The Worcester Biomedical Research Group (WBRG) aims to promote multidisciplinary Biomedical Science research at the University of Worcester

About the group

Science students in white coats in a lab

The Worcester Biomedical Research Group (WBRG) fosters collaborations between staff (cross-institute), students and local health and industrial organisations. Our current research aims to address the major health issues of our time.

Building sustainable societies through research into disease prevention, medical treatment and diagnostics, lies at the heart of the WBRG research ethos. We aim to achieve this goal through basic and translational Biomedical Research with particular focus on cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration.


Dr Steve Coles; Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, provides an insight into the work of Worcester Biomedical Research Group.


Current Research

The Role of BCAT1 in the Development and Treatment of AML (3 year FT PhD studentship  supported by the University of Worcester and Sir Halley Steward Trust).

Our PhD student James Hillier is investigating the role of a metabolic enzyme known as BCAT1 in the development of a type of blood cancer known as Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML). AML is a challenging disease particularly for the over 60’s, whom for many treatment is not durable. James is seeking to better understand the biochemical mechanisms that underpin this disease in hope that new treatment strategies may be discovered.

Monitoring Markers of Oxidative Stress in Acute Coronary Syndrome (5 year PT PhD studentship supported by the NHS).

Through her research our PhD student Angela Doughty aims to improve the early detection and diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Angela is situated at the Worcester Royal NHS Trust and is developing a high throughput assay for the detection of novel biomarkers that appear in the blood during and after AMI. It is hoped that her research will assist in the diagnosis and stratification of patients who present at the clinic with chest pain.

Molecular Pathways in Neurodegeneration (3 year FT PhD studentship supported by the University of Worcester).

Our PhD student Ellen Joyce’s research focusses on understanding the complex cellular processes that lead to the development of neurodegeneration such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Ellen’s work seeks to understand how nutrition effects important cellular components i.e. membrane lipid composition and how this contributes to neuronal cell function and survival. It is hoped that understanding this process may impact on AD prevention and treatment.

Nutritional Biochemistry: Neuronal Cell Biology (FT international PhD student from Sao Paulo Federal University in Brazil).

Bruna Hirata is an International PhD visiting student from Brazil, and her areas of interest include obesity and its related metabolic disorders, and research on management and treatment strategies.It is expected that the research Bruna will undertake will reveal novel mechanisms in the pathophysiology of chronic diseases, and will also attempt to elucidate the potential anti-obesogenic and antidiabetic effects of plant polyphenols.

Key Publications


de Jesus, R.P., de Carvalho, J.F., de Oliveira, L.P.M., Cunha, C.M., Alves, T.C.H.S., Vieira, S.T.B., Figueiredo, V.M. and Bueno, Allain (2022) Metabolic and nutritional triggers associated with increased risk of liver complications in SARS-CoV-2. World Journal of Hepatology, 27 (14(1)). pp. 80-97. ISSN 1948-5182 (online)

Di Miceli, Mathieu, Derf, A. and Gronier, B. (2022) Consequences of Acute or Chronic Methylphenidate Exposure Using Ex Vivo Neurochemistry and In Vivo Electrophysiology in the Prefrontal Cortex and Striatum of Rats. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23 (15). p. 8588. ISSN 1422-0067

Di Miceli, Mathieu, Martinat, M., Rossitto, M., Aubert, A., Alashmali, S., Bosch-Bouju, C., Fioramonti, X., Joffre, C., Bazinet, R. P. and Layé, S. (2022) Dietary Long-Chain n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation Alters Electrophysiological Properties in the Nucleus Accumbens and Emotional Behavior in Naïve and Chronically Stressed Mice. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23 (12). ISSN 1422-0067

Di Miceli, Mathieu, Omoloye, A. and Gronier, B. (2022) Characterisation of methylphenidate-induced excitation in midbrain dopamine neurons, an electrophysiological study in the rat brain. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry, 112. p. 110406. ISSN 0278-5846

Casagrande, B.P., Bueno, Allain, Pisani, L.P. and Estadella, D. (2022) Hepatic glycogen participates in the regulation of hypothalamic pAkt/Akt ratio in high-sugar/high-fat diet-induced obesity. Metabolic Brain Disease. ISSN Electronic: 1573-7365 Print: 0885-7490

Hillier, James, Allcott, Gemma, Guest, Laura, Heaselgrave, Wayne, Tonks, Alex, Conway, Myra, Cherry, Amy and Coles, Steven (2022) The BCAT1 CXXC Motif Provides Protection Against ROS in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia Cells. Antioxidants, 11 (4). p. 683. ISSN 2076-3921

Price, James, Santos, H. O. and Bueno, Allain (2022) The effectiveness of automated digital health solutions at successfully managing obesity and obesity-associated disorders: A PICO-structured investigation. Digital Health, 8. ISSN 2055-2076 Online ISSN: 2055-2076

Richardson, Jane, Erol, Rosie and Bueno, Allain (2022) A Reflection on the Tensions of Acting in Dual Roles of Doctoral Researcher and Practitioner when Evaluating a Lifestyle Intervention for Breast Cancer Patients. Journal of Cancer Education. ISSN Electronic: 1543-0154 Print: 0885-8195

Rios, Tatiane Correia, Boulhosa, Ramona Souza da Silva Baqueiro, da Costa, Maria Lúcia Varjão, Sassaki,, Betina, Bueno, Allain, Passos De Jesus, Rosangela and de Oliveira, Lucivalda Pereira Magalhães (2022) Two distinct nutritional assessment tools have dissimilar outcomes in a sample of older adult patients with cancer. Forum of Clinical Oncology. ISSN eISSN: 1792-362X (In Press)

Watanabe, R.L.H., Boldarine, V.T., Pedroso, A.P., Telles, M.M., Dornellas, A.P.S., Wang, Y., Bueno, Allain and Ribeiro, E.B. (2022) Soybean oil prevents hypothalamic N3 fatty acid composition but does not prevent peripheral tissue fatty acid disturbance in rats. Revista Argentina de Endocrinología y Metabolismo (Argentine Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism), 59 (2). pp. 24-40. ISSN 0326-4610


Boldarine, V.T., Pedrosa, A.P., Joyce, Ellen, Telles, M.M., Oyama, L.M., Bueno, Allain and Ribeiro, E.B. (2021) Oestrogen replacement fails to fully revert ovariectomy‑induced changes in adipose tissue monoglycerides, diglycerides and cholesteryl esters of rats fed a lard‑enriched diet. Scientific Reports, 11 (3841). pp. 1-11. ISSN Online: 2045-2322

Chataigner, M., Lucas, C., Di Miceli, Mathieu, Pallet, V., Laye, S., Mahaignerie, A., Bouvret, E., Dinnel, A.L. and Joffre, C. (2021) Dietary Fish Hydrolysate Improves Memory Performance Through Microglial Signature Remodeling During Aging. Frontiers in Nutrition, 8 (75029). ISSN 2296-861X

Genario, R., Cipolla-Neto, J., Bueno, Allain and Santos, H.O. (2021) Melatonin supplementation in the management of obesity and obesity-associated disorders: a review of physiological mechanisms and clinical applications. Pharmacological Research, 163. p. 105254. ISSN 1043-6618

Martinat, M., Rossitto, M., Di Miceli, Mathieu and Layé, S. (2021) Perinatal Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Brain Development, Role in Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Nutrients, 13 (4). p. 1185. ISSN 2072-6643

Rastogi, N., Baker, S., Man, S., Uger, R., Wong, M., Coles, Steven, Hodges, M., Gilkes, A., Knapper, S., Darley, R. and Tonks, A. (2021) Use of an anti-CD200 blocking antibody improves immune responses to AML in vitro and in vivo. British Journal of Haematology, 193 (1). pp. 155-159. ISSN 1365-2141

