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Dr Harprit Singh

Job: Associate Professor - Research/Reader

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Allied Health Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 257 7779




Personal profile

Associate Professor/Reader with research interests in the field of Metabolic disease  and Vascular research. Support teaching for the following programmes:

  • Biomedical Science
  • Adv Biomedical Science
  • Medical Science

Research group affiliations

Publications and outputs 

  • The use of near-peer tutors to improve level of learning & confidence in areas of human physiology
    The use of near-peer tutors to improve level of learning & confidence in areas of human physiology Iqbal, Fatima; Gaffar, Fatema; Singh, Harprit This study investigates the impact near-peer tutors (NPTs) have on the learning experience of students enrolled on the biomedical and medical science programmes at De Montfort University, UK. Using a questionnaire, tutees were able to comment on their confidence level on certain academic taught topics in human physiology before and after attending near-peer tutored sessions. Statistical analysis showed a significant increase in the level of confidence observed by the tutees after attending the sessions (before vs after, p < 0.05). Tutees enjoyed the level of interaction and active learning with huge praise towards the NPTs. Qualitative data were also captured on the experience and skills gained by NTPs. The near-peer tutors highlighted the importance of these sessions in enhancing their knowledge and gaining valuable employability skills for the workplace. In conclusion, supporting lecturers with additional student-led sessions improved confidence levels and understanding of topics in human physiology among tutees. Having similar NPTs sessions across programmes can prove to be beneficial to student engagement & learning in higher education The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • The Angiopoietin ligands and Tie receptors: potential diagnostic biomarkers of vascular disease
    The Angiopoietin ligands and Tie receptors: potential diagnostic biomarkers of vascular disease Bilimoria, Jay; Singh, Harprit The Angiopoietin-1 (Angpt1)/Tie2 signaling pathway is important in regulating vascular function. Angpt1-induced Tie2 activation promotes vascular endothelial cell survival and reduces vascular leakage. Angiopoietin-2 (Angpt2), a weak agonist/antagonist of Tie2, opposes and regulates Angpt1 action. The Tie family of receptor tyrosine kinases, Tie2 and Tie1, exist as either homo-or heterodimers. The molecular complex between the receptors is also crucial in controlling Angpt1 signaling; hence, the molecular balance between Angpt1:Angpt2 and Tie2:Tie1 is important in determining endothelial integrity and vascular stability. This review presents evidence of the change observed in the Angiopoietin/Tie molecules in various pathophysiological conditions and discusses the potential clinical applications of these molecules in vascular complications. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Effects of novel chalcone derivatives on human endothelial cell proliferation and migration
    Effects of novel chalcone derivatives on human endothelial cell proliferation and migration Hussain, A.; Fretwell, L.; Ruparelia, K. C.; Beresford, Kenneth J. M.; Singh, Harprit Introduction: Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels from the pre-existing vasculature and is essential for some physiological processes including wound healing and menstrual cycles. Unregulated angiogenesis can lead to vascular related diseases such as age related macular degeneration, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Chalcones (1,3-diphenylpropenones) are naturally occurring phenolic compounds found in a variety of plants and fruits. Their simple molecular structures have demonstrated an array of pharmacological activity including antioxidant and anti-vascular. Due to Chalcones having an easily modifiable scaffold, they are widely used as parent compounds in drug discovery studies. Endothelial cell proliferation and migration are essential for angiogenic growth, so compounds that possess anti-endothelial activity could be developed further as potential inhibitors of angiogenesis. With this in mind, we report the anti-endothelial activity of two novel analogues (AH1 and AH9) derived from the parent compound 2-chloro-2’5’-dihydroxychalcone. Method: Chalcones were synthesised via the Claisen-Schmidt condensation and verified via nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS). Primary Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were cultured according to manufactures protocol. Cells were seeding into 96-well plates (3500 cells/well) and, 24 hours later, treated either with AH1, AH9 or Sorafenib, a known anti-angiogenic drug for 72hr at a concentration of 10 µM. Effects of the compounds on cell proliferation was assessed by quantifying the colorimetric conversion of 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-Diphenyltetrazolium Bromide (MTT) to purple formazan product (measured at 560 nm). Data are expressed as mean % inhibition of cell proliferation ± SEM (n=4). Anti-migratory activity was assessed via the wound healing assay and the effects of the compounds at 3 µM on the width of the scratch across an 8 hour period were compared to untreated control. Analysis was performed by one-way ANOVA with Tukey-Kramer’s multiple comparisons test. Data are expressed as mean % of maximum migration ± SEM (n=3). Results: AH1 and AH9 displayed significant anti-proliferative activity with inhibitory values of 94.94 ± 1.64% and 79.62 ± 4.45% compared to Sorafenib, 69.95 ± 4.12%, respectively. Effects on HUVEC migration showed that AH9 limited migration to 16.19 ± 14.44% (P<0.05 vs. control). AH1 (47.23 ± 6.8%) showed similar anti-migratory activity to Sorafenib (52.68 ± 3.32%). Conclusion: This preliminary data suggests that AH9 has potential antiangiogenic properties and could be developed further as a potential antiangiogenic or vascular remodelling agent. Further studies will elucidate the molecular mechanism of AH9 action in cells stimulated with known angiogenic agent, VEGF.
