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5 minutes with… Kaloyan Takov

Kaloyan Takov is a Research Associate in School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine & Sciences. We spent five minutes with him to learn more about his cardiovascular research, his love of gardening, and much more.

Kaloyan Takov 5 mins 2 780x440

Briefly, tell us about your background and career up to this point?

I am originally from Bulgaria. By training, I am a biomedical scientist with a degree in pharmacology from The University of Edinburgh – a fantastic place to be, for both studies and leisure. I became fascinated by cardiovascular science during my undergraduate years, so a PhD in cardiovascular medicine was the natural course for me. I pursued this at University College London where I spent four great years examining the cardioprotective potential of exosomes, small vesicles released by all cell types into the extracellular milieu.

I was then fortunate to move for a postdoc at King’s shortly before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am now working with Professor Manuel Mayr, pushing the boundaries of the fields of extracellular vesicles and lipoproteins by using state-of-art proteomics techniques.

Looking back, what has the pandemic and resulting lockdowns taught you?

That working together (even remotely) towards a common goal can solve virtually any problem. This has applied to vaccine development, my work and the work of my colleagues, my family life, and to a society that tackled a huge challenge by being considerate and responsible.

What is the best thing about the return to ‘normality’ we are now experiencing?

The freedom to meet people in person. The scientific community has suffered immensely from not just the lack of international meetings and conferences, but those smaller lab meetings and one-to-one, in-person discussions. The return to normality has fixed this problem so far. Of course, this is true for meeting friends and pub visits, too!

What do you think people in the School would find most surprising about you?

I am a keen gardener, making the most of my back garden by growing my own herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Do you have any current projects that you’d like to tell us about?

One of the most intriguing projects I am working on is a study of a circulating lipid nanoparticle called lipoprotein(a). This particle carries an independent risk for developing cardiovascular complications. Yet no one really understands its physiological role.

I am now on an exciting journey of trying to decipher this by investigating what other proteins physically interact with this particle and how they affect its function. Various experimental means have been developed for this project, and they are also being applied to other ongoing studies in the lab on extracellular vesicles, protein complexes, and non-coding RNAs as biomarkers for cardiovascular disease.

What do you do with your time outside academia?

Cooking, baking bread, and more recently DIYing.

What is something positive that has happened to you in 2021?

Professionally, the publication of our COVID-19 research work. Personally, I got married!


Favourite cuisine: Italian. I am a fan of various cuisines but Italians know best how to cook and eat

Netflix recommendation: War documentaries

Coffee order: Cappuccino/flat white

One thing you could not go a day without: Coffee, of course :)

In this story

Kaloyan Takov

Kaloyan Takov

Research Associate

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