Research Fellow (Tenured)
T: 0141 331 8017
I undertook my PhD in Reproductive Science and Medicine at Imperial College London (granted 2003), after which I was a Serono Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, moving to GCU in 2006 as Postdoctoral Research Fellow to Dr Patricia Martin in the Connexins Research Group. In 2012 I became a tenured Research Fellow in the Department of Life Sciences.
I carry out research and teaching in the Department, and am tissue donor co-ordinator of the GCU skin research tissue bank. I am a member of the Connexin Research Group http://www.gcu.ac.uk/hls/staff/drpatriciamartin/ and the Diabetes Research Group http://www.gcu.ac.uk/iahr/researchgroups/diabetes/groupmembers/.
My research is in skin biology, looking at the roles of gap junction proteins (connexins) in normal and diabetic wound healing. The main thrust of my work over the past few years (working with Dr Patricia Martin) has been to investigate using gap junction proteins as therapeutic targets to improve chronic wound non-healing. This work began by using connexin mimetic peptides, obtained via an industrial partnership, to target the gap junction proteins and improve wound healing responses in 2D and 3D human skin models. I then investigated the efficiency of connexin mimetic peptides to enhance scrape-wound closure in normal and diabetic human skin models. This project looked at gap junction regulation in normal and diabetic environments, and examined the effects of hyperglycaemia on extra-cellular matrix and cell adhesion genes during cell migration. With Dr Martin and Prof Stuart Baird I established a research tissue bank to allow human diabetic and normal skin samples to be obtained for research. We are also developing biomathematical models to examine mechanisms of increases in cell migration seen in response to connexin mimetic peptides in normally healing and chronic skin wounds. More recently I have looked at defining the mechanism of action of connexin mimetic peptides by examining interactions with the extracellular loop of Cx43, phosphorylation of the carboxyl tail, and interactions with binding proteins including ZO-1.
I am currently establishing my own avenues of research and am interested in the role of apoptosis and connexins in diabetic wound healing, fibrosis in Diabetes, connexin-mediated adhesion in cell migration, and wound-tissue signalling.
During my PhD I investigated the regulation of initiation of folliculogenesis and early follicle development in normal ovaries and polycystic ovaries (PCOS), developing an in vitro maturation method for human follicles. Follicular gap junction distribution and the role of hormones in gap junction expression were examined in the mouse and human ovaries. I still retain an interest in the role of gap junctions in the ovarian follicle and ovarian cancer.
Selected Recent Publications
- Wright CS, Berends RF, Flint DJ and Martin PEM (2013) Cell motility in models of wounded human skin is improved by Gap27 despite raised glucose, insulin and IGFBP-5. Exp Cell Res 319(4):390-401
- Donnelly S, Wright CS, van Steensel MAM, Hodgins MB and Martin PE (2013). A role for connexins in inflammatory disorders of the epidermis. Connexin Cell Communication Channels. E. Oviedo-Orta, B. R. Kwak and W. H. Evans. Boca Raton, FL, CRC Press: 233-251
- Wright CS, Flint DJ and Martin PEM (2012) Modulation of connexin43 function by Gap27 increases human dermal fibroblast migration in hyperglycaemic and hyperinsulinaemic conditions in vitro. J Cell Physiol 227: 77–87 (doi: 10.1002/jcp.22705)
- Elbadawy HM, Borthwick F, Wright C, Martin PE, Graham A. (2011) Cytosolic StAR-related lipid transfer domain 4 (STARD4) protein influences keratinocyte lipid phenotype and differentiation status. Br J Dermatol. 164 (3), 628-32 (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.10102.x)