Rios, T.C., de Oliveira, L.P.M., da Costa, M.L.V., da Silva, R.S., Roriz, A.K.C., Ramos, L.B. and Bueno, Allain (2021) A poorer nutritional status impacts quality of life in a sample population of elderly cancer patients. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 19 (90). ISSN 1477-7525


Berland, C., Montalban, E., Perrin, E., Di Miceli, Mathieu, Nakamura, Y., Martinat, M., Sullivan, M., Davis, X.S., Shenasa, M.A., Martin, C., Tolu, S., Marti, F., Caille, S., Castel, J., Perez, S., Salinas, C.G., Morel, C., Hecksher-Sørensen, J., Cador, M., Fioramonti, X., Tschöp, M.H., Layé, S., Venance, L., Faure, P., Hnasko, T.S., Small, D.M., Gangarossa, G. and Luquet, S.H. (2020) Circulating Triglycerides Gate Dopamine-Associated Behaviors through DRD2-Expressing Neurons. Cell metabolism, 31 (4). 773-790.e11. ISSN Print: 1550-4131 Online: 1932-7420

Boldarine, V.T., Pedroso, A.P., Brandao-Teles, C., Lo Turco, E.G., Nascimento, C.M.O., Oyama, L.M., Bueno, Allain, Martins-de-Souza, D. and Ribeiro, E.B. (2020) Ovariectomy modifies lipid metabolism of retroperitoneal white fat in rats: a proteomic approach. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism, 319 (2). E427-E437. ISSN Print: 0193-1849 Online:1522-1555

Di Miceli, Mathieu, Husson, Z., Ruel, P., Layé, S., Cota, D., Fioramonti, X., Bosch-Bouju, C. and Gronier, B. (2020) In silico Hierarchical Clustering of Neuronal Populations in the Rat Ventral Tegmental Area Based on Extracellular Electrophysiological Properties. Frontiers in neural circuits, 14. p. 51. ISSN 1662-5110

Di Miceli, Mathieu, Bosch-Bouju, C. and Layé, S. (2020) PUFA and their derivatives in neurotransmission and synapses: a new hallmark of synaptopathies. The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 79 (4). pp. 388-403. ISSN 1475-2719

Lin, L., Metherel, A.H., Di Miceli, Mathieu, Liu, Z., Sahin, C., Fioramonti, X,, Cummins, C.L., Layé, S. and Bazinet, R.P. (2020) Tetracosahexaenoylethanolamide, a novel -acylethanolamide, is elevated in ischemia and increases neuronal output. Journal of lipid research, 61 (11). pp. 1480-1490. ISSN Print: 0022-2275 Online: 1539-7262

Santos, H.O., Price, James C. and Bueno, Allain (2020) Beyond Fish Oil Supplementation: The Effects of Alternative Plant Sources of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Lipid Indexes and Cardiometabolic Biomarkers in Nutrients. Nutrients, 12 (10). e3159. ISSN 2072-6643 Online: 2072-6643

Santos, H.O., da Silva, G., Tinsley, G. and Bueno, Allain (2020) Pharmaconutrition in the clinical management of COVID-19: a lack of evidence-based research but clues to personalized prescription. Journal of Personalized Medicine, 10. Article no. 145. ISSN 2075-4426

Wadley, Alex, Cullen, Tom, Vautrinot, Jordan, Keane, Gary, Bishop, N.C. and Coles, Steven (2020) High intensity interval exercise increases the frequency of peripheral PD-1+ CD8+ central memory T-cells and soluble PD-L1 in humans. Brain Behaviour and Immunity: Health, 3. Article no. 100049. ISSN 2666-3546


Di Miceli, Mathieu, Omoloye, A. and Gronier, B. (2019) Chronic methylphenidate treatment during adolescence has long-term effects on monoaminergic function. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 33 (1). pp. 109-121. ISSN Print: 0269-8811 Online: 1461-7285

