Dr Samantha Pitt

Dr Samantha Pitt
Royal Society of Edinburgh Biomedical Fellow

Samantha Pitt graduated from the University of York in 2002 with a BSc (Hons) degree in Biology. She then went on to complete a PhD in Cellular Physiology at the University of Cambridge graduating in 2006. Following two postdoctoral positions studying mechanisms of ion-channel regulation, one at University College London (Department of Pharmacology) and one at the University of Bristol (Department of Pharmacology) she moved to her current position as a Royal Society of Edinburgh Biomedical Fellow in the School of Medicine, University of St Andrews.

Throughout her career, Samantha’s main focus has been the role of ion-channels in mediating and regulating intracellular Ca2+-signals.

The release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores within the cell is essential for a diverse range of fundamental processes including muscle contraction, fertilisation, cell division and neurotransmitter release. Using electrophysiological approaches Samantha is interested in the study of intracellular ion-channels that are involved in the control and regulation of Ca2+-release in health and disease.


data source: symbiosis

Research Overview from research@st-andrews

In healthy individuals, the controlled release of calcium causes the heart to beat strongly.  Calcium is released through specialised gates called ryanodine receptors (RyR2). In patients with heart failure and fatal arrhythmias the release of calcium becomes erratic leading to weakened contraction of heart muscle and cell death. Using a combination of low noise electrophysiological recordings in combination with molecular and biochemical methods my group investigates intracellular calcium dynamics and the molecular function of RyR2 and other ion channels that are present on intracellular organelles. The aim of our research is to try to understand what happens to channel function under pathophysiological conditions.

source: research@st-andrews
Recent publications listed in research@st-andrews
Jovanovic, A, Obradovic, M, Sudar-Milovanovic, E, Stewart, AJ, Pitt, SJ, Alvantic, D, Aleksic, E & Isenovic, ER 2017, 'Changes in cardiac Na+/K+-ATPase expression and activity in female rats fed a high fat diet' Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, vol. 436, no. 1-2, pp. 49-58. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11010-017-3077-y
Jovanovic, A, Sudar-Milovanovic, E, Obradovic, M, Pitt, SJ, Stewart, AJ, Zafirovic, S, Stanimirovic, J, Radak, D & Isenovic, ER 2017, 'Influence of a high-fat diet on cardiac iNOS in female rats' Current Vascular Pharmacology, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 491-500. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570161114666161025101303
Stanimirovic, J, Obradovic, M, Jovanovic, A, Sudar-Milovanovic, E, Zafirovic, S, Pitt, SJ, Stewart, AJ & Isenovic, ER 2016, 'A high fat diet induces sex-specific differences in hepatic lipid metabolism and nitrite/nitrate in rats' Nitric Oxide, vol. 54, pp. 51-59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.niox.2016.02.007
Robertson, G, Reilly O'Donnell, B & Pitt, SJ 2015, 'Exploring a novel role for zinc in modulation of sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium release in skeletal muscle' Physiology 2015, Cardiff, United Kingdom, 6/07/15 - 8/07/15, .
Obradovic, M, Stewart, AJ, Pitt, SJ, Labudovic-Borovic, M, Sudar, E, Petrovic, V, Zafirovic, S, Maravic-Stojkovic, V, Vasic, V & Isenovic, ER 2014, 'In vivo effects of 17β-estradiol on cardiac Na+/K+-ATPase expression and activity in rat heart' Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, vol. 388, no. 1-2, pp. 58-68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2014.03.005
Venturi, E, Galfre, E, O'Brien, F, Pitt, SJ, Bellamy, S, Sessions, RB & Sitsapesan, R 2014, 'FKBP12.6 activates RyR1: investigating the amino acid residues critical for channel modulation' Biophysical Journal, vol. 106, no. 4, pp. 824-833. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2013.12.041
Venturi, E, Matyjaszkiewicz, A, Pitt, SJ, Tsaneva-Atanasova, K, Nishi, M, Yamazaki, D, Takeshima, H & Sitsapesan, R 2013, 'TRIC-B channels display labile gating: evidence from the TRIC-A knockout mouse model' Pflügers Archiv: European Journal of Physiology, vol. 465, no. 8, pp. 1135-1148. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00424-013-1251-y
Galfre, E, Pitt, SJ, Venturi, E, Sitsapesan, M, Zaccai, NR, Tsaneva-Atanasova, K, O'Neill, S & Sitsapesan, R 2012, 'FKBP12 activates the cardiac ryanodine receptor Ca2+-release channel and is antagonised by FKBP12.6' PLoS One, vol. 7, no. 2, e31956. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0031956
Venturi, E, Mio, K, Nishi, M, Ogura, T, Moriya, T, Pitt, SJ, Okuda, K, Kakizawa, S, Sitsapesan, R, Sato, C & Takeshima, H 2011, 'Mitsugumin 23 forms a massive bowl-shaped assembly and cation-conducting channel.' Biochemistry, vol. 50, no. 13, pp. 2623-32. https://doi.org/10.1021/bi1019447
Pitt, SJ, Funnell, TM, Sitsapesan, M, Venturi, E, Rietdorf, K, Ruas, M, Ganesan, A, Gosain, R, Churchill, GC, Zhu, MX, Parrington, J, Galione, A & Sitsapesan, R 2010, 'TPC2 is a novel NAADP-sensitive Ca2+ release channel, operating as a dual sensor of luminal pH and Ca2+' Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 285, no. 45, pp. 35039-35046. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M110.156927