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Personal profile

Teaching Interests

Current PhD studentship (funded for UK or EU students; covering full tuition fees and a tax free stipend for 3 years), deadline 30 May 2018. Application via CV plus cover letter to s.chalmers@strath.ac.uk or imminently via FindAPhD.com

Alzheimer’s-associated amyloid or diabetic-like hyperglycaemia each impede mitochondrial motility, potentially altering neuronal synaptic function due to changes such as localised ATP supply or calcium buffering. Does the combination of hyperglycaemia and amyloid thus pre-dispose neurons to dysfunction and degeneration?


  1.  investigate whether exposure of primary neuronal cultures to amyloid plus hyperglycaemia (glucose oscillations) additively affect mitochondrial motility
  2. quantify the effect of aberrant mitochondrial motility on neuronal function, particularly synaptic activity
  3. examine whether neuroprotection is afforded by modulation of mitochondria


Project Area: Neuroscience; Fluorescence Microscopy; Alzheimer’s Disease; Mitochondrial Physiology; Calcium Signalling


Techniques to be used:

  • high-resolution live-cell fluorescence imaging of dynamic organelle and cell architecture
  • primary neuronal cell culture
  • electrophysiology and calcium imaging


Personal Statement

I am a Chancellors Research Fellow, examining the role of mitochondria in neurodegeneration and age-associated decline of the cerebrovasculature.

Research Interests

My primary research interest is in mitochondria, with a particular focus on the involvement of these small organelles with calcium signalling processes and the changes associated with age and diseases. I use high-speed and timelapse fluorescence imaging to visualise and modulate mitochondria and calcium signals within live cells and tissue. 


  • Mitochondria
  • Calcium
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Vascular smooth muscle
  • Fluorescence microscopy

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Projects 2012 2021

Research Output 2003 2018

Mitochondria structure and position in the local control of calcium signals in smooth muscle cells

McCarron, J. G., Saunter, C., Wilson, C., Girkin, J. M. & Chalmers, S., 6 Aug 2018, Signal Transduction and Smooth Muscle. Trebak, M. & Earley, S. (eds.). Boca Raton, Florida, p. 173-190 18 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Smooth Muscle Myocytes
1 Citations

RPGR protein complex regulates proteasome activity and mediates store-operated calcium entry

Patnaik, S. R., Zhang, X., Biswas, L., Akhtar, S., Zhou, X., Kusuluri, D. K., Reilly, J., May-Simera, H., Chalmers, S., McCarron, J. G. & Shu, X., 1 May 2018, In : Oncotarget. 9, 33, p. 23183-23197 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
Cell Polarity
Actin Cytoskeleton

Activities 2017 2017

  • 2 Oral presentation

Hyperglycaemia-induced alterations in neuronal mitochondrial dynamics

Chalmers, S. (Speaker)
18 Jan 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Public engagement/education with p4 pupils at Kelvindale Primary School

Susan Chalmers (Participant)

Impact: Impact - for External PortalEducation, Public understanding, information and debate