  • Biomedical science students as teachers to levels KS3 and KS4
    Biomedical science students as teachers to levels KS3 and KS4 Pena-Fernandez, A.; Pena, M. A.; Lobo-Bedmar, M. C.; Singh, Harprit; Weldon, C. Students-as-teachers is a useful pedagogy for future professionals that require teaching abilities in their profession such as nurses and medical doctors. However, this has been little explored in other human health sciences programmes such as biomedical (BMS) and medical science (BMedS) degrees. A novel pedagogy has been introduced at De Montfort University (UK) to develop teaching abilities in second and final year students enrolled in BMS and BMedS programmes. A total of 15 students were deployed to Bermuda in November 2016 for 2 weeks to teach different topics of human biology and microbiology to secondary school children level KS3 (aged 11-14) and KS4 (aged 14-18) with academic-supervision. Briefly, this pedagogy consisted of students distributed into groups of 5 to encourage peer-interaction, with one group (the teaching group) responsible for leading different teaching/learning sessions in microbiology (e.g. virus and bacteria, disease, hygiene, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, etc.). The other groups peer-assessed the performance of the teaching group in conjunction with the academics. This approach facilitated the provision of comprehensive feedback so students could improve their performance throughout their deployment. 73% of students enjoyed teaching and 100% highlighted that were highly satisfied with the experience. 29% would like to do a teaching career (40% of students reported uncertainty about their future career); however, 80% of students highlighted that this experience will help to decide their career. Only 13% students reported that they struggled in preparing their topics, particularly to KS3. Finally, students indicated that the best part of the experience was inspiring young people and when schoolchildren provided feedback and were interactive. Confidence was perceived as a skill to improve. Students reported high levels of satisfaction and recommended the inclusion of similar pedagogies in their degrees. We consider that involving students in teaching provide some teaching abilities and critical transversal competences.
  • The effect of Interleukin 1 Beta on vascular Angiopoietin 1 signalling
    The effect of Interleukin 1 Beta on vascular Angiopoietin 1 signalling Bilimoria, Jay; Singh, Harprit
  • Building on-line materials for teaching parasitology to health sciences’ students: initial impressions.
    Building on-line materials for teaching parasitology to health sciences’ students: initial impressions. Pena-Fernandez, A.; Ollero, M.; Fenoy, S.; Magnet, A.; Mackenzie, S.; Pena, M. A.; Izquierdo, F.; Hurtado, C.; Ioannou, M.; Bornay, F.; Halliwell, R.; Acosta, L.; Torrus, D.; Singh, Harprit; Sgamma, Tiziana; Evans, M.; Bhambra, Avninder S.; Baho, S.; del Aguila, C. Background: It is widely recognised that the use of web-based teaching resources is an increasingly important method for delivering education, and it will be particularly important in the near future due to the progressively increasing number of health science students and the current number of academics in the “European Higher Education Area”. The study of parasitology and infectious diseases is essential to build professionals in the health sector with the key knowledge and skills to face global public health threats such as food-, water- or vector-borne infectious diseases outbreaks. However, the current time dedicated to the teaching of this discipline in all health sciences degrees at De Montfort University (DMU, Leicester, UK) is very little or non-existent depending on the degree/master. Methods: An innovative teaching group at DMU is trying to fill this gap in the currently available teaching offer in line with new trends in global health education, the large number of students enrolled in any health degree and the increasing number of students that would like to study this discipline (but due to different commitments do not have enough time or resources to study on a full time basis). Thus, an innovative teaching group from different EU Universities (DMU and the Spanish universities: University of San Pablo CEU, University of Alcalá, and University Miguel Hernández de Elche) and clinicians (University Hospitals of Leicester, UK) have started to design, create and develop a complete on-line package in Parasitology for undergraduate and postgraduate students that study health sciences. Results: The e-Parasitology package will be accessible through the DMU website ( in 2017 and will be focused on infection, prevention and treatment of major and emerging parasitological diseases. Conclusions: This teaching resource will aid our undergraduate and postgraduate students to gain a significant knowledge in parasitology by promoting self-learning and internationalization. This poster will explore one of the first mini-modules developed so far related with Toxocara, a helminthiasis with prevalence rates that can reach as high as 40% or more in parts of the world, and the challenges for its development.
  • The effect of interleukin 1 on vascular angiopoietin 1 signalling
    The effect of interleukin 1 on vascular angiopoietin 1 signalling Bilimoria, Jay; Singh, Harprit The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link. Open access.
  • Student facilitated walk-in workshops to support peer-learning of human anatomy and physiology on health science programmes
