Graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BSc (Hons) in Genetics (1989); PhD in Developmental Biology (1994) from the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, University of London; British Heart Foundation funded postdoctoral researcher, Developmental Biology Unit, Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, Institute of Child Health in London (1994-1997); Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiology Laboratories at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA (1998-2001); Lecturer in Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University of Nottingham (2001-present).
I teach gross anatomy to first year medical students and developmental biology to first and second years. I am also Deputy Head of the Anatomy Teaching Section, the Dissection Room Course Manager and… read more
Our research interests are to provide insights into how the heart forms during early stages of cardiogenesis. In particular, current interests are focused on the role sarcomeric thick or thin… read more
I teach gross anatomy to first year medical students and developmental biology to first and second years. I am also Deputy Head of the Anatomy Teaching Section, the Dissection Room Course Manager and am course convenor for a number of teaching modules.
Our research interests are to provide insights into how the heart forms during early stages of cardiogenesis. In particular, current interests are focused on the role sarcomeric thick or thin filament structural proteins play in the early developing heart. Heart defects of particular interest in the laboratory are those associated with the developing atrial septa, chamber specification, normal electrical activation of the heart and the formation of the conduction system. Congenital heart defects are relatively common (approximately 0.8% of the population), with most cases having an unknown cause. Our research group uses the chick as a model organism (both in ovo and in vitro), and morpholino technology to perform gene-specific knockdown. A range of developmental, cell and molecular biology techniques are employed to decipher the expression of the genes of interest and the abnormalities seen upon knockdown. Further, functional studies are performed to provide insights into what role the genes play in the heart in order to explain how defects form. In addition, in order to analyse the morphological effects on post-loaded hearts, we have recently optimised banding of the outflow tract of the developing chick heart, with harvesting performed at different stages of development. Dr Loughna runs an active laboratory and currently has three PhD students and one part-time technician.
- Dr David Brook
- Dr Catrin Rutland
- Dr Sally Wheatley
National and International Collaborators
- Dr Elisabeth Ehler (King's College, London)
- Dr Luis Polo Parada (University of Missouri)
I previously studied gene expression changes in Trisomy 13 and 18 tissues, including the heart. I have also worked on early stages of vascular kidney development, and the roles of the Angiopoietin/Tie signalling system in cardiovascular development.
My laboratory aims to provide novel insights into the role genes play in early stages of cardiovascular development. In this way, we hope to provide novel candidate genes for congenital heart defects, as well as a greater understanding of the genes involved in normal heart formation.