Dr Dunja Aksentijevic

British Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine


PhD in Biological Sciences on “Myocardial Insulin Resistance in Experimental Uraemia”; First Class BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences

Academic Background

I joined the University of Oxford academic community (Prof Stefan Neubauer’s Basic Science Research Group) as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine in June 2008 immediately after the completion of my PhD thesis on biochemical adaptations in an experimental model of heart failure at the University of Hull.

Undergraduate Teaching

Biochemistry Lecturer, Christ Church
College Lecturer in Biochemistry,  Lincoln College
Physiology Lecturer, Oriel College
Medical Sciences Division Tutor in Cardiovascular Performance and Pathology (Cardiac Hypertrophy and Myopathy) & Cardiac Signals, Modulators and Metabolism.

Research Interests

Biochemical (metabolic) and cellular mechanisms of heart disease
Cardiac Energetics
Therapeutic potential of modulating myocardial energy homeostasis
Myocardial Insulin resistance
Heart failure, uraemic cardiomyopathy, ischemic heart disease

Publications include:

Lygate, CA. Bohl, S. ten Hove, M. Faller, KME. Ostrowski, PJ. Sevasti, Z. Medway, DJ. Aksentijevic, D. Sebag-Montefiore, L. Wallis, J. Clarke,K. Watkins, H. Schneider, JE. Neubauer, S.
(2012) Moderate elevation of intracellular creatine by targeting the creatine transporter protects mice from acute myocardial infarction Cardiovascular Research Oct 1 (in press)

Lygate, CA. Medway, DJ. Ostrowski, PJ. Aksentijevic, D. Sebag-Montefiore, L. Hunyor, I Zervou, S. Wieringa, B. Schneider, JE. Neubauer, S. (2012) Chronic creatine kinase deficiency eventually leads to congestive heart failure, but severity is dependent on genetic background, gender and age. Basic Research in Cardiology,(in press)

Ashrafian, H. Czibik, G.*,Bellahcene, M.* Aksentijevic, D. Smith, A.C. Mitchell, SJ. Dodd, MS. Kirwan, J.Byrne, J.J. Ludwig, C. Isackson, H. Yavari, A.  Støttrup, N.B. Contractor, H. Cahill, T.J. Sahgal, N. Ball, D.R. Rune Birkler, R.I.D.  Hargreaves, I. Tennant, D.A. Land, J.  Lygate, C.A. Johannsen, M. Kharbanda, R.K. Neubauer, S. Redwood, C. de Cabo, R. Ahmet, I. Talan, M. Günther, U.L. Robinson, A.J. Viant, M.R. Pollard, P.J. Tyler, D.J. Watkins, H. (2012) Fumarate exerts cardioprotective effects via activation of the Nrf2 antioxidant pathway. Cell Metabolism 15 (3): 361-371*authors contributed equally

Aksentijevic D., Lygate C., Makinen K., Zervou S., et al. (2010) High energy phosphotransfer in the failing mouse heart: role of adenylate kinase and glycolytic enzymes. European Journal of Heart Failure 12:1282-1289.

Smith, K. Semple D. Aksentijevic, D. Bhandari, S. Seymour, A. M. (2010) Functional and metabolic adaptation in uraemic cardiomyopathy. Frontiers in Bioscience (Elite Ed).2:1492-501.

Aksentijevic, D. Bhandari, S. Seymour, A. M. (2009) Insulin resistance and altered glucose transporter 4 expression in experimental uremia.  Kidney International, 75, 711-8.


Senior Member of the Oxford University Polo Club, Literature, Politics and Current Affairs, Wine Tasting