Sharron Vass
Sharron Vass

Dr Sharron Vass BSc. Hons., PhD, SFHEA

Lecturer

Biography

Dr Sharron Vass BSc (Hons) PhD SFHEA is a lecturer of Biomedical Sciences within the School of Applied Sciences, at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland, UK.

Research Interests
In 2005, Dr Vass completed her PhD studies at the Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh. Her PhD project involved investigating the molecular ‘glue’ that holds chromosomes together and what happens to chromosome structure when that glue is absent. Through this project she developed a keen interest in cell biology and a passion for fluorescence microscopy.

She then undertook post-doctoral research at the Queen’s Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, where she was investigating the role of metalloproteinase enzymes in cell migration processes. She developed novel microscopy techniques for visualizing the formation of developing blood vessels in live zebrafish embryos and was invited to share these techniques at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm (2012).

Dr Vass was awarded a lectureship at Edinburgh Napier University in 2014, where she established her own research group focusing on the molecular pathways regulating cell migration in cancer cells. Using highly migratory melanoma cells she is investigating the KISS1/R signaling cascade. She has also been instrumental in developing novel research models for investigating the toxicity of vaping fluids on human lung epithelial cells.

Academic Leadership
Dr Vass gained Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2015, and Senior Fellowship in 2022. She is passionate about Widening Participation and Inclusion within the HE landscape and has worked on a number of projects to enhance student experience.
She has extensive trans-national educational experience and had developed and delivered teaching and assessment materials in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Since 2018, Dr Vass has been Programme Leader for the MSc Biomedical Sciences in Hong Kong, which is offered in conjunction with our partner organisation HKU SPACE. This MSc programme is recognised by the Hong Kong Hospital Authority and applications have increased dramatically in the last two years.

Dr Vass is passionate about public engagement with science and the promotion of STEM careers. She has been an invited speaker at a number of events including; An Afternoon of Science, Soap Box Science, and Monster Confidence.

Themes

Research Areas

Esteem

Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Co- Chair, Little France Post-Doctoral Society

 

Conference Organising Activity

  • Enhancement Themes, Shared Practice
  • Beatson International Cancer Conference, Glasgow

 

External Examining/Validations

  • External Examiner Bournemouth University

 

Fellowships and Awards

  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

 

Invited Speaker

  • An Afternoon of Science, Public Engagement Event, Edinburgh Napier University
  • Widening Participation in HE
  • University of Edinburgh - Medical School Careers Day
  • Monster Confidence - STEM Promotion, Heriot Watt Uinversity, Edinburgh
  • Soapbox Science - Public Engagement Event, The Mound, Edinburgh
  • From Flies to Fish (via humans), Centre for Cardiovascular Research, University of Edinburgh
  • Linking Cell Migration and Angiogenesis in Zebrafish, University of Sheffield
  • Taking the Sticky out of Cohesion, University of Dundee
  • Linking Cell Migration and Angiogenesis in Zebrafish, University of Glasgow
  • Winner - 3 Minute Thesis (2016), School of Applied Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University
  • Imaging Vascular Development and Cell Migration in Zebrafish, Karolinska Institute, Sweden

 

Membership of Professional Body

  • Member of British Society for Cell Biology

 

Date


16 results

Margarete Heck (1959–2023): Cell biologist, geneticist, and incandescent social spark

Journal Article
Cobbe, N., Di Cara, F., Spradling, A. C., & Vass, S. (2024)
Margarete Heck (1959–2023): Cell biologist, geneticist, and incandescent social spark. Journal of Cell Biology, 223(1), Article e202311145. https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.202311145

A role for the metalloprotease invadolysin in insulin signaling and adipogenesis

Journal Article
Chang, C., Abhinav, K., Di Cara, F., Panagakou, I., Vass, S., & Heck, M. M. (2017)
A role for the metalloprotease invadolysin in insulin signaling and adipogenesis. Biological Chemistry, 398(3), 373-393. https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2016-0226
Invadolysin is a novel metalloprotease conserved amongst metazoans that is essential for life in Drosophila. We previously showed that invadolysin was essential for the cell c...

