Leanne Stokes


  • 1.52 Chemistry

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  • Source: Scopus
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Personal profile


Leanne obtained a first class BSc (Dual Honours) in Physiology & Pharmacology from the University of Sheffield in 1999 and continued to study an MRes (MPhil) in Immunology & oncology at the University of Birmingham (2000). She stayed at the University of Birmingham to do a PhD in Immunology under the supervision of Professor John Gordon and Dr Gillian Grafton.

Following her interests in ion channels in immune cells, Leanne began a post-doctoral position in the lab of Professor Annmarie Surprenant at the University of Sheffield (2003-2006) investigating purinergic ion channels. A further post-doctoral position at the University of Sydney with Professor James Wiley (2007-2010) led to independence as a research fellow at the University of Sydney (2010-2013) followed by a prestigious Vice Chancellor’s research fellowship at RMIT University in Melbourne (2013-2015). 

Selected publications

Helliwell RM, ShioukHuey C O, Dhuna K, Molero JC, Ye J-M, Xue CC, Stokes L.
Selected ginsenosides of the protopanaxdiol series are novel positive allosteric modulators of P2X7 receptors.
Br J Pharm. 2015 Epub ahead
DOI: 10.1111/bph.13123.

Bartlett R, Stokes L, Sluyter R.
The P2X7 purinergic receptor: recent developments and the use of P2X7 antagonists in models of disease.
Pharmacological Reviews 2014 66(3):638-75.
DOI: 10.1124/pr.113.008003.

Bhaskaracharya A, Dao-Ung P, Spildrejorde M, Jalilian I, Skarratt KK, Fuller SJ, Sluyter R, Stokes L.
Probenecid blocks P2X7 receptor-induced dye uptake via a pannexin-1 independent mechanism.
PLoS One 2014 9(3):e93058.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093058

Stokes L, Scurrah K, Ellis JA, Cromer BA, Skarratt KK, Gu BJ, Harrap SB, Wiley JS.
A loss-of-function polymorphism in the human P2X4 receptor is associated with increased pulse pressure.
Hypertension 2011 58(6):1086-92.
DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.176180

Stokes L, Fuller SJ, Sluyter R, Skarratt KK, Gu B, Wiley JS.
Two haplotypes of the P2X7 receptor containing the Ala-348 to Thr polymorphism exhibit a gain-of-function effect and enhanced interleukin-1b secretion.
FASEB Journal. 2010 24(8): 2916-27.
DOI: 10.1096/fj.09-150862

Key Research Interests

I am interested in the roles ion channels play in the regulation of immune cell signalling. My focus is on the purinergic P2X channel family which are activated by extracellular ATP, in particular P2X7. This ion channel has been implicated in a number of inflammatory disorders and pharmacological interventions may be useful in the design of future therapies.

Current projects involve studying natural products for effect on P2X channels including compounds from traditional chinese medicines. I am also interested in the effect natural genetic mutations or polymorphisms can have on ion channels and have spent several years investigating impact of SNPs on P2X7 and P2X4 channel functions.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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