Faculty of Biological Sciences

Prof Asipu Sivaprasadarao

BSc, PhD 1987, Leeds.
Professor of Membrane Biology
School of Biomedical Sciences

Background: BSc, MSc (Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India); PhD (Leeds; Commonwealth Fellow); Professor of Membrane Biology

Contact:  Garstang G6.44d, +44(0) 113 34 34326, email address for  

You can read more about Prof Sivaprasadarao's interests here:
Integrative Membrane Biology

Research Interests

Research theme: Ion channels and Human Diseases

Aging is a major risk factor for most late-onset illnesses including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular (high blood pressure, heart attack) and neuronal (stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) diseases. Interestingly, many of the diseases are interconnected- for example, diabetes is strongly associated with the risk of cardiovascular and neuronal disorders.

At the cellular level, aging leads to decline in mitochondrial health, resulting in increased production of reactive oxygen species and reduced production of ATP. These cellular changes affect the health of individual tissues and the quality of life as we age.

Our overarching goal is to understand the mechanism(s) by which reactive oxygen species affect the structure and function of mitochondria. The idea is to translate this knowledge to develop new medicines to improve the quality of life as we grow older. The focus will be on how ion channels regulate mitochondrial biology and disease outcome.

Our strategy is to build on our long-standing experience in the appreciation of cell biological and molecular basis of human diseases. We will combine the traditional cell biological and molecular approaches with emerging technologies (super-resolution microscopy; CRISPR/Cas9) and in vivo (transgenic) methods. With medicinal chemists we are developing new chemicals to prevent diseases such as diabetes.

Collaborators: We aim to achieve our goals through multi-disciplinary collaborative research.

For diabetes, we collaborate with clinical scientists: Prof. MT Kearney, Prof. DJ Beech, and Dr SB Wheatcroft.

For Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, we collaborate with Dr Lin-Hua Jiang, Dr James Duce and Dr Stephen Clapcote.

For drug discovery research, we collaborate with the medicinal chemist, Dr Richard Foster.

For structural biology of ion channels, we collaborate with Prof. A. Goldman and Dr S Muench

Techniques to be used:

General molecular cloning techniques; Immunochemistry: confocal and super-resolution microscopy, live cell imaging, calcium imaging; in vivo techniques, including transgenics; protein expression and purification.

Funding: We thank the Wellcome Trust, MRC, British heart Foundation, GSK, and Millipore for supporting our research.


Current Projects

  1. Role of ion channels in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Regulation of mitochondrial dynamics in cardiovascular diseases
  3. Developing novel therapeutics to treat diabetes
  4. Role of ion channels in cancer cell migration


Applications are invited for Masters by Research and PhD degree programmes in the above topics. 


Faculty Research and Innovation

Studentship information

Undergraduate project topics:

  • Ion channels in human diseases, including diabetes, Parkinson's and cancer

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • Role of ion channels in mitochondrial dynamics and human diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular and neuronal).

See also:

Modules managed

BMSC2230 - Topics in Pharmacology

Modules taught

BIOW5906X - Theory, computation and bioinformatics
BMSC1110 - Foundations of Biomedical Sciences
BMSC1212 - Introduction to Pharmacology
BMSC1213 - Basic Laboratory and Scientific Skills 2
BMSC2120 - Scientific Skills
BMSC2230 - Topics in Pharmacology
BMSC3101 - Inherited Disorders
BMSC3143/44/45/46 - Advanced topics for BMS students I
BMSC3233/34/35/36 - Advanced topics for BMS students II
BMSC3301 - Research Project in Biomedical Sciences
BMSC3399 - Extended Research Project Preparation

Centre membership: The Multidisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Centre (MCRC)


Anthony Chan (Primary supervisor) 70% FTE
Matthias Gantner (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE
Sophie Hesketh (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE
Xin Li (Co-supervisor) 25% FTE
Andrew Tsatsanis (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE