Andy Trafford, BVSc, CertVA, PhD, MRCVS


  • 3.24 Core Technology Facility, 46 Grafton Street

    M13 9NT Manchester

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Cardiovascular health and environmental factors
Cyclic nucleotide signalling

Personal profile


For an overview of Heart and Circulatory Research at The University of Manchester, see

Heart and Circulatory Research @ Manchester


About me:

BVSc Liverpool - 1991

After a short time in a mixed equine and small animal hospital practice in Staffordshire returned to Liverpool as a Wellcome Veterinary Clinical Training Scholar to complete the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Certificate in Veterinary Anaesthesia and a PhD in Cardiac Phsyiology within the Veterinary Faculty.

Certificate in Veterinary Anaesthesia - 1994

PhD, Liverpool - 1996

Lectureship in Veterinary Biology - Liverpool - 1998

Lectureship in Cardiac Electrophysiology - Manchester - 1999

Senior Lectureship, Manchester - 2005

Wellcome Prize (Physiological Society) - 2008

Professor of Cardiac Pathophysiology - 2011

British Heart Foundation Senior Basic Science Research Fellow - 2012

Fellow Royal Society of Biology - 2018

Fellow of The International Society for Heart Research - 2021


I am Professor of Cardiac Pathophysiology (since 2011). 

Research: My group uses a multidisciplinary integrative physiology approach to understand the mechanisms that control cardiac function and how this is perturbed in disease. Our expertise spans whole animal in vivo methodologies to assess cardiac function and electrophysiology, whole heart optical mapping, single cell electrophysiology and intracellular ion concentration measurements, super resolution imaging (STORM) and molecular aspects of the control and dysregulation of cardiac function.

My research is currently supported by awards from The British Heart Foundation, Medical Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council, National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) and, The Dowager Countess Eleanor Peel Trust.

Postgraduate Students: I currently act as primary supervisor for 6 PhD students and a Clinical Research Training Fellow with two additional PhD students awaiting their final viva voce. I have supervised (primary supervisor) 18 PhDs and 2 MPhil to completion (100 % submission and completion on time).

Teaching: I deliver both lectures and practical classes to undergraduate Biological Sciences and Pharmacology students and offer a number of undergraduate and post-graduate taught laboratory rotations each year.

Administration: I am currently the Vice Dean for Research and Innovation,  Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. I am also Deputy Academic Lead for The Biomedical Services Facility and sit on several University and Faculty Committees. Effective September 2021 I am also a member of The University of Manchester Senate.

External Roles:  I am Co-Chair of The Physiological Society In Vivo Task Force and a member of The Royal Society of Biology Animal Sciences Group and UK Biosciences Coalition. I am an ad hoc reviewer for several national and international grant panels and a member of Frontiers and Europace editorial boards.


Research interests

My research interests are founded on understanding the mechanisms that control cardiac function, how these are perturbed in disease and, the development of novel therapeutic approaches to treat and manage heart diseases such as heart failure.

Diseases of the cardiovascular system remain a leading cause of morbidity and mortality and conditions such as heart failure have worse five-year survival outcomes that the common cancers. In general terms the two main causes of death in patients with heart disease are arrhythmias (sudden cardiac death) and contractile failure (heart failure). In both of these cases there is a central role for the mis-regulation of intracellular calcium levels within cardiac myocytes.

My research group use an interdisciplinary integrative physiology approach to understand the factors that lead to these alterations in cellular calcium homeostasis and identify novel pathways for treatment.

Our research methodology incorporates whole animal in vivo methodology in translationally relevant large animal models of heart disease including heart failure (both with reduced and preserved ejection fraction), myocardial ischaemia and atrial fibrillation. We extend this with organ level (optical mapping), cellular (patch clamp and ion concentration measurements), super resolution imaging (STORM) and molecular biology assessments to elucidate the bases of calcium mismanagement.

Our current research themes addressing these questions include the impact of ageing, inflammation, phosophodiesterase (PDE5) activity and cyclic nucleotide signalling. Some of our more recent work has identified a pivotal role for cGMP and PDE5 as therapeutic targets in heart failure and as antiarrhythmic agents.


Heart Failure (HFrEF, HFpEF), Myocardial Ischaemia, Ageing, Atrial Fibrillation, STORM, Arrhythmias, Calcium, Phosphodiesterase, Cyclic Nucleotide


Undergraduate lectures (Cardiovascular Systems in Health and Disease)

Undergraduate laboratory projects (3rd Year)

Dissertations (MSci & 2nd year undergraduate)

MSci project supervisions

MRes laboratory rotations and projects

My collaborations


Elizabeth Murphy  - National Institute of Health, Maryland USA

Dr Katharine Dibb - Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Manchester

Holly Shiels - University of Manchester, Faculty of Life Sciences

Professor David Eisner - Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Manchester

Dr Pawel Swietach - University of Oxford

Professor William Louch - University of Oslo

Dr Mathis Stokke - University of Oslo

Professor Dino Giussani - University of Cambridge

Dr Gina Galli - University of Manchester

Dr Luigi Venetucci - University of Manchester

Dr Christian Pinali - University of Manchester

Professor David Bechtold - University of Manchester

Professor Gordon McFiggans - University of Manchester

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS)

The Physiological Society

British Society for Cardiovascular Research

International Society for Heart Research

Royal Society of Biology (Fellow, 2018)

Methodological knowledge

Cellular electrophysiology - single cell voltage / current clamp

Whole heart optical mapping - dual voltage and calcium imaging

Super resolution microscopy - Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy

Intracellular ion measurements - fluorescence microscopy

in vivo techniques - remote telemetry, electrophysiology, conductance catherterisation, pulse wave velocity analysis

Confocal microscopy - assessments of cellular and tissue structure and high resolution imaging of intracellular calcium concentration

Molecular biology & histology - protein and gene changes in the heart, siRNA gene silencing, cell culture, extracellular matrix turnover

Translational models of heart disease - Heart failure, ageing, atrial fibrillation, myocardial ischaemia, vagal nerve stimulation, heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.


Bachelor Veterinary Science (commendation).  University of Liverpool 1991

Certificate in Veterinary Anaesthesia. Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons 1994

Doctor of Philosophy. University of Liverpool 1996

Media contributions and coverage




Self Funded PhD Opportunties

We are always willing to discuss self-funded PhD opportunities with potential candidates.  Please email me to make initial enquiries.

The types of projects that we can offer include:

  • Elucidating the adverse cadiovascular effects of environmental pollutants
  • The application of super resolution correlative imaging (STORM, EM, epifluorescence) to understand the factors regulating ion channel organisation and function
  • 3Rs approaches to replace or reduce the use of animals in heart failure research or refine current experimental methodologies
  • Cyclic nucleotide signalling in the healthy and diseased heart
  • Inflammation in heart disease

Prizes and awards

  • Wellcome Prize in Physiology (2008)
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Biology (2018) 
  • Fellow, International Society for Heart Reserch (2021)


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

External positions

Editorial Board, Europace

In Vivo Sub-Committee, The Physiological Society

Animal Sciences Group, The Royal Society of Biology

Editorial Board, Frontiers in Physiology

UK Biosciences Coalition Member

Areas of expertise

  • QP Physiology
  • Heart
  • Calcium
  • Heart Failure
  • Electrophysiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Transverse Tubules

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Policy@Manchester
  • Advanced materials
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Lydia Becker Institute
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Henry Royce Institute
  • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute
  • Photon Science Institute


  • Heart Failure
  • Calcium
  • Transverse tubules
  • Animal Models
  • Electrophysiology
  • Collagen
  • Pollution
  • Climate and Health


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