Dr Hannah Marie Kirton

Dr Hannah Marie Kirton


I have been fortunate enough to form part of two British Heart Foundation programme grants within the Cellular Cardiovascular research laboratory of Professor Derek Steele. Here my research has investigated the biophysical and molecular events in cardiac muscle and how these processes are modified by physiological adaptations or disease. Using electrophysiology and both molecular and cellular biology techniques I have addressed the role of the Golgi apparatus as a distinct Ca signaling organelle; and how modifications in the Epac signalling pathway shape novel mechanisms that underlie arrhythmias. 

As a PhD at the University of Leeds and Research Fellow at the University of Texas San Antonio, my research focussed on the physiological and pathophysiological role of voltage gated ion channels, KCNQ. Using both super resolution microscopy and in vitro electrophysiology techniques I investigated the pathophysiological modifications that underpin their role in hyperexcitability disorders such as nociception.


Research Highlights

2019 – Organised the 26th Northern Cardiovascular Research Group Meeting (£15,000)

2018 – Awarded The Physiological Society Summer Mini Research Grant to hire and project manage an independent project for a summer student, with consumable and salary costs included (£1500)

2017 – Awarded The Dean’s Summer Mini Research Grant to hire and project manage an independent project for a summer student, with salary costs included (£1500)

2016 – Awarded the Boehringer Ingelheim Research Award to enable research investigating physiological modifications in KCNQ channels at the University of Texas, San Antonio (£3000)

2016 – Published in Antioxidant and Redox Signaling demonstrating inhibition of the Epac pathway increases mitochondrial ROS production and arrhythmia susceptibility via activation of the late Na current

2015 – Published in Science Signaling demonstrating the Golgi apparatus operates as a Ca signaling organelle that is functionally distinct from the SR in adult cardiac myocytes

2012 – Published in PNAS demonstrating reactive oxygen species are second messengers of neurokinin signaling in peripheral sensory neurons.




  • FBS Athena SWAN postdoctoral representative, Leeds
  • The Physiological Society Affiliate Representative, London
  • Northern Cardiovascular Research Group Meeting Principle Organiser, Leeds
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BSc (Hons) and Ph.D, Leeds

Professional memberships

  • The Physiological Society, UK
  • The Biophysical Society, USA