Browse/search for people

Professor Saadeh Suleiman

Professor Saadeh Suleiman

Professor Saadeh Suleiman
PhD, DSc, FIACS, FRSB, FPhysiol

Professor of Cardiac Physiology

Area of research

Cardiac Physiology & Myocardial Protection

Office Room 99
Level 7,
Bristol Royal Infirmary, Upper Maudlin Street BS2 8HW
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 34 23519


Current Research Projects (basic science/translational/clinical):

  1. Role of cyclic AMP/PKA/Epac signalling in cardioprotection
  2. The Cardiac Role of the Exchange Protein Directly Activated by cAMP (Epac) During Postnatal Development
  3. The cardio-protective efficacy of cardioplegic solution supplemented with Sildenafil in neonatal pig model of cardiopulmonary bypass and cardioplegic arrest
  4. Selective S-nitrosation of mitochondrial complex I by MitoSNO as a new therapy for cardiac ischaemia-reperfusion injury
  5. A Polymeric Prosthetic Heart Valve from anisotropic nanocomposites– device optimisation and in vivo testing           
  6. RIPC Clinical Trial: A two-centre randomised controlled trial investigating the effect of remote ischaemic preconditioning on biomarkers of stress and injury-related signalling in patients having isolated coronary artery bypass grafting or aortic valve replacement using cardiopulmonary bypass.
  7. Efficacy of propofol-supplemented cardioplegia on biomarkers of organ injury in patients having cardiac surgery using cardiopulmonary bypass: Propofol cardioplegia for myocardial protection randomised controlled trial: The Prompt2 Study.
  8. The role of cyclic-AMP/PKA/Epac signalling in cardioprotection of diseased heart (PhD project)
  9. The aged heart and diet: vulnerability to cardiac insults (PhD project)
  10. Cardiac survival signalling, oxidative stress & reperfusion injury during postnatal development (PhD project).




Completed my high school studies in Jerusalem in 1971. After spending 2 years at Bir Zeit College, I joined the American University in Beirut and was awarded a BSc in 1975. Obtained a PhD degree from the Universityof Essex in 1980. Joined the faculty of An-Najah University in Palestine (1980-1987) during which I held senior positions including Head of Biology and Dean of Research and served as a member of the Board of Directors for Scholarships at the British Council in Jerusalem. Joined Physiology Department at Bristol in 1988. I was the first to introduce and lead research involving cardioplegic arrest and cardiopulmonary bypass in both patients and in large animal models in Bristol and during the early 1990s helped to establish the Bristol Heart Institute. Awarded a DSc from Bristol in 2003 and  was promoted to a Chair of Cardiac Physiology in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry in 2005. Prestigious activities include member of the team that was awarded the UK Hospital Doctor Award for Team of the Year in Surgery and runners up for Cardiovascular Medicine (2005), elected to the executive committee of the British Society for Cardiovascular Research (1998-2005) , elected Fellow of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (2010), elected  Fellow of Society of Biology (2011), elected Fellow of the Physiological Society (2018),  external Examiner for Medical & Veterinary Physiology, University of Cambridge (2010-2012) and for Medicine, University of Kuwait (2012-). Awarded a UoB Benjamin Meaker Outgoing Visiting Professorship To Low and Middle Income Countries (2018). Supervised more than 25 postgraduate students and examined more than 50 graduate degrees (PhD & MD) nationally and internationally.

Activities / Findings

Research Income whilst in Bristol

  • More than 40 grants as PI (totalling >£3M)

  • More than 40 grants as Co-PI (totalling >£10M)

Main discoveries

  • Warm blood cardioplegia in open heart surgery is superior to cold blood in patients with coronary disease but not in patients with valve disease.

  • The vulnerability of paediatric hearts to open heart surgery is dependent on age and pathology.

  • Duration of ischaemia during paediatric cardiac surgery is linked to both cardiac injury and postoperative recovery.

  • Cardiopulmonary bypass triggers reoxygenation injury in paediatric patients with cyanosis.

  • Evidence for beating heart coronary revascularization without metabolic myocardial damage.

  • High-fat diet increases vulnerability of hearts to cardiac insults.

  • Coronary disease increases resistance to ischaemia and reperfusion injury.

  • The general anaesthetic propofol is cardioproteive.

  • The role of taurine and the principal amino acids (and their transporters) in cardioprotection.

  • The effect of temperature on the calcium paradox and associated ionic fluxes.


Undergraduate: Classes to 2nd & 3rd year Physiology students and to 2nd and 3rd year medical students.  These include lectures, practical sessions, experimental projects, library projects & special study components.

Postgraduate: Unit Lead for Heart & Valve Disease within the MSc dgree in Tranlsational Cardiovascular Medicine & MSc degree in Perfusion Science. Seminars on Cardiopulmonary bypass, Cardioplegia, Ischaemia/Reperfusion, Cardiac conditioning, Inflammation and oxidative stress.


  • Heart
  • Ischaemia/Reperfusion
  • Oxidative stress
  • Mitochondria
  • Calcium signalling
  • High-fat diet
  • Development


  • Cardiac diseases


My research interests have been largely focused on understanding mechanisms that underlie cardiac injury in order to improve techniques of myocardial protection during open-heart surgery. The following are specific areas of research: 1- Investigate the efficacy of different cardioplegic techniques during adult and paediatric open-heart surgery. 2- Characterise cardiac amino acid transporters and investigate their potential role in cardioprotection. 3- Investigate the role of mitochondrial pore inhibitors in protecting the immature heart during ischaemia and reperfusion.

  • myocardial protection
  • cardiac surgery techniques
  • cardioplegia
  • paediatric open heart surgery
  • cardiac amino acids
  • ischaemia/reperfusion
  • Memberships


    Bristol Medical School (THS)

    Other sites

    Academic staff

    Selected publications

    Read more >

    Recent publications

    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

    Networks & contacts

    • Bristol: Gianni Angelini Andrew Halestrap Raimondo Ascione Massimo Caputo Andrew James Clive Orchard Mo Ghorbel Overseas:Andrea Venturini (Italy) Hajime Imura (Japan) Nicola King (Australia) Malcolm Underwood (Hong Kong) Chris Howarth (UAE) Camille Nassar (Lebanon)

    Edit this profile If you are Professor Saadeh Suleiman, you can edit this page. Login required.

    PDF versionDownload PDF