Dina Vara

Dina Vara Dina Vara
Research Associate, Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Bath, Claverton Campus, Bath Spa (UK).
Dr. Dina Vara obtained her BSc Honours degree in Pharmacology at the University of Hertfordshire and went on to complete a PhD in Regenerative Medicine at University College London. After completion of her PhD studies she joined the department as a post-doctoral researcher for three years. Dina went on to join a private medical communications company where she had a leading role in developing oncology pipeline products through their life with Pharmaceuticals. Upon gaining a wide range of skills in the business sector, with a keen interest in academic research, Dina joined the University of Bath as a Research Associate where her research currently focuses on understanding the pharmacological regulation of blood vessel formation, termed angiogenesis, in health and disease. Dina is extremely keen to share her research and knowledge and develop collaborations between various disciplines that could accentuate a decrease in disease such as heart disease and cancer.
Research Interest
My research interests focus on the physiological formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels through a process called angiogenesis. I am investigating the role of a small sugar nucleoside, deoxyribose phosphate (dRP), in stimulating angiogenesis via redox generation. The involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as signalling molecules within the vasculature is becoming more evident. I am in particular interested in the pharmacological balance between the inhibition and promotion of angiogenesis. In inflammation, this balance is clearly tipped in favour of angiogenesis especially in tumours arising from the growth and spread of cancer cells. This response results, in part, due to an inflammatory locus often being hypoxic, and hypoxia is an important proangiogenic signal that activates the hypoxia-inducible factor-signaling pathway which elicits the transcription-dependent production of VEGF and FGF. Inflammation is also associated with the recruitment of circulating leukocytes and platelets, and the activation of resident macrophages, mast cells, and fibroblasts, all of which are capable of producing large quantities of proangiogenic factors, including interleukin-8 cytokines. However, while VEGF and cytokines/chemokines can stimulate different components in the angiogenesis process through different signaling pathways, the balance between nitric oxide and ROS production appears to be an important modulator of the angiogenic response to inflammation via NADPH activation. My research ideas are associated with understanding this process, which is a key area of research.