Hardip Sandhu


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    Vision Statement

    - Therapy-induced cardiovascular injury (TICvI) is a challenging problem for the Pharma Industry and currently, there are limited translatable specific, sensitive or predictive TICvI-screening platforms available.

    - TICvI is vastly underexplored, due to a lack of multi-disciplinary research engagement and technological limitations to date.

    - Building on my expertise in cardiovascular injury, I am aiming to exploit my recent findings to identify TICvI biomarkers that will lead to the development of TICvI-risk screening platforms testing drugs and therapies for cardiovascular toxicity in non-clinical development.

    Research Interests

    The key research projects that I am currently leading include: “Diagnostic miRNA biomarkers for TICvI” and “Vascular TICvI model exploiting the G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) signalling”. These research projects are the instinctive progression of my current research expertise, combining genomic, molecular biology and vascular safety pharmacology techniques to determine the complex links between drug safety interactions and pathophysiological disease conditions.

    Diagnostic miRNA biomarkers for Therapy-induced cardiovascular injury (TICvI)

    Early detection of TICvI remains a major safety issue in drug development. Circulating cardiovascular injury-associated miRNAs in patient blood samples can serve as early biomarkers for TICvI. For the past 17 years, I have been determined to improve the outcome of patients by implementing non-invasive early miRNA biomarkers. My team work closely with cardiologists, oncologists and PhamaIndustry partners on novel collaborative projects. As a successful outcome, we have assessed the specific target role and expression signature of cardiac injury-associated miRNAs as potential TICvI biomarkers in cancer patients. Detection of these novel TICvI miRNA-based biomarkers holds immense commercial potential, as they can robustly screen patients and candidate drugs for TICvI adverse effects. The Intellectual Property of this project is currently being explored together with PhamaIndustry and Biotechnology partners.

    Vascular Therapy-induced cardiovascular injury (TICvI) model exploiting the G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) signalling

    For decades, the study of vascular TICvI in non-clinical toxicity studies has been a challenging issue for the PharmaIndustry, as currently there are no translatable specific and sensitive vascular TICvI screening platforms available. This novel project focuses on the involvement of key regulators of cardiovascular disease development during vascular TICvI, namely the GPCRs. The GPCRs belong to the largest family of membrane receptors that are targeted by approximately 35% of FDA-approved drugs. Pioneering work for this project is revealing that GPCRs could prove to be unexplored common mediators of vascular TICvI development, and therefore the vascular TICvI GPCR-based model could be used to screen candidate drugs for TICvI adverse effects. The Intellectual Property of this project is currently being explored together with PhamaIndustry partners.


    For >17 years, I have focussed on investigating therapy-induced cardiovascular injury by applying my expertise in safety pharmacology and cardiovascular diseases and injury development to address TICvI. I am building on my “proof-of-principle” preliminary work presented briefly in the projects described above and aim to deliver TICvI screening models that will aid the PhamaIndustry in identifying cardiovascular adverse effects of their candidate drugs, allowing them to make changes and avoid wasting valuable resources developing a drug candidate that would ultimately fail in the clinic due to its cardiovascular adverse effects.  The TICvI screening models could also be used in a healthcare setting to monitor patients who are undergoing therapy known to be associated with cardiovascular adverse effects.

    During my research career at the College of Engineering, Environment and Science (School of Life Sciences), Centre for Health & Life Sciences (CHLS) I have excelled as a researcher in the field of Safety Pharmacology as an Assistant Professor, with a Research Excellence Framework submissions track record of first/last-author publications in high-impact journals and successful funding (i.e. Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Network, European Regional Development Fund, British Pharmacological Society, The Lundbeck Foundation, Enterprise, Exchange, and Engagement Activities, and Coventry University Pump-Prime awards). In addition to my role at Coventry University, I also take great pride in supporting the research community as a Reviewer of high-impact journals and funding bodies (i.e. The European Commission, UKRI MRC, British Heart Foundation, and Breast Cancer Now). I have successfully supervised with completion: 3 Ph.D. students, 1 MScR student, and 12 MSc students within the study timeframe and with excellent feedback. I am regularly recruiting students with aspirations to become excellent researchers.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

    Education/Academic qualification

    Degree, Risk factors for stroke – On pathways involved in vascular receptor regulation by tobacco and smoking, University of Copenhagen

    1 Jan 200811 Mar 2011

    Award Date: 11 Mar 2011

    MSc, NOD signalling system in Rhizobia, University of Copenhagen

    1 Aug 199930 Sept 2005

    Award Date: 30 Sept 2005

    MBA, Higher commercial course (Hhx), Niels Brock Copenhagen Business College

    1 Jul 19981 Aug 1999

    Award Date: 1 Jul 1999


    • RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
    • Cardiovascular diseases
    • microRNAs
    • Adjunct therapy
    • Biomarker platforms
    • G-Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) Pharmacology
    • Safety Pharmacology
    • Cancer cardiotoxicity


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