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Dr. Kirsten Riches-Suman

Information about Dr. Kirsten Riches-Suman at the University of Bradford.

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I studied undergraduate BSc (Hons) Biology (Molecular and Cellular) at the University of Huddersfield and graduated with first class honours in 2003. I then worked at the University of Bradford as a research technician until 2005, when I started my PhD in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Leeds under the supervision of Dr Karen Porter and Prof Chris Peers. My work during this time resulted in 3 publications and multiple awards at national and international conferences. After completing my PhD in early 2009, I worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Porter lab. This gave me essential training not only in various laboratory techniques, but also in composing grant applications, writing papers, establishing collaborations and supervising students. In November 2015 I started at the University of Bradford as a Lecturer in Biochemistry. In 2018 I graduated with a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice (distinction) and was awarded fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. In 2018 I my specialism changed to Lecturer in Biomedical Science to better reflect the teaching that I undertake.


The prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is growing at an alarming rate throughout the world, and new treatments are desperately needed to help these patients cope with the complications that come with T2DM. These patients have a much greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, have poorer outcomes following cardiac surgery, and have problems with wound healing. All of this is very distressing for the patient and also has a big financial impact on the NHS. The over-arching theme of my research interests is how diabetes can impact on cell behaviour (‘phenotype’), and examine the molecular mechanisms underlying this. In the future, this will help us to design new therapies to improve the quality of life and care for patients with diabetes. I have previously researched the phenotypic differences in cardiovascular cells that are involved in diabetic cardiomyopathy (cardiac fibroblasts) and coronary artery bypass graft surgery (smooth muscle and endothelial cells from veins). This work has identified molecular signatures of these phenotypes and work is currently been carried out both here (with Prof. Tim Palmer, Pharmacy) and with collaborators at the University of Leeds to further this understanding. I am now looking at a different form of diabetes - gestational diabetes (GDM) – and how this can affect the smooth muscle cells in the umbilical artery. GDM normally goes away once the baby is born, but both the mother and child are at an increased risk of developing T2DM. This is a very exciting piece of work; my previous studies all looked at cells from patients who had suffered from diabetes for a long period of time. In this GDM project, the maximum duration of diabetes will have been 9 months and so it will allow us to find out how quickly phenotypic changes can occur after the onset of diabetes. Patients with T2DM have problems with wound healing so I am also interested in how the factors in the circulation of T2DM patients (such as high levels of glucose, free fatty acids, inflammatory mediators) may alter the phenotype of cells that are involved in wound healing. I am working with in the Centre for Skin Sciences to try and explain the molecular changes that underlie this phenomenon.

Research collaborators

Information about people or organisations that Dr. Kirsten Riches-Suman collaborates with.
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Details on teaching interests, highlights and modules are available for Dr. Kirsten Riches-Suman as follows:

Teaching interests

My teaching interests are the biological basis of disease. This encompasses genetics, biochemistry and pathology of diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes - their aetiology, presentation and treatment. I am passionate about engaging students in their teaching and as such use active learning techniques which have been flagged as examples of best practice by students.

Teaching highlights

Nominated for Vice Chancellor's Excellence Award for my teaching in 2018.Nominated for Best Lecturer and Most Helpful Lecturer by students in 2017.

Professional activities

Information about education, employment and areas of particular interest for Dr. Kirsten Riches-Suman is as follows:


There are 1 publications involving or that are attributed to Dr. Kirsten Riches-Suman.

Uncategorised publications

Dr. Kirsten Riches-Suman has 1 publication(s) listed under uncategorised publications.
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