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Dr Anastasia Kalea
Rayne Institute Rm 304
Centre for Cardiovascular Genetics
  • Senior Teaching Fellow
  • Div of Medicine
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences
  • Institute of Cardiovascular Science
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Anastasia graduated with a BSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Harokopio University, Greece after fulfilling her internship on clinical nutrition in Athens. She worked as a dietitian and then followed her interest in biomedical research in the USA, where she completed her doctorate studies on the dietary effect of nutrients on vascular physiology and structure at the University of Maine.

She continued her training as a Postdoctoral fellow studying the effect of bioactive compounds from functional foods on vasomotor tone and in the prevention of genetic hypertension. She was also involved in projects on analysing the dietary patterns of mediterranean adolescents. She later joined the Dept. of Surgery at Columbia University in New York, working on various projects among which the role of the receptor of advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) on vascular inflammation, diabetes and tumorigenesis and on the genetics of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Dr Kalea was awarded a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Fellowship to study diabetes complications in the vasculature. She continued her work towards this direction at the Dept. of Nephrology/ Hypertension at Northwestern University in Chicago focusing on the regulation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in the diabetic kidney.

Dr Kalea joined UCL as a BHF Chair Scholar in the summer of 2011, with the research team of Professors Humphries and Talmud with a particular interest on the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms regulating metabolic processes and contributing to cardiovascular diseases. She was funded by NIHR BRC on a collaborative project with the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute and has active collaborations with different in and outside UCL on projects focusing on novel diagnostic tools and therapeutic targets for cardiovascular diseases.

Dr Kalea is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Dietitian (Registration #DT28154), and is a member of the British Dietetic Association.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

Dr Kalea's research interests are focused on experimental medicine, cross-thematic, inter-disciplinary and collaborative projects, with a potential to evolve towards diagnostic, as well as therapeutic tools. Having a strong background in the crossroads of clinical, applied and basic science, she has been focused on understanding the regulatory role of molecules in pathologic processes in disease and transforming laboratory discoveries into new therapeutic potentials for patients.

In her current research projects she uses liquid or tissue biopsies to propose novel therapeutic targets to manipulate periodontal regeneration in obesity and to define, in a first-in-man series of studies, how a non-invasive experimental therapeutic technique mediates its cardioprotective effect via communication of circulating microRNAs in lipid-rich micro vesicles. She collaborates in research projects on obesity, diabetes and its complications, cardiovascular physiology and disease and vascular cell biology. 

Dr Kalea serves as a reviewer for several peer-reviewed scientific journals and has been invited to contribute as a scientific committee member, fund-raising committee member or abstract reviewer in national and international scientific conferences. She has attended the EUREKA@UCL program for early career translational researchers, the Leadership in Action Program organised by UCL, is a member of the Early Career Network of Population Health Sciences and of the Athena Swan self-assessment team of the Institute of Cardiovascular Science. 

Academic Background
2011 POSTDOC Post Doctoral Qualification – Genetics and Molecular Biology University College London
2010 POSTDOC Post Doctoral Qualification – Medicine/Nephrology/Molecular Biology Northwestern University
2008 POSTDOC Post Doctoral Qualification – Molecular and Cellular Biology Columbia University
2005 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Nutrition University of Maine, Orono, ME USA
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