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Kate Dunne

BHF CRE Cardiovascular Medicinal Chemistry graduate student

Project: Hypoxia and epigenetic regulation as modulators of inflammation and atherogenesis

Supervisors: Dr Akane Kawamura. Dr Emily Flashman


I am currently in the final year of a four year programme working towards a D.Phil in Cardiovascular Medicinal Chemistry, funded by the British Heart Foundation CRE. My key research interests lie within medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. Before my D.Phil I studied Chemistry at the University of Liverpool (MChem), where I was able to undertake research projects in polymer chemistry and in virtual screening/medicinal chemistry. I enjoyed the challenge and of research and the camaraderie in the groups, so pursuing a PhD was the natural next step.

One aspect which drew me to the cardiovascular medicinal chemistry D.Phil programme was the 1+3 structure. In the first year students undertake lectures and tutorials in drug discovery and cardiovascular science, followed by two research rotations. These rotations allow you to ‘test drive’ two different projects and research groups before choosing your final group and project.  

In my first rotation project under the supervision of Prof. Christopher Schofield & Prof. Chris Pugh, I undertook synthesis of triazopyrazolone pyridine inhibitors of the Fat mass and Obesity associated protein (FTO). In my second rotation, under the supervision of Dr. Emily Flashman & Dr. Akane Kawamura, I utilised Steady state kinetic assays and cell-based techniques such as Immunoflourescence to gain preliminary data on investigate the oxygen dependence of KDM6s both in vitro and in cells.

My D.Phil project is being conducted under the supervision of Emily Flashman, Akane Kawamura and Christopher Schofield. I am investigating the interplay between hypoxia and epigenetic regulation during the development of atherosclerosis. I am especially interested in developing in vitro screening techniques and tool compounds in order to determine if disease pathology is linked to aberrant protein behaviour or expression.

Undergraduate degree: MChem, University of Liverpool

Studentship dates: September 2013 intake.

Thesis submitted January 2018.


R. L. Hancock, N. Masson, K. Dunne, E. Flashman, A. Kawamura. The Activity of JmjC Histone Lysine Demethylase KDM4A is Highly Sensitive to Oxygen Concentrations. ACS Chem Biol. 2017 DOI: 10.1021/acschembio.6b00958

R. J. Hopkinson, G. W. Langley, R. Belle, L. J. Walport, K. Dunne, M. Münzel, E. Salah, A. Kawamura, T. D. W. Claridge, C. J. Schofield. Human histone demethylase KDM6B can catalyse sequential oxidations. Chem Commun (Camb). 2018 DOI: 10.1039/c8cc04057e

R. L. Hancock, K. Dunne, L. J. Walport, E. Flashman, A. Kawamura. Epigenetic regulation by histone demethylases in hypoxia. Epigenomics, 7(5), 2015