Lab Members

Dr Victor Casanova | E-Mail VictorVictor Casanova

Victor Casanova is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow interested in better understanding the interactions of different tissues and immune cells, in health but also in response to infection.

Victor graduated in Biology in 2006 in the University of Barcelona. Shortly after (2008) he finished a Master’s degree in Immunology, a project which lead to a PhD (2013) studying Adenosine Deaminase and α-defensins as modulators of immune responses to HIV infection. This research was mainly focused on human primary dendritic cells and T-cells from healthy and HIV-infected donors.

Victor moved to the Centre for Inflammation Research (CIR) in 2013, investigating the role of apoptotic cells in inducing regulatory B-cells, and the relative contribution of different B-cell subsets in the pathology of Rheumatoid Arthritis. This work involved complex multicolour flow cytometry, B-cell and primary synovial tissue cell culture.

He joined Edinburgh Napier University in 2015, working under the supervision of Dr. Peter Barlow and Dr. Craig Stevens, aiming to elucidate how Cationic Host Defence Peptides modulate autophagy and apoptotic processes in viral infections.


Filipa Henderson Sousa | E-mail FilipaFilipa Henderson Sousa

Filipa is a third year PhD Student supervised by Dr Peter Barlow and Dr Craig Stevens. Her research is centered around the activities of Cationic Host Defence Peptides during respiratory viral infection, specifically influenza and rhinovirus. Her project has a particular focus on the antiviral activities of CHDP and the manipulation of the inflammatory response to viral infection. Filipa is supported by a 50th Anniversary Studentship from Edinburgh Napier University.





Kirsty Hooper | E-mail KirstyKirsty Hooper

Kirsty is a third year PhD student supervised by Dr Craig Stevens, Dr Paul Henderson (NHS Lothian) and Dr Peter Barlow. Kirsty is undertaking a project entitled “An investigation of commonly used IBD drugs on autophagy pathway activity and potential therapeutic benefit for treatment of paediatric IBD” in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh. Kirsty is supported by a PhD Studentship from CICRA.



Olga Biskou | E-mail OlgaOlga Biskou

Olga is a third year PhD student who is supervised by Dr Craig Stevens and Dr Peter Barlow. Her project involves looking at the role of the cell cytoskeleton in autophagy. Olga is supported by a 50th Anniversary Studentship from Edinburgh Napier University.





Dr. Fern Findlay

Fern Findlay

Fern completed her PhD at Edinburgh Napier University in June 2016, studying under the supervision of Dr Peter Barlow and Dr Lorna Proudfoot. The primary focus of her research was investigating whether nanoparticles interact with Cationic Host Defence Peptides and whether or not this could lead to a loss of peptide function.

Fern began her studies at University of Edinburgh and graduated with Honours in Infectious Diseases in 2009. She then came to Edinburgh Napier University to study for her MSc in Drug Design and Biomedical Science where she graduated in 2011. She was also part of the Centre for Nano Safety at Edinburgh Napier University and a student member of the British Society for Immunology.

Chris Coyle Chris Coyle
Chris completed a MSc by Research in November 2015 working with Dr Peter Barlow and Dr Mick Rae on the effects of altered prenatal steroids on the expression of CHDPs. Chris’ background is in Reproductive Biology, having studied the effects of excess androgens (male sex hormones) in both the testis and the pancreas.

Chris also has an active interest in public engagement, recently taking part in Bright Club which is a stand-up comedy event for researchers to make their research funny, and he also volunteers for STEMnet, which is an organisation which liaises with schools to get kids interested in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics.  He is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Aberdeen.

Hannah Gay | Hannah Gay
Hannah completed an MSc by Research in September 2016, supervised by Dr Zoe Chouliara and Dr Peter Barlow, after researching the effects of previous psychological trauma on levels of circulating inflammatory biomarkers and leukocyte activation. In particular, the impact of interpersonal trust was investigated, and the role that this may have in the development of chronic low-grade inflammation in individuals.