- Pollok S, Pfeiffer A-C, Lobmann R, Wright CS, Martin PEM, Moll I and Brandner JM (2011) Connexin43 mimetic peptide Gap27 reveals potential differences between the role of Cx43 in wound repair in diabetic and non diabetic cells. J Cell Mol Med 15 (4), 861-73 (doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2010.01057.x)
- Johnstone SR, Best AK, Wright CS, Isakson BE, Errington RJ and Martin PE (2010) Increased connexin43 expression delays intramitotic duration and cell cycle progression independently of gap junction channel function. J Cell Biochem 110 (3), 772-82
- Wright CS, van Steensel MA Hodgins MB and Martin PEM (2009) Connexin mimetic peptides improve cell migration rates of human epidermal keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts in vitro. Wound Repair Regen 17 (2), 240-9. Erratum in Wound Repair Regen 17(4),629
- Hardy K, Wright C, Rice S, Tachataki M, Roberts R, Morgan D, Spanos S and Taylor D (2002) Future developments in assisted reproduction in humans. Reproduction 123 (3), 171-183
- Wright CS, Becker DL, Lin JS, Warner AE and Hardy K (2001) Stage-specific and differential expression of gap junctions in the mouse ovary: connexin-specific roles in follicular regulation. Reproduction 121 (1), 77-88
- Hardy K, Wright CS, Franks S and Winston RML (2000) In vitro maturation of oocytes. Br Med Bull 56 (3), 588-602
- Wright CS, Hovatta O, Margara R, Trew G, Winston RML, Franks S and Hardy K (1999) Effects of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and serum substitution on the in vitro growth and development of early human ovarian follicles. Hum Reprod 14 (6), 1555-1561
- Medical Research Scotland, 2013: ‘Cell-cell communication and death in diabetic skin wound healing models’ (£1880, C Wright)
- PetPlan Charitable Trust, 2012-2013: ‘Three-Dimensional Modelling of the Equine Epidermis in vitro: an Essential Tool for Wound Healing Research’ (£10,000; J Patterson-Kane, C Wright)
- Vascular Research Foundation Glasgow, 2012-2013: ‘Connexin 43 expression as a biological marker of ischaemia in occlusive arterial disease of the lower limb’ (£10,000; K Hussey, P Martin, C Wright)
- Cunningham Trust, 2011-2013: 'Dissecting the role of connexin43-mediated signalling in wound healing: defining connexin43 therapeutic target domains' (£90,000; P. Martin, C. Wright)
- Chief Scientist Office, 2008-2010:’The impact of connexin mimetic peptides and cellular environment on wound healing rates in organotypic living skin equivalents’ (£225,000; P. Martin, C. Wright, D Flint)
- British Skin Foundation, 2008-2010: ‘Determination of differential gene expression occurring during wound healing’ (£10,000; P. Martin, C. Wright)
My main teaching area is cell and biomolecular biology. I am a tutor on the BSc Hons Cell and Molecular Biology course and the MSc Diabetes Care and Management course. I am involved with delivering the BSc Molecular Biology Workshop and MSc Biomolecular Workshop. I also supervise BSc Honours students.
Current research team:
- Claire Lorraine (PhD student, third supervisor)
- Mr Keith Hussey (MD student, third supervisor)
Scientific collaborators include:
- Prof David Flint (University of Strathclyde)
- Prof Graham Leese (Scottish Diabetes Research Network)
- Prof David Becker (UCL)
- Prof Stuart Baird (GCU, Podiatry)
- Dr Linda Erskine (University of Aberdeen)
- Dr Steve Webb (via Dr Martin)
- Dr Steve McDougall (via Dr Martin)
- Dr Joanna Brandner (via Dr Martin)
- Dr David Greenhaugh (Glasgow University)
- Prof Janet Patterson-Kane (Glasgow University Vet School)
- Dr Brian Kennon (NHS GG&C)
- Mr Wesley Stuart (NHS GG&C)
- Mr Keith Hussey (NHS GG&C)
- Ms Jane Hair (Glasgow Biorepository)
- Dr Richard Weller (NHS Lothian)
- Prof Andrew Collier (NHS Ayrshire and Arran)
Dr Patricia Martin and I collaborate with Zealand Pharma (Denmark)