Mr Aaran Vijayakumaran

Aaran Vijayakumaran

PhD Researcher

MRC Toxicology
University of Cambridge
LocationUnited Kingdom

Research Interests

Motile cilia, Electron Microscopy, Cell Biology, Super Resolution Imaging, Omics Technologies

The rise of global health threats, such as COVID-19 as well as the increase in air pollution, has dramatically emphasized the role that the airways play in protecting our health. Therefore, it is important we investigate the mechanisms of airway toxicity to develop better biomarker and therapeutic strategies.

Having trained as a physiologist prior to my postgraduate studies, I developed an understanding of how organs collectively function in our body in response to internal or external stimuli. The question I always asked was ‘how do cells contribute to organ functionality; hence our physiology?’

Within our tissue, various cell types interact together to form communities that function in a larger system. Cellular physiology is the study of the structure and function of cells within their native tissue environment. By using advanced imaging techniques such as super-resolution microscopy and volumetric EM, with genetic tools such as CRISPR to modulate physiological status, we can study the relationship between structure and function. This not only will allow us to gain a better insight into the role of our cells in physiology – but importantly pathology. We can then utilize mechanistic information for the production of diagnostic toolboxes for the analysis of toxicity and adverse outcome pathways of novel compounds or toxicants introduced into the environment.