in her research. In particular she is interested in using induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes in her research.



  • PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in Cell Biology 2005

  • Diploma (MSc equivalent) in Chemistry 2001


Dr. Katja Gehmlich graduated with a Diploma in Chemistry (with Molecular and Cellular Biology) from the University of Potsdam, Germany in 2001. She received a PhD in Cell Biology from the same university in 2005.

Dr Gehmlich came to the UK for her postdoctoral training and work at the University of Manchester (2005-2007), University College London (2007 – 2010) and University of Oxford (2010 – 2013).

She was awarded a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Basic Science Research Fellowship (2013 – 2020). She received the title University Research Lecturer from the University of Oxford in 2016 and became Associate Professor in 2018. She has an active secondary affiliation with Cardiovascular Medicine in the Radcliffe Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford.

She has a long standing interest in the cardiac system with focus on inherited cardiac conditions (cardiomyopathies) and bio-mechanical stress signalling.


Dr. Katja Gehmlich has extensive experience in supervision of undergraduate research students.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr. Katja Gehmlich has supervised numerous postgraduate students (2 completed, one active).

She accepts PhD students in her group, e.g. with interest in projects using induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes to understand biomechanical stress signalling in the heart.


Dr. Katja Gehmlich has a long standing interest into striated muscle systems.

Her research pursues the following questions:

  • What is the role of certain signalling proteins in the heart?
  • What are the consequences of genetic variants in these proteins? How do they cause inherited cardiac conditions (called cardiomyopathies)?
  • Can these diseases be modelled with the help of in vivo models and/or induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes?

Dr Gehmlich collaborates with other research groups such as:

Other activities

Dr. Katja Gehmlich is peer reviewer for various International journals and funding agencies. She is member of the editorial board of Biophysical Reviews.


Recent publications


Hall, C, Gehmlich, K, Denning, C & Pavlovic, D 2021, 'Complex relationship between cardiac fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes in health and disease', Journal of the American Heart Association, vol. 10, no. 5, e019338. https://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.019338

Jiang, H, Hooper, C, Kelly, M, Steeples, V, Simon, J, Beglov, J, Azad, A, Leinhos, L, Bennett, P, Ehler, E, Kalisch-Smith, J, Sparrow, D, Fischer, R, Heilig, R, Isackson, H, Ehsan, M, Patone, G, Huebner, N, Davies, B, Watkins, H & Gehmlich, K 2021, 'Functional analysis of a gene-edited mouse model to gain insights into the disease mechanisms of a titin missense variant', Basic research in cardiology, vol. 116, no. 1, 14, pp. 14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00395-021-00853-z

Collier, MP, Alderson, TR, de Villiers, CP, Nicholls, D, Gastall, HY, Allison, TM, Degiacomi, MT, Jiang, H, Mlynek, G, Furst, DO, van der Ven, PFM, Djinovic-Carugo, K, Baldwin, AJ, Watkins, H, Gehmlich, K & Benesch, JLP 2019, 'HspB1 phosphorylation regulates its intramolecular dynamics and mechanosensitive molecular chaperone interaction with filamin C', Science Advances, vol. 5, no. 5, eaav8421. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aav8421

Azad, A, Poloni, G, Sontayananon, N, Jiang, H & Gehmlich, K 2019, 'The giant titin: how to evaluate its role in cardiomyopathies', Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 159-167. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10974-019-09518-w

Ehsan, M, Kelly, M, Hooper, C, Yavari, A, Beglov, J, Bellahcene, M, Ghataorhe, K, Poloni, G, Goel, A, Kyriakou, T, Fleischanderl, K, Ehler, E, Makeyev, E, Lange, S, Ashrafian, H, Redwood, C, Davies, B, Watkins, H & Gehmlich, K 2018, 'Mutant muscle LIM protein C58G causes cardiomyopathy through protein depletion', Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, vol. 121, pp. 287-296. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yjmcc.2018.07.248

Gehmlich, K & Ehler, E 2018, 'Non-sarcomeric causes of heart failure', Biophysical Reviews, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 943-947. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12551-018-0444-1

