Sophie Saxton
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Personal profile


BHF Accelerator Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, Division of Cardiovascular Sciences


Dr Sophie Saxton obtained her Bachelor's degree in Pharmacology and Master of Research degree in Cardiovascular Science at the University of Manchester. She completed her PhD in 2017 in Cardiovascular Medicine, entitled "The sympathetic nervous system in perivascular adipose tissue". Dr Saxton has recently established her own laboratory as a British Heart Foundation Accelerator Fellow. She has continued her research in the functions of perivascular adipose tissue in modulating vascular tone, and adipose tissue dysfunction in obesity, leading to hypertension and diabetes. As an early career researcher (ECR), Dr Saxton is committed to the development of other ECRs and promotes opportunites through her work on the British Society for Cardiovascular Research Committee, and as an Executive Editor at the Journal of Hypertension. In addition she has a keen interest in social responsibility, in particular sustainable research, and her lab has been awarded Gold LEAF accreditation. 


Sept 2014 - March 2017: PhD in Cardiovascular Medicine

Sept 2013 - Sept 2014: MRes in Cardiovascular Science

Sept 2009 - July 2013: BSc Pharmacology with Honours

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Executive Editor at the Journal of Hypertension July 2021 to date

Society memberships:

British Society for Cardiovascular Research (committee member Jan 2020-Dec 2024)

British Microcirculation and Vascular Biology Society

Physiological Society

International Society of Hypertension

European Society for Cardiology

Research interests

Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) surrounds the majority of blood vessels and is a highly metabolically active tissue. There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that PVAT releases vasoactive factors which are vital in modulating vascular tone, however the mechanisms remain undefined. In obesity, PVAT becomes chronically inflammaed and dysfunctional, which may contribute to the development of hypertension and type-II diabetes. PVAT contains a highly diverse and plastic immune cell population, and targetting these immune cells in obesity may present novel therapeutic targets for intervention in obesity-related vascular diseases.

Methodological knowledge

Wire Myography

Animal work - small mammals: blood pressure, exercise, surgery, high fat feeding.



Western Blotting


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

External positions

Placement student, University of Nevada School of Medicine

1 Aug 20111 Aug 2012

Areas of expertise

  • QP Physiology
  • Perivascular adipose tissue
  • Vascular biology
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammation


  • Microvasculature
  • Obesity
  • Adipocytes
  • Inflammation
  • Sympathetic nerves
  • Adrenoceptors
  • Adiponectin
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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