Dr Helen Wallace BSc PhD SFHEA

Senior Lecturer Women's & Children's Health

    Research

    Research Overview


    My ongoing educational research focusses on the impact of digital physiology resources such as Tough Topics in Medicine (Made Easy) on student learning. I have recently gained ethical approval to analyse the effect on formative and summative assessment outcomes on the MBChB programme.

    Since my first Post-Doctoral research post I have been interested in airway disease and cystic fibrosis (CF). My research experience includes clinical and basic science studies on CF patients and animal models. I spent five years at Alder Hey Children’s hospital, where I developed a method known as the potential difference measurement for diagnosing cystic fibrosis in children. Alongside a Clinical Consultant, I have since used this method in clinical practice as a tool to diagnose CF (2005-2015). I also established a CF mouse model which utilised the measurement as an outcome measure and a tool to investigate the underlying defects in the CF gene, CFTR. I spent six months at the University of Chapel Hill, North Carolina as part of my MRC Fellowship, where I learned techniques including quantitative RT-PCR. After obtaining an RCUK Tenure Track Fellowship, my research focused on airway smooth muscle abnormalities in a CF mouse model. In 2014 I obtained a knowledge exchange award to fund a collaboration with a pharmaceutical company in Colorado (US). I used a mouse tracheal smooth muscle preparation to test the effects GSNOR inhibitors that are a potential new therapy for CF. More recently (2015-present) I have investigated CFTR expression and function in the mouse and human myometrium.

    As part of the smooth muscle physiology group, I am currently supervising the following PhD projects:
    1) An investigation of the effects and mechanism of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) on labouring and non-labouring human myometrial contractility.
    2) The effect of altered metabolism on uterine contractility.

    Physiology Education

    The importance of physiology education for successful healthcare provision, and methods of delivery.

    Smooth muscle physiology

    Research interests include smooth muscle physiology of the airway and myometrium and the pathophysiology associated with cystic fibrosis.

    Research Grants

    Bench Fees - Mona Alruwaili (201381585)

    ROYAL EMBASSY OF SAUDI ARABIA CULTURAL BUREAU IN LONDON (UK)

    December 2019 - September 2023

    Bench Fees for Hind Awad A Zafrah

    ROYAL EMBASSY OF SAUDI ARABIA CULTURAL BUREAU IN LONDON (UK)

    October 2018 - September 2021

    An investigation of the mechanisms underlying abnormal airway smooth muscle (ASM) function in cystic fibrosis (CF)

    ROYAL SOCIETY (CHARITABLE)

    September 2010 - August 2011

    Bench fees for Asmaa Almohanna

    PRINCESS NORA BINT ABDULRAHMAN UNIVERSITY (SAUDI ARABIA)

    June 2014 - May 2017

    Value in People Award 2005.

    WELLCOME TRUST (UK)

    October 2005 - September 2009

    Bench fees for Aisha Alfituri

    LIBYAN EMBASSY IN LONDON

    April 2014 - March 2015