    Student facilitated walk-in workshops to support peer-learning of human anatomy and physiology on health science programmes Singh, Harprit; Hachemi, S.; Pena-Fernandez, A. Background: Student engagement is one of the challenging aspects of teaching and learning. Learning through near-peer and peer-to-peer interaction has been shown to improve student engagement and improve active learning. The use of peer-teaching and near-peer teaching pedagogical strategies as a mean of active and independent learning has been shown specifically to improve undergraduate science student’s attributes and knowledge towards their subject area. Near peer tutors might overcome barriers such as lack of subject expertise or lack of teaching skills or experience with greater adeptness at group facilitation and a better understanding of their learners. Thus, the benefits of this pedagogy strategy would be that students acquire various skills including presentation skills, organizing work, peer interaction and collaboration. In addition, this type of learning not only helps learners by promoting effective self-study and self-awareness but also academics due to the increasing numbers of students enrolling in any health science degree. Aim: Over the years we have realized that significant number of students on the BSc Biomedical and BMedSci Medical Science programmes at De Montfort University (DMU, UK) struggle with understanding key aspects of human physiology; and so lecturers are constantly throughout the course revisiting basic areas of Anatomy & Physiology. In this study, we aim to investigate whether student-led workshops improve students learning and engagement with fundamental topics of human physiology including endocrine, renal, cardiovascular and nervous system. Methodology: These sessions are currently being developed and facilitated by a third-year Medical Science student, who has specifically gained a frontrunner internship (a specific DMU programme that facilitate the acquisition of transferable skills to DMU students that will benefit their future career) as a physiology walk-in assistant. The frontrunner uses activity based learning through demonstrations of anatomic models and biochemical processes, online activities and group work. To evaluate these sessions, we have designed a validated short questionnaire for students to complete. Comparative testing against previous cohort groups’ module results and module evaluation feedback will also be examined to demonstrate the impact of these walk-in sessions. Impact: The main outcome of these physiology walk in sessions is to engage students through near peer active learning in better understanding of key content related to human anatomy and physiology, which would help improve student knowledge retention, achieve module bench marks and improve student progression. The impact this project has had so far is immense. Not only the project is helping students improve perceived areas of difficulty in learning, but also in equipping the peer-tutor with more knowledge and valuable employability skills for the workplace. Skills and knowledge developed through this method of peer-learning will help produce more confident competent graduates and strengthen their suitability for the wider range of profession choices now available to graduates. We anticipate that these walk-in sessions will extend further interest in students to become frontrunners/tutors and promote similar walk-in session for other scientific related modules within the DMU health science programmes.
  • Assessing the relevance of involving biomedical and medical science students in teaching at De Montfort University
    Assessing the relevance of involving biomedical and medical science students in teaching at De Montfort University Pena-Fernandez, A.; Pena-Fernandez, M. A.; Weldon, Carika; Singh, Harprit Pedagogical research has shown the relevance of involving students in teaching and peer-teaching, particularly as learners involved in these activities have reported better learning and performance. This could be attributed to different reasons such as enhancement of active thinking about the topics taught, self-learning, translating the topics’ concepts into one’s own words, etc. Engaging students through teaching could provide them with key transversal competences and will encourage them to develop their “teaching” skills. An innovative group of academics is undertaking an ambitious process to involve undergraduate BSc Biomedical Science and BMedSci Medical Science students in teaching and peer-teaching at De Montfort University (DMU, Leicester, UK). These include students teaching secondary school children (educating younger students) and peer-teaching. The aim of this paper is to describe and analyse the initial academic and student impressions of these two novel initiatives used in the relevant programmes, as previously such initiatives have been minimal or non-existent. Peerteaching was firstly initiated with BMedSci students in the 2015/16 academic course in an attempt to teach basic skills to respond to an outbreak of infection, an activity that received a high level of student satisfaction as discussed previously. However, we have revisited this teaching session to make it more robust, in which students on both programmes will need to develop an intervention programme to protect human health in the aftermath of an outbreak in the UK, a pedagogical activity that we are co-developing with the University of Alcalá (Madrid, Spain). The other teaching initiative that has been created on the biomedical and medical sciences programmes for the first time involved educating pupils in Bermuda (an overseas UK territory). Second and final year students of both programmes visited different Bermudian schools and colleges to deliver the same one hour session chosen by the DMU academic. In addition, these DMU students were involved in promoting their profession (biomedical and medical science). The outcome of both these projects can be beneficial in improving learning and engagement among students enrolled in any human-health related degree.
  • Angiopoietins
    Angiopoietins Singh, Harprit Copyright Holder: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Click here to view a full listing of Dr Harprit Singh's publications and outputs 

