Dr Charlie Scarff

Dr Charlie Scarff


I completed my PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Warwick in 2010. I then moved to the University of Leeds as a postdoctoral researcher, applying structural mass spectrometry to the understanding of amyloid assembly, working with Prof. Alison Ashcroft and Prof. Sheena Radford FRS, and subsequently studying muscle proteins by use of electron microscopy, with Prof. John Trinick. Through this work an interest in muscle, myosin and inherited heart disease grew and I realised how I could contribute to this research area through an integrative structural biology approach. I was awarded a Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund Fellowship in 2017 to explore this avenue of research and this now forms the focus of my current BHF fellowship; studying the structural basis of inherited heart disease by mass spectrometry, biochemical analysis and cryo-electron microscopy.

Research interests

My research interests are in understanding structural-functional relationships in muscle, myosin and cardiovascular disease and in developing methods in integrative structural biology.


Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)

HCM affects more than 1 in 500 people and is the most common cause of heart failure in the young. Most people with the disease have mutations in either beta-cardiac myosin heavy chain or myosin-binding protein-c but it is not known how these mutations lead to disease. My research team use an integrated structural biology approach, combining mass spectrometry, biochemical analysis, and cryo-electron microscopy to investigate this. This research will lead to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underpin inherited heart disease, and it is my hope that this will pave the way to better therapies in the future.


Integrative structural biology

I am particulary interested in how electron microscopy-based workflows can be combined with mass spectrometry-based workflows to enable increased understanding of macromolecular complexes, their dynamics and heterogeniety. 

<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

Professional memberships

  • Member of the British Biophysical Society
  • Member of the Biochemical Society
  • Member of the British Mass Spectrometry Society
  • Member of the Association of Inherited Cardiac Conditions

Student education

Tutor on Integrated Skills in Biosciences Year 1 (BIOL1305)

Lecturer on Advanced Research Topics Module (BMSC5301M)

Lecturer on Human Disease Module (BIOL22011)

Supervisor on MCB Research Projects (MM9640)

Research groups and institutes

  • Cardiovascular
  • Macromolecular Complexes
  • Molecular machinery of muscle contraction
  • Structural Biology
<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/1357-advanced-glycation-end-products,-diabetes-and-heart-failure">Advanced glycation end products, diabetes and heart failure</a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/1358-how-do-cardiac-myosin-binding-protein-c-and-titin-interact-in-health-and-disease?">How do cardiac myosin-binding protein C and titin interact in health and disease?</a></li>