Genario, R., Morello, E., Bueno, Allain and Santos, H.O. (2019) The Usefulness of Melatonin in the Field of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Pharmacological Research, 147. p. 104337. ISSN 1043-6618

Heaselgrave, W., Hamad, A., Coles, Steven and Hau, S. (2019) In Vitro Evaluation of the Inhibitory Effect of Topical Ophthalmic Agents on Acanthamoeba Viability. Translational Vision Science and Technology, 8 (5). Article no. 17. ISSN 2164-2591

Hirata, B.K., Cruz, M.M., de Sá, R.D., Farias, T.S., Machado, M.M.F., Bueno, Allain, Alonso-Vale, M.I.C. and Telles, M.M. (2019) Potential Anti-Obesogenic Effects of Ginkgo biloba Observed in Epididymal White Adipose Tissue of Obese Rats. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 10. Article 284. ISSN 1664-2392

Sakamoto, F.L., Ribeiro, R.M.P., Bueno, Allain and Santos, H.O. (2019) Psychotropic Effects of L-theanine and its Clinical Properties: From the Management of Anxiety and Stress to a Potential use in Schizophrenia. Pharmacological Research, 147. p. 104395. ISSN 1043-6618

Wadley, A., Keane, Gary, Cullen, Tom, James, L., Vautrinot, Jordon, Davies, Matthew, Hussey, B., Hunter, D.J., Mastana, S., Holliday, A., Petersen, SV., Bishop, N.C., Lindley, M.R. and Coles, Steven (2019) Characterisation of Extracellular Redox Enzyme Concentrations in Response to Exercise in Humans. Journal of Applied Physiology, 127 (3). pp. 858-866. ISSN Print: 8750-7587 Online: 1522-1601


Coles, Steven (2018) Targeting the Immune Checkpoint in Cancer: Is This a Viable Treatment Option for AML? Open Access Journal of Oncology and Medicine, 1 (2). pp. 1-2. ISSN 2638-5945

de Jesus, R.P., Mota, J.F., González-Muniesa, P., Waitzberg, D.L., Telles, M.M. and Bueno, Allain(2018) Plant Polyphenols in Obesity and Obesity-Associated Metabolic Disorders: A Narrative Review of Resveratrol and Flavonoids Upon the Molecular Basis of Inflammation. Journal of Obesity and Nutritional Disorders, 2018 (129). ISSN 2577-2244

Di Miceli, Mathieu and Gronier, B. (2018) Pharmacology, Systematic Review and Recent Clinical Trials of Metadoxine. Reviews on recent clinical trials, 13 (2). pp. 114-125. ISSN 1876-1038

Gronier, B., Savignac, H.M., Di Miceli, Mathieu, Idriss, S.M., Tzortzis, G., Anthony, D. and Burnet, P.W.J. (2018) Increased cortical neuronal responses to NMDA and improved attentional set-shifting performance in rats following prebiotic (B-GOS) ingestion. European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 28 (1). pp. 211-224. ISSN 0924-977X

Hillier, James, Wadley, A.J., Morgan, R.G., Cherry, Amy, Conway, M.E. and Coles, Steven (2018) Identification and Characterisation of a Novel Antioxidant Activity for the BCAT1 Cxxc Motif: Implications for Myeloid Leukaemia Development. Blood, 132. p. 1473. ISSN 00064971

Morgan, R.G., Chambers, A., Legge, D.N., Coles, Steven, Greenhough, A. and Williams, A.C. (2018) Optimized Delivery of siRNA Into 3D Tumor Spheroid Cultures in Situ. Scientific Reports, 8 (7952). ISSN 2045-2322

Santos, H.O., Bueno, Allain and Mota, J.F. (2018) The Effect of Artichoke on Lipid Profile: a Review of Possible Mechanisms of Action. Pharmacological Research, 137. pp. 170-178. ISSN 1043-6618

