Dr Richard Siow BSc PhD FRSB AKC
Senior Lecturer in Physiology
Vice-Dean International, Faculty of Life Science and Medicine
King's College London
150 Stamford St.
London SE1 9NH
Dr Richard Siow graduated from King’s College, University of London (1993) with a BSc in Nutrition and AKC. He subsequently obtained a PhD in Physiology (1996) at the Centre for Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, King’s College London. Following postdoctoral positions at King’s College and the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, University of Cambridge, he was appointed in 2001 as a Lecturer in Physiology, King's College School of Biomedical & Health Sciences.
He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Cardiovascular Division, British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence and an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. Richard is also the Co-ordinator and Committee Chair of Ageing Research at King’s (ARK), a cross-Faculty consortium of researchers taking a multidisciplinary approach to better understand the mechanisms of ageing and related diseases to improve health-span, clinical translation and the social impact of ageing.
Richard has recently championed the Partnership between King’s and Unilever through his collaborations with their global R&D Centres. He is actively engaged in King’s international partnership activity including academic institutions and industry in Germany, USA, India, China and Singapore as well as being appointed interim Vice-Dean International in March 2017. Richard also established the King’s India Summer Session at Unilever Bangalore, a unique international academic-industry educational initiative.
He is also a committee member of the British Microcirculation Society and the Royal Society of Biology. Other memberships include the British Society for Cardiovascular Research, Physiological Society and Society for Free Radical Research. In addition, he is an adviser to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and Westminster Forum on Diet and Health.
Antioxidant genes in vascular protection
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, restenosis and pre-eclampsia. Reactive oxygen species enhance the expression of protective antioxidant genes such as the transcription factor Nrf2, molecular chaperone heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). The regulation of HO-1 expression is of particular interest as it catabolises the pro-oxidant heme to generate the vasodilator carbon monoxide and antioxidants biliverdin and bilirubin. We are currently investigating whether oxidized lipids, cytokines and growth factors modulate the expression of antioxidant genes thus contributing to vascular dysfunction in atherosclerosis, diabetes and pre-eclampsia.
Dietary antioxidants and phytoestrogens in vascular health
Antioxidant vitamins and phytoestrogens found in soy can reverse impaired vascular relaxation in patients with diabetes and coronary heart disease. We have shown that vitamin C supplementation can inhibit oxidised low-density lipoprotein induced smooth muscle cell death by apoptosis and changes in glutathione levels, the major endogenous intracellular antioxidant. Research on dietary antioxidants and soy phytoestrogens in this lab focuses on reversing endothelial and smooth muscle cell dysfunction associated with diabetes, pre-eclampsia and atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular nutrigenomic approaches are being employed to identify whether dietary factors modulate vascular gene expression to provide mechanistic insights for dietary prevention of vascular diseases.
Vascular gene transfer
Gene transfer techniques are being employed to investigate mechanisms of blood vessel wall remodelling in atherosclerosis and restenosis after balloon angioplasty. Experimental models of adenoviral transfection are being established to over express genes involved in the transforming growth factor signalling pathway, a key contributor to fibroblast and vascular smooth muscle phenotype modulation, migration and proliferation. We are specifically investigating the involvement of adventitial cells in remodelling of diseased vessels and inhibition of these processes by local gene delivery to modulate growth factor and oxidative stress signalling pathways.
- Dr Matthew Smith
- Dr Tom Keely
- Paraskevi-Maria Psefteli
- Phoebe Kitscha
- Oliver Culley
- Marc Lynch