Early-life perturbations in glucocorticoid activity impacts on the structure, function and molecular composition of the adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) heart

Journal Article
Wilson, K. S., Baily, J., Tucker, C. S., Matrone, G., Vass, S., Moran, C., …Denvir, M. A. (2015)
Early-life perturbations in glucocorticoid activity impacts on the structure, function and molecular composition of the adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) heart. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 414, 120-131. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2015.07.025
Background Transient early-life perturbations in glucocorticoids (GC) are linked with cardiovascular disease risk in later life. Here the impact of early life manipulations o...

Impact of Glucocorticoid Induced Reprogramming on Functional, Histological and Molecular Signalling in the Adult Zebrafish Heart

Journal Article
Wilson, K., Baily, J., Tucker, C., Vass, S., Moran, C., Chapman, K., …Denvir, M. (2015)
Impact of Glucocorticoid Induced Reprogramming on Functional, Histological and Molecular Signalling in the Adult Zebrafish Heart. Heart, 101(Suppl 4), A107.3-A108. https://doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2015-308066.193
Introduction Foetal over-exposure to glucocorticoids (GC) has been associated with cardiovascular disorder in later life however the impact of transient early life alterations...

Invadolysin acts genetically via the SAGA complex to modulate chromosome structure

Journal Article
Janiszewski, M. M., Heck, M. M., Rao, S. G., Janiszewski, M. M., Duca, E., Nelson, B., …Heck, M. M. S. (2015)
Invadolysin acts genetically via the SAGA complex to modulate chromosome structure. Nucleic Acids Research, 43(7), 3546-3562. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkv211
Identification of components essential to chromosome structure and behaviour remains a vibrant area of study. We have previously shown that invadolysin is essential in Drosoph...

Heart on a Plate: Histological and Functional Assessment of Isolated Adult Zebrafish Hearts Maintained in Culture

Journal Article
Pieperhoff, S., Wilson, K. S., Baily, J., de Mora, K., Maqsood, S., Vass, S., …Denvir, M. A. (2014)
Heart on a Plate: Histological and Functional Assessment of Isolated Adult Zebrafish Hearts Maintained in Culture. PLOS ONE, 9(5), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0096771
The zebrafish is increasingly used for cardiovascular genetic and functional studies. We present a novel protocol to maintain and monitor whole isolated beating adult zebrafis...

Perturbation of invadolysin disrupts cell migration in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Journal Article
Vass, S., & Heck, M. M. S. (2013)
Perturbation of invadolysin disrupts cell migration in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Experimental Cell Research, 319(8), 1198-1212. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2013.02.005
Invadolysin is an essential, conserved metalloprotease which links cell division with cell migration and is intriguingly associated with lipid droplets. In this work we examin...

Drosophila poly suggests a novel role for the Elongator complex in insulin receptor-target of rapamycin signalling

Journal Article
Bolukbasi, E., Vass, S., Cobbe, N., Nelson, B., Simossis, V., Dunbar, D. R., & Heck, M. M. S. (2012)
Drosophila poly suggests a novel role for the Elongator complex in insulin receptor-target of rapamycin signalling. Open Biology, 2(1), 110031-110031. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsob.110031
Multi-cellular organisms need to successfully link cell growth and metabolism to environmental cues during development. Insulin receptor–target of rapamycin (InR–TOR) signalli...

The conserved metalloprotease invadolysin localizes to the surface of lipid droplets

Journal Article
Cobbe, N., Marshall, K. M., Rao, S. G., Chang, C., Di Cara, F., Duca, E., …Heck, M. M. (2009)
The conserved metalloprotease invadolysin localizes to the surface of lipid droplets. Journal of Cell Science, 122(18), 3414-3423. https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.044610
Invadolysin is a metalloprotease conserved in many different organisms, previously shown to be essential in Drosophila with roles in cell division and cell migration. The gene...

Differential Requirements for MCM Proteins in DNA Replication in Drosophila S2 Cells

Journal Article
Crevel, G., Hashimoto, R., Vass, S., Sherkow, J., Yamaguchi, M., Heck, M. M., & Cotterill, S. (2007)
Differential Requirements for MCM Proteins in DNA Replication in Drosophila S2 Cells. PLOS ONE, 2(9), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000833
Background The MCM2-7 proteins are crucial components of the pre replication complex (preRC) in eukaryotes. Since they are significantly more abundant than other preRC compon...

Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • Pump-Priming Award, BHF

Previous Post Grad projects