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Tutorial Fellow in Medicine and Associate Professor of Cell Physiology


BSc Human Genetics (UCL)

DPhil Molecular Medicine (Oxford)

Academic Positions

Associate Professor of Cell Physiology and Tutorial Fellow, Brasenose College
Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellow, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics

Academic Background and Previous Positions

Following completion of a DPhil in Molecular Medicine from the University of Oxford in 2007, Prof. Lakhal-Littleton joined the laboratory of Prof Sir Peter Ratcliffe at the University’s Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics. During this time, she focussed her postdoctoral research on the interplay between oxygen and iron homeostasis in health and disease. She also developed a specialist interest in cardiovascular iron homeostasis, and went on to secure an Intermediate Research Fellowship from the British Heart Foundation. Following a period of maternity leave, she took up her Intermediate Fellowship in 2013, setting up her own research lab at the University’s Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics. With her team, she discovered the mechanisms and importance of local iron control in the cardiovascular and renal systems, as well as in the fetal liver. To translate those findings into better understanding and treatment of iron disorders, she went on to secure a Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship in 2020.

Undergraduate Teaching Areas

Medical Sciences 

Research Interests

Prof. Lakhal-Littleton’s research focusses on: a) how iron levels are controlled locally within different tissues, b) the manner in which local iron control contributes to the physiological functions of those tissues and c) how loss of local iron control initiates or exacerbate pathophysiology.


Mohammad G, Matakidou A, Robbins PA, Lakhal-Littleton S. The kidney hepcidin/ferroportin axis controls iron reabsorption and determines the magnitude of kidney and systemic iron overload. Kidney Int. 2021 Sep;100(3):559-569.

Chung YJ, Swietach P, Curtis MK, Ball V, Robbins PA, Lakhal-Littleton S. Iron-Deficiency Anemia Results in Transcriptional and Metabolic Remodeling in the Heart Toward a Glycolytic Phenotype. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2021 Jan 21;7:616920.

Kämmerer L, Mohammad G, Wolna M, Robbins PA, Lakhal-Littleton S. Fetal liver hepcidin secures iron stores in utero. Blood. 2020 Sep 24;136(13):1549-1557.

Lakhal-Littleton S, Crosby A, Frise MC, Mohammad G, Carr CA, Loick PAM, Robbins PA. Intracellular iron deficiency in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells induces pulmonary arterial hypertension in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Jun 25;116(26):13122-13130.

Lakhal-Littleton S, Wolna M, Chung YJ, Christian HC, Heather LC, Brescia M, Ball V, Diaz R, Santos A, Biggs D, Clarke K, Davies B, Robbins PA. An essential cell-autonomous role for hepcidin in cardiac iron homeostasis. Elife. 2016 Nov 29;5:e19804.

Lakhal-Littleton S, Wolna M, Carr CA, Miller JJ, Christian HC, Ball V, Santos A, Diaz R, Biggs D, Stillion R, Holdship P, Larner F, Tyler DJ, Clarke K, Davies B, Robbins PA. Cardiac ferroportin regulates cellular iron homeostasis and is important for cardiac function. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Mar 10;112(10):3164-9


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