Dr Christos Pliotas

Dr Christos Pliotas


I joined the University of Leeds as a Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Integrative Membrane Biology in September 2018. I graduated from the University of Athens with a BSc (Hons) in Physics. I then obtained an MSc in Medical Physics and PhD in Biochemistry from the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS), at the University of Aberdeen before undertaking a postdoctoral joint appointment at the University of St Andrews in James H. Naismith FRS (now Rosalind Franklin Institute & Oxford) laboratory.

Following my postdoctoral work I was awarded an independent 5-year research fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh and started my own group as a Principal Investigator at the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC), at the University of St Andrews, in 2016. 


  • Academic Lead Administrator for Summer Vacation Studentships Scheme

Research interests

The research of my group is focused on elucidating mechanical sensing and regulation of ion channels.

Mechanosensation is the ability of ion channels to sense changes in membrane tension and respond to these changes by opening their pore, through which ions and molecules flow.

I investigate how ion channels sense forces within the cell membrane and how these channel pores gate (open or close) in response to mechanical stimuli.

The main method we employ in my group to investigate gating of mechanosensitive channels is Pulsed ELectron-ELectron DOuble Resonance (PELDOR) spectroscopy, (also known as DEER), complemented by Cryo Electron Micrsocopy (CryoEM) and Electrophysiology to structurally and functionally characterise these systems.


Pliotas Group members


Dr Andrew Hartley (BBSRC-funded)

Dr James Hillier (BBSRC-funded)

Research assistants

Ms Emily Wheeler (BBSRC-funded)

PhD students

Bolin Wang (3rd year / CSC-funded)

Yue (Mary) Ma (3rd year / CSC-funded)

Benjamin Lane (2nd year / Wellcome Trust-funded)

Katie Hardman (1st year / BBSRC/DTP-funded)

Nana Yan (1st year / CSC-funded)

Claudia Stohrer (3rd year / EU/ITN-funded)

Jannik Strauss (3rd year / EU/ITN-funded)

Jessica Boakes (3rd year / BBSRC/DTP-funded)

Tiange Li (3rd year / CSC-funded)

MSc (Research) students

Meenakshi Anil



<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>


  • PhD, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen
  • MSc, Medical Physics, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen
  • BSc (Hons), Physics, University of Athens

Professional memberships

  • Royal Society Newton International Fellowships Committee (Biological Sciences)
  • Royal Society of Chemistry ESR Group Committee
  • Biochemical Society
  • Biophysical Society

Student education

  • Advance HE fellow (FHEA)
  • BMSC2125 “Molecular pharmacology”
  • BMSC3101 “Inherited disorders”
  • BMSC5301M “Advanced research topics”
  • BMSC3393 “Advanced skills”
  • BMSC1212 "Introduction to pharmacology"
  • FOBS1125 "Introduction to physiology"
  • BMSC2124 "Neurotransmitters and disease"
  • BMSC2310 "Intermediate skills of professional and academic development"
  • BMSC1301 "Introductory academic, experimental and professional skills"
  • BMSC3394 “Capstone research project”
  • BMSC2230 “Topics in Pharmacology”
  • BMSC2120 “Proteins”
  • BMSC2120 “Nucleic Acids”
  • BMSC1103 “Basic Laboratory and Scientific Skills”
  • BMSC1213 “Basic Laboratory and Scientific Skills 2”
  • BMSC3140 “Advanced Scientific Skills”
  • BIOL8001 “Biomedical Sciences industrial placements”
  • FBS-Wellcome Trust - “Force in Biology”

Research groups and institutes

  • Integrative Membrane Biology
  • Structural Biology
  • Membrane Protein Structural Biology

Current postgraduate researchers

<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="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/1115-the-biophysics-of-force-sensing-membrane-proteins-by-high-speed-atomic-force-microscopy">The Biophysics of Force Sensing Membrane Proteins by High-Speed Atomic Force Microscopy</a></li>