Professor Asipu Sivaprasadarao


BSc, MSc (Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India); PhD (Leeds; Commonwealth Fellow); Professor of Membrane Biology

Examinations Officer for UG Programmes: School of Biomedical Sciences

Member of Undergraduate School Taught Student Education Committee


  • Academic Integrity Officer

Research interests

Research theme: Ionic signalling, mitochondrial dynamics and stress-associated diseases.

Oxidative stress is associated with a wide range of non-communicable human diseases including diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, cancers and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s). ‘Non-communicable diseases kill 40 million people each year, equivalent to 70% of all deaths globally’ (WHO Fact sheet, 2017). An underlying feature common to all these diseases is the excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the consequent increase in mitochondrial fragmentation and dysfunction.

Recently, we have identified a novel signalling pathway that explained how ROS cause abnormal mitochondrial fission (Science Signaling, 2017: Cell Death and Differentiation, 2017; Channels; 2017). We have demonstrated that inhibition of ROS-sensitive TRPM2 channels and Zn2+ chelation prevents mitochondrial fission induced by diabetic stress and obesity stress. We have shown that deletion of the TRPM2 gene prevents type-1 diabetes in animal models of the disease (Biochemical Journal, 2015). We have also demonstrated that silencing of TRPM2 channels and Zn2+ chelation prevent migration of prostate and cervical cancer cells (Journal of Cell Science; 2016; Oncotarget, 2017). Our results thus underpin the pivotal role that TRPM2-Zn2+ signalling plays in disease biology.

Our current objectives are to use chemical biology and protein engineering approaches to develop new compounds and biologics (1) to probe the molecular basis for how TRPM2-Zn2+ signalling regulates mitochondrial dynamics and (2) to translate the knowledge into therapeutic opportunities for a broad range of diseases.

The projects broadly include:

  1. Understanding the role of TRPM2-Zn2+ signalling in diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

  2. Role of TRPM2-Zn2+ signalling in cancer.

  3. Generating novel chemical and biological probes to investigate TRPM2-Zn2+ signalling in oxidative stress associated diseases.

Collaborators: Dr Richard Foster (Chemical Biology, Leeds); Dr Stephen Muench (Cryo-electron microscopy, Leeds); Prof. M Kearney (Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; Leeds) Dr James Duce (Neurodegenerative diseases, Cambridge).

Techniques to be used: General molecular biology, cell biology and protein chemistry techniques; confocal, super-resolution and electron microscopy; calcium imaging; in vivo models of human diseases.

Applications are welcome in the above research arears for postgraduate studies (PhD, Masters by Research).

Funding: We thank the Wellcome Trust, MRC, British heart Foundation, GSK, and Millipore for supporting our research.

  1. TRPM2-Zn2+signalling in diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases

  2. Role of TRPM2-Zn2+signalling in cancer biology

  3. Developing novel chemical and biological probes to investigate TRPM2-Zn2+signalling in disease biology

    Applications are welcome in the above research arears for postgraduate studies (PhD, Masters by Research).

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD 1987, Leeds.

Student education

Undergraduate project topics:

  • Ion channels in human diseases, including diabetes, Parkinson's and cancer

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • Role of ion channels in mitochondrial dynamics and human diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and cancer).

See also:

Academic roles:

  • Examinations Officer for UG Programmes - School of Biomedical Sciences


  • Member of Undergraduate School Taught Student Education Committee

Research groups and institutes

  • Integrative Membrane Biology
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Cell signalling
  • Cancer
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>