Smart, N, Riegler, J, Turtle, CW, Lygate, CA, McAndrew, DJ, Gehmlich, K, Dubé, KN, Price, AN, Muthurangu, V, Taylor, AM, Lythgoe, MF, Redwood, C & Riley, PR 2017, 'Aberrant developmental titin splicing and dysregulated sarcomere length in Thymosin β4 knockout mice', Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, vol. 102, pp. 94-107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yjmcc.2016.10.010

Rowlands, CT, Owen, T, Lawal, S, Cao, S, Pandey, SS, Yang, H-Y, Song, W, Wilkinson, R, Alvarez-Laviada, A, Gehmlich, K, Marston, SB & MacLeod, KT 2017, 'Age- and strain-related aberrant Ca2+ release is associated with sudden cardiac death in the ACTC E99K mouse model of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy', American Journal of Physiology Heart and Circulatory Physiology, vol. 313, no. 6, pp. H1213-H1226. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00244.2017

Yavari, A, Bellahcene, M, Bucchi, A, Sirenko, S, Pinter, K, Herring, N, Jung, JJ, Tarasov, KV, Sharpe, EJ, Wolfien, M, Czibik, G, Steeples, V, Ghaffari, S, Nguyen, C, Stockenhuber, A, St Clair, JR, Rimmbach, C, Okamoto, Y, Yang, D, Wang, M, Ziman, BD, Moen, JM, Riordon, DR, Ramirez, C, Paina, M, Lee, J, Zhang, J, Ahmet, I, Matt, MG, Tarasova, YS, Baban, D, Sahgal, N, Lockstone, H, Puliyadi, R, de Bono, J, Siggs, OM, Gomes, J, Muskett, H, Maguire, ML, Beglov, Y, Kelly, M, Dos Santos, PPN, Bright, NJ, Woods, A, Gehmlich, K, Isackson, H, Douglas, G, Ferguson, DJP, Schneider, JE, Tinker, A, Wolkenhauer, O, Channon, KM, Cornall, RJ, Sternick, EB, Paterson, DJ, Redwood, CS, Carling, D, Proenza, C, David, R, Baruscotti, M, DiFrancesco, D, Lakatta, EG, Watkins, H & Ashrafian, H 2017, 'Mammalian γ2 AMPK regulates intrinsic heart rate', Nature Communications, vol. 8, no. 1, 1258. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01342-5

Hastings, R, de Villiers, CP, Hooper, C, Ormondroyd, L, Pagnamenta, A, Lise, S, Salatino, S, Knight, SJL, Taylor, JC, Thomson, KL, Arnold, L, Chatziefthimiou, SD, Konarev, PV, Wilmanns, M, Ehler, E, Ghisleni, A, Gautel, M, Blair, E, Watkins, H & Gehmlich, K 2016, 'Combination of whole genome sequencing, linkage, and functional studies implicates a missense mutation in titin as a cause of autosomal dominant cardiomyopathy with features of left ventricular noncompaction', Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 426-435. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.116.001431

Review article

Wadmore, K, Azad, A & Gehmlich, K 2021, 'The role of Z-disc proteins in myopathy and cardiomyopathy', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 22, no. 6, 3058. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22063058

Sontayananon, N, Redwood, C, Davies, B & Gehmlich, K 2020, 'Fluorescent PSC-derived cardiomyocyte reporter lines: generation approaches and their applications in cardiovascular medicine', Biology, vol. 9, no. 11, 402. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9110402

Boycott, H, Nguyen, M, Vrellaku, B, Gehmlich, K & Robinson, P 2020, 'Nitric oxide and mechano-electrical transduction in cardiomyocytes', Frontiers in Physiology, vol. 11, 606740. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.606740

Vimalanathan, AK, Ehler, E & Gehmlich, K 2018, 'Genetics of and pathogenic mechanisms in arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy', Biophysical Reviews, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 973-982. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12551-018-0437-0

Ehsan, M, Jiang, H, L Thomson, K & Gehmlich, K 2017, 'When signalling goes wrong: pathogenic variants in structural and signalling proteins causing cardiomyopathies', Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility, vol. 38, no. 3-4, pp. 303-316. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10974-017-9487-3

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