Key research outputs

  • Tahir T.A, Singh H and Brindle NPJ. The RNA Binding Protein hnRNP-K Mediates Post -Transcriptional Regulation of Uncoupling Protein-2 by Angiopoietin-1. Cellular Signalling. 2014 26 (7) 1379-1384
  • Singh H, Hansen T, Patel N, and Brindle NPJ. The molecular balance between receptor tyrosine kinases Tie1 and Tie2 is dynamically controlled by VEGF and TNF and regulates Angiopoietin signalling.   PLoS ONE.  2012 7  (1) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029319
  • Singh H, Tahir TA, Alawo DO, Issa E and Nicholas PJ Brindle. Molecular control of Angiopoietin signalling. Biochem Soc Trans. 2011 39 (6) 1592-1596
  • Singh H, Brindle NPJ, and Zammit VA. High glucose and elevated fatty acids suppress signalling by the endothelium protective ligand Angiopoietin-1. Microvascular Research. 2010 79 (2) 121-127
  • Singh H, Milner CS, Aguilar-Hernandez M, Patel N, and Brindle NPJ. Vascular endothelial growth factor activates the Tie family of receptor tyrosine kinases. Cellular signalling. 2009 21 (8) 1346-1350 (Faculty of 1000 biology recommendation)

Research interests/expertise

Involved in investigating the mechanism associated with metabolic syndrome induced endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease in patients. Research expertise includes:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Endothelial biology
  • Cell signalling
  • Growth hormones and their Receptors.
  • Molecular markers of vascular disease
  • Translational research

Areas of teaching

  • Endocrinology
  • Cardiovascular 
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Angiogenesis


  • PhD in Biochemistry
  • PGCert in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Biochemistry

Courses taught

  • Medical Science (BMed Sci)
  • Biomedical Science (BSc)
  • Adv Biomedical Science (MSc)

Honours and awards

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • The British Society for Cardiovascular Research
  • European Society of Cardiology Working Group Atherosclerosis & Vascular Biology

Conference attendance

  • Angiopoietin 1 signalling, a marker of endothelial dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease. 23-24 April 2012. Leicester.  4th British Pharmacological Society. Harprit Singh.
  • The molecular balance between receptor tyrosine kinases TIE1 and TIE2 is dynamically controlled by diverse agonists and regulates responsiveness of TIE2 to its ligand. 8-10 June 2011, University of Edinburgh, UK. Signalling 2011: Biochemical Society Centenary Conference, Harprit Singh. Oral presentation.

Current research students

  • Jay Bilimoria, PhD
  • Koddus Ali, PhD
  • Nasrin Shokrzadeh, PhD 
  • Tam Nqoc Minh Vu, PhD

Externally funded research grants information

  • NIHR-CARDIOVASCULAR BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH UNIT (2011) “Angiopoietin 1 signalling in endothelial cells isolated from patients with vascular disease”.
  • VIP WELLCOME TRUST RESEARH FELLOW (2009) “Effect of Metabolic syndrome on Angiopoietin 1 signalling in endothelial cells”.

Internally funded research project information

  • The Effect of Diabetes on Angiopoietin 1 Signalling in the development of Vascular Disease. DMU Graduate School Full Bursary PhD Scholarship. 2016-2020.
  • Micro-bead technology in the purification of human coronary endothelial cells, Research Investment Fund 7, June 2015-July 2016, PI. 

Potential PhD projects for students

  • Diabetes and Endothelial signalling
  • Impact of Polyunsaturated fat on Endothelial signalling
  • Predicting vascular disease

Successfully Supervised PhD Students

  Aamir Hussain, 2015-2019

  Rasmieh Alziedan, 2012-2016


Journal Peer Reviewer

  • Journal of Biomedical Research
  • Cancer Letters
  • Human Cell

Grant Peer Reviewer

Medical Research Council


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