COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH
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Megan Stevens

Research Fellow

 01392 72 5928

 

Overview

Megan has a background in physiology and cellular biology. Her research career has focused on the role of alternative splicing in kidney disease, more recently, diabetic nephropathy. Megan currently works as a Research Fellow in Dr Sebastian Oltean's gorup at St Luke's Medical School, University of Exeter. Her current research interests are focused on elucidating the role of alternative splicing in the dveelopment and progression of diabetic nephropathy and lie within the following:

1. The role of alternative splicing of the apoptosis gene, Bcl-x, in the pathoegensis of diabetic nephropathy.

2. Detection of dysregulated alternative splicing events in the blood and urine of diabetic patients as novel biomarkers for disease severity (in collaboration with Professor Angela Shore and Dr Kim Gooding, University of Exeter).

3. Isolation and culturing of renal epithelial cells from human urine as a novel diagnostic tool (in collaboration with Dr Jonathan Locke, University of Exeter).

Megan is also currently co-supervisor to two PhD students and two MSc students within Dr Oltean's lab.

 

Qualifications

  • PhD in Glomerular Physiology and Alternative Splicing (University of Bristol, 2011-2014).
  • BSc in Physiology (University of Bristol, 2008-2011).

Career

Megan carried out a BSc degree in Physiology at the University of Bristol (2008-2011), followed by a PhD in Physiology under the supervision of Professor David Bates (currently Nottingham University), Professor Steven Harper (Bristol University) and Dr Sebastian Oltean (currently Exeter University) at the University of Bristol (2011-2014). Her PhD thesis was titled: "Manipulation of VEGF-A splicing repertoire as a potential therapeutic in chronic kidney disease".

In 2015, Megan was awarded a 1-year Junior Fellowship from the Richard Bright VEG Research Trust to continue her research in to the role of VEGF-A splicing in chronic kidney disease, with a focus on diabetic nephropathy. This project was supervised by Dr Oltean at the University of Bristol. From here. Megan continued to work with Dr Oltean as a post-doctoral researcher on BHF and Richard bright VEGF Research Trust funded projects on how VEGF-A splicing can be manipulated to be therapeutically beneficial in diabetic nephropathy.

In 2017, Megan moved to the University of Exeter to work as a Research Fellow, under the supervision of Dr Oltean. At this point, Megan began to establish herself as an independent researcher in her niche area of research: the role of alternative splicing on the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy. She is curently working on a Diabetes UK funded project grant developing pilot data on the role of the apoptosis gene, Bcl-x, splicing in diabetic kidney disease. In 2019, Megan was awarded the Diabetes Centre of Excellence Consumables Award (2 years) to continue her research with the hope of securing a prestigious independent fellowship position in the near future.

 

Links

Research

Research interests

Megan's current research interests lie within the role that alternative splicing plays in the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy. To investigate this, Megan uses renal cell-based models of diabetic nephropathy. Using these models, RNAseq can be performed to detect differentially expressed and spliced genes, which can then be investigated further to 1) determine the mechanism by how they are regulated, and 2) determine whether they can be manipulated in a therapeutic manner.

Megan is also interested in whether dysregulated alternative splicing events detected in the blood and urine of diabetic patients are correlated to disease severity. She is currently collaborating with Professor Angela Shore and Dr Kim Gooding to obtain urine and blood samples from patients enrolled on to the BEAt-DKD and VIBE studies, which include participants with and without diabetic nephropathy.

Finally, Megan is currently investigating whether a method to isolate and culture renal epithelial cells from human urine could serve as a novel diagnostic tool with the potential to capture the transcriptome of renal cells usually only obatined from a biopsy.

 

Research projects

Megan is currently working on a Diabetes UK funded research project on the modulation of alternative splicing as a potential therapeutic in diabetic nephropathy.

 

Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category


Journal articles

Kikuchi R, Stevens M, Harada K, Oltean S, Murohara T (2019). Anti-angiogenic isoform of vascular endothelial growth factor-A in cardiovascular and renal disease. , 88, 1-33. Abstract.  Full text.
Stevens M, Oltean S (2019). Modulation of Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Activity through Alternative Splicing of Ligands and Receptors in the VEGF-A/VEGFR Axis. Cells, 8(4). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Stevens M, Oltean S (2019). Modulation of the Apoptosis Gene Bcl-x Function Through Alternative Splicing. FRONTIERS IN GENETICS, 10 Author URL.
Stevens M, Star E, Lee M, Innes E, Li L, Bowler E, Harper S, Bates DO, Oltean S (2019). The VEGF-A exon 8 splicing-sensitive fluorescent reporter mouse is a novel tool to assess the effects of splicing regulatory compounds in vivo. RNA Biol, 16(12), 1672-1681. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Stevens M, Neal CR, Craciun EC, Dronca M, Harper SJ, Oltean S (2019). The natural drug DIAVIT is protective in a type II mouse model of diabetic nephropathy. PLoS One, 14(3). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Stevens M, Oltean S (2018). Assessment of Kidney Function in Mouse Models of Glomerular Disease. J Vis Exp(136). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Stevens M, Oltean S (2018). Modulation of VEGF-A Alternative Splicing as a Novel Treatment in Chronic Kidney Disease. Genes (Basel), 9(2). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Stevens M, Neal CR, Salmon AHJ, Bates DO, Harper SJ, Oltean S (2018). Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A165b Restores Normal Glomerular Water Permeability in a Diphtheria-Toxin Mouse Model of Glomerular Injury. Nephron, 139(1), 51-62. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Stevens M, Neal CR, Salmon AHJ, Bates DO, Harper SJ, Oltean S (2017). VEGF-A165 b protects against proteinuria in a mouse model with progressive depletion of all endogenous VEGF-A splice isoforms from the kidney. J Physiol, 595(19), 6281-6298. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Stevens M, Oltean S (2016). Alternative Splicing in CKD. J Am Soc Nephrol, 27(6), 1596-1603. Abstract.  Author URL.
Oltean S, Qiu Y, Ferguson JK, Stevens M, Neal C, Russell A, Kaura A, Arkill KP, Harris K, Symonds C, et al (2015). Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A165b is Protective and Restores Endothelial Glycocalyx in Diabetic Nephropathy. J Am Soc Nephrol, 26(8), 1889-1904. Abstract.  Author URL.

