- Position: Reader in Human Disease Biology
- Areas of expertise: Cardiovascular disease, cancer, angiogenesis, endothelium, signal transduction, membrane receptors, trafficking, ubiquitination, proteolysis, VEGF, VEGFR, LOX-1 scavenger receptor
- Email: S.Ponnambalam@leeds.ac.uk
- Phone: +44(0)113 343 3007
- Location: 6.44c Garstang
1984-1988 Biochemistry Ph.D., University of Birmingham, UK
1981-1984 Biochemistry B.Sc. (Hons.) Class 2.1, University of Birmingham, UK
2011-Present Reader in Human Disease Biology, School of Molecular & Cellular Biology.
2005-2011 Senior Lecturer in Molecular Cell Biology, School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of Leeds, UK.
2000-2005 Lecturer in Molecular Cell Biology, School of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Leeds, UK.
1995-2000 Medical Research Council Senior Non-Clinical Research Fellow & Principal Investigator, Division of Immunology & Cell Biology, Wellcome Trust Biocentre, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, UK.
1991-1995 CRUK Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. Graham Warren FRS (now Director of the Max Perutz Laboratories, Vienna, Austria), Cancer Research UK, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, UK.
1988-1991 Seebe Fund Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. Peter Parham FRS, Dept. of Structural Biology, Stanford University Medical School, Stanford, USA.
1984-1988 PhD student with Prof. Steve Busby FRS, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
2009-1010 Yorkshire Enterprise Fellowship on ‘Human vascular tools for diagnostics and therapeutics’, University of Leeds, UK
1995-2000 MRC Senior Non-Clinical Research Fellowship on ‘Mechanisms of Protein Localisation to the Mammalian Trans-Golgi Network’, University of Dundee, UK.
1991-1995 Cancer Research UK Research Fellowship, Cancer Research UK, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, UK.
1988-1989 Seebe Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship, Dept. of Structural Biology, Stanford University Medical School, USA.
1984-1987 BBSRC PhD Award, University of Birmingham, U.K.
2019-Present Biology Editorial Board
2017-Present Trustee of the British Society for Cell Biology
2015-Present Cells Editorial Board
2009-Present Biochemical Journal Editorial Board
2020-2021 Committee Member of British Society for Cell Biology
2016-2020 Secretary of the British Society for Cell Biology
2015-2016 Committee Member of British Society for Cell Biology
2012-2017 Editorial Board, Scientific Reports (Nature series journal)
2006-2018 Heart Research UK Translational Research Panel
2002-2020 Editorial Advisory Panel, Molecular Membrane Biology
2002-2005 Heart Research UK Basic Science Non-Clinical Panel
2004-2009 Editorial Advisory Panel Member, Biochemical Journal
- Faculty International Postgraduate Research Admissions Tutor
- Postgraduate Research Admissions Tutor School of Mol. Cell. Biol.
The citations of my 120 scientific peer-reviewed outputs has led to a current Web of Science H-index=36 (3800 citations) and Google Scholar H-index=45 (5390 citations). I am an expert in cell biology and vascular disease with public cell biology roles, meeting presentations and international collaborations.
British Society of Cell Biology: I was BSCB Secretary (2016-2020) and Committee member (2015-216; 2020-2021). As BSCB Secretary, I carried out BSCB President directives, societal strategy and implemented different activities. I organised BSCB committee meetings, and voting for the Hooke Medal, the Women in Cell Biology Medal, the Raff Medal (for PhD students), the BSCB Postdoctoral Medal. I initiated periodic discussions to review BSCB operations and finance, and promoted close liaisions with the Biochemical Society and British Society for Developmental Biology. I am a BSCB Trustee.
International Science Exchange: A current project on calcium-regulated vascular gene expression is with the Wuhan University of Science and Technology (Royal Society IEC, 2019-2022). SP visited WUST (Sept. 2019), receiving an honorary appointment as WUST Professor (2019-2022). This project has produced two publications (Dai et al., Aging 2021a; Dai et al., Aging 2021b), with two manuscripts under review.
International presentations: British Pharmacological Society (London, 2014), Society for the Study of Inborn Errors of Metabolism (Innsbruck, Austria, 2014), Biochemical Society 75th Harden Conference (Sheffield, UK, 2013), International Society for Neurochemistry (Acitrezza, Sicily, 2010), Biochemical Society Focused Meeting (Chester, UK, 2009), Gordon Research Conference (New Hampshire, 2008). Overseas research seminars include Dow Chemical Co. (San Diego, USA, 2008), Vellore Institute of Technology (India, 2008), A*STAR Institute of Molecular & Cellular Biology (Singapore, 2008, 2015) and Humanitas Medical University (Milan, Italy, 2016). A Biochemical Society education webinar is available online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxVuaEaGsGM&t=108s).
