Meet the EXSEL Scholars

The EXSEL@Leeds scholarship scheme is now in its eleventh year.

Pictured in the research laboratories of Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine are (from left) James Manning, Katy Gray (Heart Research UK) and James Nicholson

Leadership (EXSEL) scholars are undergraduate medical students with research ambitions to become academic clinicians who are supported via a bursary to conduct research during vacation time.

Pictured above in Leeds Institute for Data Analytics are Joe Hart Hart, Dr Karen Lee, Professor Shervanthi Homer-Vanniasinkam, James Nicholson, Tobias Mill and James Manning

The latest scholars appointed are third-year medical students Joe Hart, James Manning, Tobias Mill and James Nicholson. The scholarships of James Manning and James Nicholson are sponsored by Heart Research UK and those of Joe Hart and Tobias Mill by alumni donations and legacies.

The research of James Manning is supervised by Dr Marc Bailey and uses new technology to investigate endothelial cell function. This research is important in understanding how diabetes affects blood vessels. It aims to explore the mechanisms of diabetic complications.

James Nicholson is researching the role of fibrin structure in the breakdown of blood clots. Some clots are resistant to natural breakdown and the consequence of this resistance could be stroke or heart attack. James’s research is supervised by Professor Robert Ariëns.

Joe Hart is exploring molecular changes in Alzheimer’s disease by investigating calcium signalling in pericytes using a novel transgenic Alzheimer’s disease model in the laboratory of Professor Chris Peers.

Tobias Mill is focused on the early diagnosis of acute kidney injury (AKI) and he is supervised by Professor John Colyer (Faculty of Biological Sciences) and Dr Andy Lewington. The research team has identified a novel protein biomarker of AKI which has promising clinical implications.

All our EXSEL scholars pictured at the 2017 celebration event

Professor Shervanthi Homer-Vanniasinkam, EXSEL co-Director, said: “We are delighted and very grateful that, once again, HR UK has so generously supported the EXSEL scholarship programme. This year’s scholars are two promising students whose work is very likely to lead to advances in cardiovascular healthcare, which will benefit us all.”

If you would like to make a donation to the EXSEL scholarship programme please contact the Alumni and Development Team or contact Caroline Bartholomew on 0113 343 2347.