Dr Sikha Saha

Dr Sikha Saha


I did my PhD in the Department of Physiology at the University of Leeds in 1991 and then joined the Department of Cardiovascular Research as British Heart Foundation postdoctoral research fellow (1991-1995). I become the Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in 2002 and was appointed as Leeds University Senior Research Fellow in 2006.

I was appointed as lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine in the Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine at the University of Leeds in 2010 and became the Fellow of Higher Academy, UK . I also had leading roles at the University first as the Director of International Postgraduate Medical Training (2006- 2012) and then as the Director of Leeds MCRC Impact and Innovation (2015-2018). 

I was promoted to Associate Professor of Cerebrovascular Medicine in 2018.


  • Fellow of the Higher Academy, UK
  • Academic Lead MBChB RESS-SSP-yrs 2/3
  • Ex- Director of MCRC Impact and Innovation

Research interests

My research interest includes investigations of novel targets, metabolic profiling, drug delivery, toxicity testing and development of diagnostic tools for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases using novel in vitro organ flow system and in vivo mammalian models. My most important scientific contributions to date are my innovative ideas of novel in vitro blood brain barrier model and also the development of biophotonic sensor technologies for non-invasive or minimally invasive detection of biomarkers for cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and metabolic diseases. My concept of a novel in vitro blood brain barrier model for biomarker analysis and drug toxicity testing led to active collaboration with an industry and the Queen Mary University of London leading to a successful grant funding from the Innovate UK which was co-funded by the BBSRC.

I am the lead inventor of a biomarker patent (PCT/GB2013/050560) which was published and granted in the USA. I am also co-inventor of a laser based non-invasive glucose sensor technology (PCT/GB2013/050300), patented and granted in the USA and EU. The IP for sensors technology was licensed to a Spin-off Company and the research work was broadcasted by Sky News, BBC, ITV and a number of national and international media. 


  • BSc (Hons) in Physiology, 1st class
  • MSc in Physiology
  • PhD in Physiology
  • FHEA, UK

Professional memberships

  • Panel “Pool of Experts”: BBSRC
  • Associate Editor: Frontriers special edition “Cerebrovascular and Neurodegenerative Diseases.
  • Editorial Board Member: Journal of chemical Neuroanatomy
  • Symposium organiser, Blood brain barrier, 23rd Biennial Meeting, 2019, Milan, Italy
  • Assessor: Innovate UK
  • External Reviewer: French National Research Agency (ANR)
  • Advisory Board Member: International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Plysiology
  • Peer Review Member: ESRC
  • British Society of Cardiovascular Research, UK; European Society for Neurochemistry, UK; International Society for Neurochemistry, Switzerland; Federation of European Neurosciences Societies, Germany
  • The Society for Neuroscience USA; The Physiological Society, UK.; The Physiological Society of India

Student education

I have developed the MBChB year 2 and year 3 RESS-SSP courses to introduce enterprise and entreprenurial skills in Leeds MBChB Course. I have been acting as the Academic Lead for these courses since 2010. I have been delivering lectures to MBChB, BSC Cardiovascular and Neuroscience, BSc Intercalated Cardiovascular Medicine, Health Sciences and Dentistry Students for the last 23 years. I have also been providing personal tutorial guidance to Ist and 2nd year MBChB students for the last 12 years.  

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine
  • Discovery and Translational Science

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/1065-blood-brain-barrier-dysfunction-in-ischemic-stroke">Blood-brain barrier dysfunction in ischemic stroke</a></li>