Wadley, A.J., Hole, P., Tonks, A., Darley, R., Omidvar, D., Morgan, R., Gary, Keane and Coles, Steven (2018) Intracellular Thiol Oxidation Is Linked with Loss of Δψm and Disease Progression in Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia. Blood, 132. p. 2751. ISSN 00064971

Wadley, Alex, Holliday, Adrian, Morgan, R.G., Heesom, K.J., Aldred, S., Peters, D.M., Bueno, Allain and Coles, Steven (2018) Preliminary Evidence of Reductive Stress in Human Cytotoxic T-cells Following Exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 125 (2). pp. 586-595. ISSN 8750-7587 Online: 1522-1601

Wadley, Alex, Morgan, R.G., Heesom, K.J., Hole, P.S. and Coles, Steven (2018) Detecting Intracellular Thiol Redox State in Leukaemia and Heterogeneous Immune Cell Populations: an Optimised Protocol for Digital Flow Cytometers. MethodsX, 5. pp. 1473-1483. ISSN 2215-0161


Coles, Steven and Wadley, Alex (2017) Can BCAT1 Expression Level Help Predict Disease Progression in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia. Cancer and Oncology: Open Access Journal, 1 (1). 

Current Opportunities

PhD (fully-funded)

Fully-funded PhD studentships with WBRG will be advertised here, but also on

PhD (self-funded)

Approaches from self-supporting PhD students are accepted all year round. Please contact Dr Steven Coles for an informal discussion.

Current Opportunites

Projects that staff within WBRG are currently looking at for self-funded PhD students:

In silico modelling of endocannabinoid evolution

Prognostic Markers in Bladder Cancer

The BCAT1 CXXC motif and oncogenesis in acute myeloid leukaemia

The INDICO-II Study – Effects of body composition and dietary improvement on cell membrane dynamics and their relationship with the aetiology of type II diabetes 


We welcome any approach from high achieving graduates that would like to consider studying for an MRes in Biomedical Research at the University of Worcester. Topics of interest are those which focus on aspects of either WBRG research theme. Please contact Dr Steven Coles to express an interest with an outline of your research interests.

Current opportunities

Projects that staff within WBRG are currently looking at for MRes students:

Project title: “Development of diagnostic tests for the stratification and monitoring of cancer”.
Contact: Dr Steven Coles: 

Project title: 
“Evaluating novel chemotherapeutic compounds for the treatment of cancer”.
Contact: Dr Steven Coles:

Project title: “The role of essential fatty acids in glucose homeostasis in neural cells subjected to oxidative stress”.
Contact: Dr Allain Bueno:

Project title: “Effects of plant polyphenols on intracellular insulin signalling in neural cells and blood brain barrier”.
Contact: Dr Allain Bueno:

Project title: “Combined effects of physical activity and supplementation with essential fatty acids from plant or marine sources in blood cell membrane composition and stability”.
Contact: Dr Allain Bueno:

Project title: “Cell signalling crosstalk in myeloid leukaemia”.
Contact: Dr Amy Cherry:

Project title: “The role of the Hedgehog signalling pathway in programmed cell death”.
Contact: Dr Amy Cherry:

WBRG Members

Academic Staff Members

Research Student Members

  • Angela Doughty (PhD Student in Cardiovascular Disease Research)
  • Ellen Joyce (PhD Student in Neurobiology Research)
  • Bruna Hirata (International PhD student in Nutritional Biochemistry)
  • Samantha Paskin (PhD student in Behavioural Neurochemistry)

  • Theresa May (PhD Student in Nutrition)

Associate Staff & Post-Graduate Members

External Collaborators

  • Dr Alex Wadley (Loughborough University)
  • Dr Wayne Heaselgrave (Wolverhampton University)
  • Dr Rhys Morgan (University of Bristol)
  • Dr Mike Beeton (Cardiff Metropolitan University)
  • Dr Pedro Gonzales-Muniesa (University on Navarra, Spain)
  • Dr Monica Telles (Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
  • Dr Rosangela Passos (Federal University of Bahia, Brazil)