Conferences

Brooks H, Addeo A, Comins C, Stevens M, Li L, Wade L, Oltean S (2019). Detection of Genomic Mutations in Blood and Urine ctDNA in Lung Adenocarcinoma with EGFR Mutation on Tissue - an Interim Progress Report.  Author URL.
Stevens M, Payne M, Innes E, Torregrossa RO, Wood M, Stevens MKO, Whiteman MO, Oltean SO (2018). A novel mitochondria-targeted hydrogen sulfide delivery molecule prevents uraemia and diabetes-induced renal cell oxidative stress.  Author URL.

Publications by year


2019

Kikuchi R, Stevens M, Harada K, Oltean S, Murohara T (2019). Anti-angiogenic isoform of vascular endothelial growth factor-A in cardiovascular and renal disease. , 88, 1-33. Abstract.  Full text.
Brooks H, Addeo A, Comins C, Stevens M, Li L, Wade L, Oltean S (2019). Detection of Genomic Mutations in Blood and Urine ctDNA in Lung Adenocarcinoma with EGFR Mutation on Tissue - an Interim Progress Report.  Author URL.
Stevens M, Oltean S (2019). Modulation of Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Activity through Alternative Splicing of Ligands and Receptors in the VEGF-A/VEGFR Axis. Cells, 8(4). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Stevens M, Oltean S (2019). Modulation of the Apoptosis Gene Bcl-x Function Through Alternative Splicing. FRONTIERS IN GENETICS, 10 Author URL.
Stevens M, Star E, Lee M, Innes E, Li L, Bowler E, Harper S, Bates DO, Oltean S (2019). The VEGF-A exon 8 splicing-sensitive fluorescent reporter mouse is a novel tool to assess the effects of splicing regulatory compounds in vivo. RNA Biol, 16(12), 1672-1681. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Stevens M, Neal CR, Craciun EC, Dronca M, Harper SJ, Oltean S (2019). The natural drug DIAVIT is protective in a type II mouse model of diabetic nephropathy. PLoS One, 14(3). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2018

Stevens M, Payne M, Innes E, Torregrossa RO, Wood M, Stevens MKO, Whiteman MO, Oltean SO (2018). A novel mitochondria-targeted hydrogen sulfide delivery molecule prevents uraemia and diabetes-induced renal cell oxidative stress.  Author URL.
Stevens M, Oltean S (2018). Assessment of Kidney Function in Mouse Models of Glomerular Disease. J Vis Exp(136). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Stevens M, Oltean S (2018). Modulation of VEGF-A Alternative Splicing as a Novel Treatment in Chronic Kidney Disease. Genes (Basel), 9(2). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Stevens M, Neal CR, Salmon AHJ, Bates DO, Harper SJ, Oltean S (2018). Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A165b Restores Normal Glomerular Water Permeability in a Diphtheria-Toxin Mouse Model of Glomerular Injury. Nephron, 139(1), 51-62. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2017

Stevens M, Neal CR, Salmon AHJ, Bates DO, Harper SJ, Oltean S (2017). VEGF-A165 b protects against proteinuria in a mouse model with progressive depletion of all endogenous VEGF-A splice isoforms from the kidney. J Physiol, 595(19), 6281-6298. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2016

Stevens M, Oltean S (2016). Alternative Splicing in CKD. J Am Soc Nephrol, 27(6), 1596-1603. Abstract.  Author URL.

2015

Oltean S, Qiu Y, Ferguson JK, Stevens M, Neal C, Russell A, Kaura A, Arkill KP, Harris K, Symonds C, et al (2015). Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A165b is Protective and Restores Endothelial Glycocalyx in Diabetic Nephropathy. J Am Soc Nephrol, 26(8), 1889-1904. Abstract.  Author URL.

Megan_Stevens Details from cache as at 2020-10-19 00:47:43

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External Engagement and Impact

Editorial responsibilities


Conferences and invited presentations

  • The International Splicing Conference 2020, Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Poster at the European Diabetic Nephropathy Study Group 2019, Paris, France.
  • British Microcirculation Society 2019, Exeter, UK.
  • RNA Splicing 2019, Lake District, UK.
  • Diabetic Complications 2018, Osaka, Japan.
  • The International Splicing Conference 2018, Lisbon, Portugal.
  • RNA Splicing 2017, Lake District, UK.
  • The International Splicing Conference 2016, Lisbon, Portual.

Teaching

Supervision / Group

Postgraduate researchers

  • Monica Lamici Ayine PhD Student
  • Kate Bosson
  • Yihuan Liu
  • Jinxia Zheng

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