Charlie Scarff

Charlie Scarff


My lab is interested in understanding structural-functional relationships in muscle and how defects in muscle proteins lead to cardiovascular disease. We use an integrative structural biology approach to do this, primarily combining cryo-electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, and mutational analyses with modelling. We are also passionate about the development of integrative structural biology methods for the study of cardiovascualr disease as technology drives research. Our current focus is on studying how mutations in two muscle proteins, beta-cardiac myosin and myosin-binding protein C, lead to the inherited heart disease hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. We also have an interest in dilated cardiomyopathy, diabetic cardiomyopathy and the effects of glycation on muscle proteins, and structure-based drug design. This research will lead to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underpin heart disease, and it is our hope that this will pave the way to better therapies in the future.

Research interests

My research interests are in understanding structural-functional relationships in muscle, myosin and cardiovascular disease and in developing methods in integrative structural biology.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)

HCM affects more than 1 in 500 people and is the most common cause of heart failure in the young. Most people with the disease have mutations in either beta-cardiac myosin heavy chain or myosin-binding protein-c but it is not known how these mutations lead to disease. My research team use an integrated structural biology approach, combining mass spectrometry, biochemical analysis, and cryo-electron microscopy to investigate this. This research will lead to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underpin inherited heart disease, and it is my hope that this will pave the way to better therapies in the future.

Integrative structural biology for the study of cardiovascular disease

I am particulary interested in how electron microscopy-based workflows can be combined with mass spectrometry-based workflows to enable increased understanding of macromolecular complexes involved in cardiovascular disease. 


  • PhD

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Association of Inherited Cardiac Conditions
  • Member of the British Biophysical Society
  • Member of the Biochemical Society
  • Member of the British Mass Spectrometry Society

Student education

Tutor on Integrated Skills in Biosciences Year 1 (BIOL1305)

Lecturer on Advanced Research Topics Module (BMSC5301M)

Lecturer on Human Disease Module (BIOL22011)

Supervisor on MCB Research Projects (MM9640)

Research groups and institutes

  • Multidisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Centre
  • LICAMM - international PhD academy
  • Discovery and Translational Science
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