I was born in Kerala (India) and studied there till my undergrad. I came to UK in 2007 to do MSc and carried on to do a PhD. My background is in immunotherapy (from PhD studies) and therapeutic angiogenesis. My research interest in vascular biology and angiogenesis was developed under the mentorships of Prof. Aicher and Prof. Heeschen. I have worked on reparative angiogenesis in different labs in Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Spain, University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University in UK.
I spent 4 years as a post-doctoral scientist in the lab of Prof. Emanueli, who is a pioneer in the field of reparative angiogenesis. During this time I was investigating the therapeutic potential of human embryonic stem cell derived endothelial cells in mouse models of hindlimb ischemia and diabetes mellitus (published in Molecular Therapy). I also worked on characterisation and functional assessment of mechanisms guiding mouse embryonic stem cell differentiation into endothelial cells, with focus on the neurotrophin system (in press, ATVB). Another project that I worked on during this period was investigating the role of human pericardial fluid exosomes in vascular complications of diabetes (manuscript in preparation).
I am a PhD scientist but most of my past mentors were clinical academics which helped me to be part of translational research to influence the clinical practice. I have now joined (July 2018) the Vascular Team at Aston Medical Research Institute led by Prof. Asif Ahmed who has an international reputation in angiogenesis and vascular protection. Indeed, my new line of research bridges my past studies in vascular regenerative medicine looking at the etiology and developing new therapies for pre-eclampsia, which is one of the deadliest maternal hypertensive disorder.
Descamps B*, Saif J*, Emanueli C, BDNF promotes the endothelial differentiation of embryonic stem cells via a molecular pathway including microRNA-214, EZH2 and eNOS Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. (in press) * Co-first authors
MacAskill M.G*, Saif J*,Condie A, Jansen M.A, MacGillivray T.J, Tavares A.S, Fleisinger L, Newby D.E, Hadoke P.W, Mountford J.C. Emanueli C, Baker AH. GMP-Compatible hESC-EC Improve Blood Flow in Multiple Peripheral Ischemia Mouse Models. Molecular Therapy, Mol Ther. 2018 Jul 5;26(7):1669-1684. * Co-first authors
Aday S Zoldan J, Besnier M, Carreto L, Saif J, Fernandes R, Santos T, Bernardino L, Langer R, Emanueli C, Ferreira L. Synthetic microparticles conjugated with VEGF165 improve the survival of endothelial progenitor cells via microRNA-17 inhibition. Nat Commun. 2017 Sep 29;8(1):747.
Cioffi M, Trabulo SM, Vallespinos M, Raj D, Kheir TB, Lin ML, Begum J, Baker AM, Amgheib A, Saif J, Perez M, Soriano J, Desco M, Gomez-Gaviro MV, Cusso L, Megias D, Aicher A, Heeschen C. The miR-25-93-106b cluster regulates tumor metastasis and immune evasion via modulation of CXCL12 and PD-L1. Oncotarget. 2017 Mar 28;8(13):21609-21625.
Caporali A, Miscianinov V, Saif J, Emanueli C. MicroRNA transport in cardiovascular complication of diabetes. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 Dec;1861(12 Pt B):2111-2120.
Caputo M*, Saif J*,Rajakaruna C, Brooks M, Angelini GD, Emanueli C.MicroRNAs in vascular tissue engineering and post-ischemic neovascularization. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2015 Jul 1;88:78-91. * Co-first authors
Saif J, Emanueli C. miRNAs in post-ischaemic angiogenesis and vascular remodelling. Biochem Soc Trans. 2014 Dec;42(6):1629-36.
Saif J, Vadakekolathu J, Rane SS, McDonald D, Ahmad M, Mathieu M, Pockley AG, Durrant L, Metheringham R, Rees RC, McArdle SE. Novel prostate acid phosphatase-based peptide vaccination strategy induces antigen-specific T-cell responses and limits tumour growth in mice. Eur J Immunol. 2014 Apr;44(4):994-1004.
Rane S*, Saif J*, Rees R (2014) “Tumour Antigen and Epitope Identification for Pre-clinical and Clinical Evaluation” Cancer Immunology: Translational Medicine from Bench to Bedside (Book chapter) * Co-first authors
Malhi SK*, Saif J*,Vadakekolathu JN. The Twelfth International Conference on Progress in Vaccination Against Cancer (PIVAC 12), Nottingham, UK, 11-13 September 2012: insights into the dynamics of anti-tumour immunity and the development of cancer vaccines. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2013 Aug;62(8):1431-7.* Co-first authors
Schwarz TM, Leicht SF, Radic T, Rodriguez-Arabaolaza I, Hermann PC, Berger F, Saif J, Böcker W, Ellwart JW, Aicher A, Heeschen C.Vascular incorporation of endothelial colony-forming cells is essential for functional recovery of murine ischemic tissue following cell therapy. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012 Feb;32(2):e13-2
Tong DL, Boocock DJ, Coveney C, Saif J, Gomez SG, Querol S, Rees R, Ball GR. A simpler method of preprocessing MALDI-TOF MS data for differential biomarker analysis: stem cell and melanoma cancer studies.Clin Proteomics. 2011 Sep 19;8:14.
Saif J, Schwarz TM, Chau DY, Henstock J, Sami P, Leicht SF, Hermann PC, Alcala S, Mulero F, Shakesheff KM, Heeschen C, Aicher A. Combination of injectable multiple growth factor-releasing scaffolds and cell therapy as an advanced modality to enhance tissue neovascularization. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010 Oct;30(10):1897-904.
Saif J, Heeschen C, Aicher A. Add some fat to vascular progenitor cell therapy. Circ Res. 2009 Jun 19;104(12):1330-2.
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