People

Dr Catherine Vial

Associate Professor

School/Department: Biological Sciences, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 229 7067

Email: cv12@leicester.ac.uk

Profile

I did my undergraduate studies at the Université de Bourgogne (Dijon, France) followed by a DEA at the Université Louis Pasteur (Strasbourg, France). I then joined the Unité INSERM 311 (Biology and Pharmacology of Haemostasis and Thrombosis) at the Etablissement Français du Sang Alsace where I was awarded my PhD (Université Louis Pasteur) based on "the identification and characterisation of human platelet P2 receptors". I pursued my research career in the laboratory of Professor RJ Evans at the University of Leicester as a research associate investigating the contribution of P2 receptors for extracellular nucleotides to the cardiovascular system function. And after running up my own independent research group for a decade (mainly investigating the modulation of blood cell function by extracellular nucleotides in the respiratory system), I moved to a teaching focused Associate Professor position in the School of Biological Sciences.

Research

While my research has become more pedagogically-orientated I still supervise 3rd year undergraduate MSc and PhD students. I have a long standing research interest in the physiological roles of extracellular nucleotides and nucleosides particularly in: 1/ The respiratory system and associated diseases such as asthma. This includes immune cells (e.g. mast cells and eosinophils) and structural cells (e.g. smooth muscles) in the airways under healthy and asthmatic conditions. 2/ The cardiovascular system (blood vessels haematic cells functions and haematopoiesis).

Publications

(0) Mahaut Smith MP,  Evans RJ & Vial C. (2019) Development of a P2X1-eYFP receptor knock-in mouse to track receptors in real time. Purinergic Signal. 15(3):397-402. 

Wright A, Mahaut-Smith M, Symon F, Sylvius N, Ran S, Bafadhel M, Muessel M, Bradding P, Wardlaw A & Vial C. (2016) Impaired P2X1 Receptor-Mediated Adhesion In Eosinophils From Asthmatic Patients. J Immunol. 196, 4877-4884.

Kauffenstein G, Pelletier J, Lavoie EG, Kukulski F, Martin-Satue M, Dufresne SS, Frenette J, Furstenau CR, Sereda MJ, Toutain B, Henrion D, Sullivan R, Vial C, Sevigny J. (2014) Nucleoside Triphosphate Diphosphohydrolase-1 Ectonucleotidase Is Required for Normal Vas Deferens Contraction and Male Fertility through Maintaining P2X1 Receptor Function. J Biol Chem. 289, 28629-39

Sereda MJ, Bradding P & Vial C. (2011) Adenosine potentiates human lung mast cell tissue plasminogen activator activity. J Immunol. 186(2), 1209-1217.

Vial C, Rigby R & Evans RJ (2006) Contribution of P2X1 receptor intracellular basic residues to channel properties. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 350, 244-248.

Vial C, Fung CYE, Goodall AH, Mahaut-Smith MP and RJ Evans (2006) Differential sensitivity of human platelet P2X1 and P2Y1 receptors to disruption of lipid rafts. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 343(2), 415-419.

Tolhurst G, Vial C, Leon C, Gachet C, Evans RJ & Mahaut-Smith MP. (2005) Interplay between P2Y1, P2Y12 and P2X1 receptors in the activation of megakaryocyte cation influx currents by ADP; evidence that the primary megakaryocyte represents a fully functional model of platelet P2 receptor signaling. Blood. 106(5), 1644-1651.

Vial C & Evans RJ. (2005) Disruption of Lipid rafts inhibits P2X1 receptor-mediated currents and arterial vasoconstriction. J. Biol. Chem. 280(35), 30705-30711.

Vial C, Pitt SJ, Roberts J, Rolf MG, Mahaut-Smith MP & Evans RJ. (2003) Lack of evidence for functional ADP-activated human P2X1 receptors supports a role for ATP during hemostasis and thrombosis. Blood. 102, 3646-51.

Vial C, Hechler B, Leon C, Cazenave JP & Gachet C. (1997) Presence of P2X1 purinoceptors in human platelets and megakaryoblastic cell lines. Thromb Haemost. 78(6):1500-4
.

Supervision

Projects looking at the physiological roles of extracellular nucleotides and nucleosides particularly in: 1/ The respiratory system and associated diseases such as asthma. This includes immune cells (e.g. mast cells and eosinophils) and structural cells (e.g. smooth muscles) in the airways under healthy and asthmatic conditions. 2/ The cardiovascular system (blood vessels haematic cells functions and haematopoiesis).

Teaching

Foundation year course: BS0011 Foundations of Biological Sciences; BS0012 Introduction to Medical Sciences

1st year undergraduate modules: BS1000 tutorials (covering BS1040 The Cell - An Introduction to Cell Biology and Microbiology; BS1030  The Molecules of Life - An Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology); BS1060 Multicellular Organisation - And introduction to Physiology Pharmacology and Neuroscience; BS1050 From Individuals to Populations - An Introduction to Genetics)

2nd year undergraduate modules: BS2013 Physiology and Pharmacology; BS2014 Exercise Physiology and Pharmacology; MB2080 Pathophysiology of Disease

3rd year undergraduate modules: BS3054 Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology; 3rd undergraduate research project supervision (BS3100 & BS3200); BS3056 Cellular Physiology of the Cardiovascular System

Postgraduate teaching: MSc Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology (Project Supervision)

Undergraduate summer laboratory research projects

Pastoral support for undergraduate students (e.g. development of the University of Leicester Study Well programme for undergraduates)

Activities

Membership of learned societies: The Physiological Society;  The Foundation Year Network;  AdvanceHE

Awards

I am a Senior Fellowship of Higher Education Academy. I was awarded a University of Leicester Merit Award in 2017 for the successful development of the dual Foundation Year programme (MBChB Medicine with Foundation Year and BSc Biological Sciences with Foundation Year) and in 2020 for the successful development of the Study Well programme (designed to promote student wellbeing through a range of activities which cover subjects such as dealing with stress novelty exams the need to belong mental and physical health issues and equality issues - the programme also provides practical tools and insights to help the students succeed in their learning and maintain their health and happiness). In 2018, I received a Teaching Enhancement Project Funding (TEPF) award aiming at "Improving student academic performance and developing lifelong transferable skills through experimental summer placements - a pilot study" followed in 2019 by another TEPF award for the "Development of escape game-based activities to promote student recruitment sense of community and novel learning opportunities". 

Conferences

Attended the Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference 2020 (29-30 June 2021), The Open University UK

Attended the Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference 2020 29-30 June 2020 University of Nottingham UK

Presented at the 4th Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference 2019 3-4 July 2019 Kingston University UK to present “Learning to be a scientist: students’ views of experimental summer placements at the University of Leicester”

Qualifications

I am a Senior Fellowship of Higher Education Academy.
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