International and regional meetings organiser: I organised the 2009 Biochemical Society Focused Meeting on ‘The molecular and cellular basis of angiogenesis’ (Chester, UK) and 2013 Biochemical Society 75th Harden Conference ‘Receptor tyrosine kinase structure and function in health and disease’ (Sheffield, UK). I also organised the 2008 North of England Cell Biology Forum (Leeds), 1-day Leeds Bioimaging Symposium (2004) and biannual Yorkshire Vascular Biology Forum (2005-2010) between vascular biology researchers in UoL and University of Bradford.
Reviewer of grant applications and PhD examiner: I review both UK and international grant and fellowship applications to the BBSRC, MRC, British Heart Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Heart Research UK and overseas agencies. I served >10 yrs on the Heart Research UK Translational Research Panel. I was external PhD examiner in the UK (10 times) and overseas (Humanitas University, Milan, Italy; University of Cape Town, South Africa). I was internal PhD examiner for UoL (13 times) and University of Dundee (2 times).
Current Funding Sources: British Heart Foundation, Royal Society, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, University of Leeds, Government of India.
Past Funding Sources: from British Heart Foundation, Brunei Government, The Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, BBSRC, EU, Heart Research UK, Circulation Foundation, Association for International Cancer Research, Leverhulme Trust, AstraZeneca, Pfizer Global Inc., Yorkshire Enterprise, White Rose, Royal Society.
- 2.1 Biochemistry BSc (Hons.), Univ. Birmingham, 1984
- Biochemistry PhD, Univ. Birmingham, 1988
- Biochemical Society
- British Society for Cell Biology
Undergraduate Teaching and Lectures
I deliver biochemistry and cell biology teaching across different degree programmes. I was module manager of Level 3 core modules ‘Molecular Cell Biology & Structural Molecular Biology’ (2002-2011) and ‘Advanced Skills for the Biosciences’ (2011-2018) for Biochem, Med Biochem and Biol Sci programmes. In BIOL3305, I implemented quantitative and qualitative data-handling, experimental research paper presentations, and two exam papers i.e. data-handling and analysing an experimental research paper. I am deputy for Level 2 module ‘Membranes & Signalling’ (2021-present) taken by different degree programmes.
I delivered new Level 3 Advanced Topics Units e.g. ‘Building Blood Vessels: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly’ (2006-2016) and ‘Signal Transduction in Cancer & Heart Disease’ (2016-present) with guest lecturers from FBS (Riobo del Galdo, Walker), Leeds clinicians and external visitor (Odell, York St. John University),
I support teaching for other FBS schools and Faculty of Medicine & Health. I provided 10-week literature review projects for Medical Sciences Level 3 (2006-2012) and Level 1 tutorials (2017-present). I gave lectures and tutorials for 1st year medics (2006-20012).
Practical BSc and MSc teaching
I supervise laboratory, literature and bioinformatics BSc, MBiol and MSc projects (2001-present). BSc, MSc projects are ~10-12 weeks, with MBiol projects over 2 semesters. I have implemented new cell biology practicals using fluorescent human cancer cell lines. Sakaue-Sawano et al. (2008) Cell 132:487 constructed the Fluorescent Ubquitinated Cell Cycle Indicator (FUCCI), for live visualisation of cell growth and division. I used this in our research (Fearnley et al. Cell Signal 2020) and developed a robust human epithelial cancer cell line (A431-FUCCI) for teaching cell biology practicals comprising theory, experimental planning, cell culture, microscopy, biochemistry, quantification and statistics. This practical has been implemented (2017-present) for many BSc programmes in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.
MSc Teaching. Lectures and Tutorials
I supervise 12-week research projects, lectures and tutorials on the Bioscience MSc, Infection & Immunity MSc and Biopharmaceutical Research MSc degrees. I supervise 1-2 MSc project students annually working on vascular cell biology, cancer biology, and cancer bioinformatics. I give MSc lectures on cardiovascular disease mechanisms and therapeutics, mark grant proposals (Bioscience MSc; 2018-present), supervise tutorials, mark essays and projects (Biopharm Res MSc; 2017-present). I mark MSc research project theses and undertake vivas.
Postgraduate Research (PGR) Administration
I am FBS International PGR Admissions Tutor (2012-present), Deputy Director PGR (2021-Present; MCB PGR Admissions) and on FBS Graduate School Committee (2012-present). I served on the UoL Postgraduate Study Audit Group (2015-2018).
Research groups and institutes
- Multidisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Centre