Elizabeth Cartwright

Elizabeth Cartwright


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    M13 9PT Manchester

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Personal profile


Head of Division of Cardiovascular Sciences

Research: My role as a Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences is multi-faceted; principally I carry out research into the molecular basis of left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure using a combination of transgenesis and gene knockout technologies, molecular biology and analysis of cardiac physiology. Much of this research is carried out in collaboration with a number of post-graduate students under my supervision and is funded by grants from British Heart Foundation and MRC. 

British Heart Foundation 4 year PhD programme: I am the Programme Director of the British Heart Foundation 4 year PhD programme at the University of Manchester. In the first year of the 4 year BHF PhD programme the students undertake an MRes in Cardiovascular Sciences. This introduces students to a combination of taught and mini project research options designed to develop theoretical knowledge and practical training in a broad range of research methodologies, disciplines and subject areas, before undertaking a full PhD project. 


Teaching: I enjoy teaching postgraduate, undergraduate and foundation students. I lead the pre-medical and pre-dental programmes; am a PBL and PEP tutor and lecturer for the year 1 MBChB students; and I am supervisor for 3rd year APEP projects and final year projects for bioscience students. As well as leading the MRes in Cardiovascular Sciences I act as a tutor and project supervisor to these and other PGT students.

I would be very happy to hear from potential students with an interest in pursuing an academic career studying the molecular basis of left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure.

Current roles at the University of Manchester

Head of Division of Cardiovascular Sciences

Programme Director of British Heart Foundation 4 year PhD programme

Programme Director of MRes in Cardiovascular Sciences

Academic Lead for Pre-medical and Pre-dental Programmes

Member of the Research Staff Strategy Group




1995 - PhD:  University of Manchester

Studied gene expression during heart development with Prof. Paul T. Sharpe

1994 - 2002: Research Fellow - University of Leeds

Studied the function of genes involved in the progression of gastro-intestinal cancer with Dr P. Louise Coletta and Prof. Sir Alex Markham

2002 - 2011: Lecturer - University of Manchester

Joined the Heart Failure Group to study the function of genes involved in the progression of heart failure with Prof. Ludwig Neyses

2011 to 2017: Senior Lecturer - University of Manchester

2017 to 2021: Reader - University of Manchester

2021 to date: Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences - University of Manchester

Research interests

Molecular basis of left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure

Heart failure (HF) is one of the commonest causes of severe morbidity and mortality worldwide; up to one million patients suffer from heart failure in the alone. Left ventricular dysfunction (LVD), which is generally considered the precursor of the most severe forms of heart failure, is even more prevalent affecting up to 3-5% of the population. The focus of this laboratory is to identify the underlying molecular mechanisms of heart failure which will lead to improved understanding of its pathophysiology, and ultimately improved detection methods and treatment strategies.

Identification of novel genes relevant to left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure

One focus of this group is to identify novel genes, or genes as yet unassociated with LVD and HF. Identification and characterisation of new models of LVD and HF and identification of the underlying gene mutations will improve our understanding of the complex pathophysiological processes that lead to these conditions.

Role of the plasma membrane calcium pump in the heart

The plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA) is a ubiquitously expressed calcium pump. It is known to be the only system to pump calcium from the majority of cells, however, its role in the heart is unclear. We have shown for the first time that PMCA has both physiological and pathophysiological relevance in the heart. This has led us to pursue PMCA as a potential target for drug development, which may ultimately lead to improved treatment for heart failure.


Research interests

Post-graduate student supervision

I currently supervise and co-supervise the following PhD students:

  • Zhangping Luo: Investigating the role of the hypertension susceptibility gene PMCA1 in development of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.
  • Alexandru Chelu. Elucidating the mechanisms underlying the role of PMCA1 in cardiovascular health and disease 
  • Katie King: Injectable iPSC-cardiomyocyte/peptide hydrogel composites for cardiac repair
  • Lina Laid: Insight into cardiac fibrosis and repair through core mechanisms involving SOX9 and imbalanced ECM.
  • Wenqi He. Co-supervisor with Prof Xin Wang
  • Jianhan Shen. Co-supervisor with Dr Vicky Liu
  • Dandan Xing. Co-supervisor with Prof Kaye Williams
  • Zainab Albalawi. Co-supervisor with Dr Ashraf Kitmitto
  • Ryan Potter. Co-supervisor with Dr Delvac Oceandy

Since 2007 31 of the PhD students I have supervised have been awarded their PhDs. All of these students have continued to pursue biomedical related careers. Four MPhil students under my supervision have been awarded their degrees.

I would be very happy to hear from potential students with an interest in pursuing an academic career studying the molecular basis of left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure.

Methodological knowledge

Transgenesis and gene knockout technology

Cardiac physiology

Molecular biology


PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons)

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

Areas of expertise

  • QP Physiology

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Regenerative Medicine Network
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute


  • Transgenesis and gene knockout technology, cardiac physiology, cardiovascular sciences


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