Samuel Fountain


  • 1.13 Biology

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Please contact me directly to discuss available and future opportunities.

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Personal profile

Key Responsibilities

Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor, UEA Doctoral College (2022 - present)

Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research, Faculty of Science (2019 - 2022)

Director of the Biomedical Research Centre, UEA (2015 - 2021)



As an early career scientist I trained in the laboratories of Professor David Beech FMedSci (Leeds) and Professor R. Alan North FRS (Manchester), and established an independent research group following the award of a prestigious BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship.  We collaborate with clinicians at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, partners in Pharmaceutical industry and other academic groups to tackle pressing and challenging projects.  My expertise encompass pharmacological and physiological aspects of vascular and adipose tissues, and the biophysical and pharmacological properties of ligand- and voltgae-gated ion channels.



  • Professor, Chair of Pharmacology, University of East Anglia (2020 - present)
  • Associate Professor of Pharmacology, University of East Anglia (2015 - 2020)
  • Lecturer of Pharmacology, University of East Anglia (2013 - 2015)
  • BBSRC David Phillips Fellow, University of East Anglia (2010 – 2013)
  • BBSRC David Phillips Fellow, University of Leeds (2008 – 2010)
  • Wellcome Trust Research Associate, University of Manchester (2004 – 2008)
  • MRC-funded PhD, University of Leeds (2000 – 2004)
  • BSc (Hons) Pharmacology, University of Leeds (1997 – 2000)



Key Research Interests

Our overarching research interest is the role ion channels play in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie cardiometabolic physiology and disease with an emphasis of blood vessels, adipose tissue, and the autonomic and sensory nerves that control these tissues.

Vascular pharmacology & physiology We are interested in the role of the peripheral nervous system in controlling human arterial and venous blood flow, in additional to the role of vascular endothelium in the mechanical detection of blood flow.

Adipose biology and dysfunction  We are interested in the role of efferent and afferent nervous innervation of human white adipose tissue and regulatory changes associated with metabolic disease. 

Receptor-ligand interactions and drug discovery We have an active programme to investigate novel molecules that allosterically modulate human P2X receptors (a family of ligand-gated ion channels). We are interested in the identification (via HTS) and molecular interaction of (in silico docking, receptor-ligand SAR) small molecules, natural products and antibodies with human P2X receptors.

Our research programme is generously funded by the British Heart Foundation, BBSRC, Merck and AstraZeneca.


Major experimental techniques available in the lab


Pressure myography using human and animal arteries

Wire myography using human and animal arteries

Single-cell calcium imaging

Manual patch-clamp electrophysiology

Planar patch-clamp electrophysiology

Extracellular neurophysiological recordings

High throughput compound screens 

Molecular modelling and ligand docking


Research Group Membership

Professor Samuel J. Fountain BSc PhD FBPhS (Principal Investigator)


Senior Postdoctoral Research Associates

Dr Anna Fortuny-Gomez BSc MSc PhD

Dr Jessica Meades BSc PhD

Dr Alan Robertson BSc PhD


Research Technician

Shanila Nur BSc


Postgraduate Research Students


PhD Students 

Michelle Fletcher BSc (BBSRC iCASE with AstraZeneca) (2019 - 2024)

Sonia Paz BSc MRes (BBSRC DTP Studentship) (2019 - 2023)

Kayleigh Goddard BSc (BBSRC DTP Studentship) (2020 - 2024)

Rajaa Shaheen BSc MSc (HESPAL Studentship) (2023 - 2027)

Lucas Malins BSc MSc (BHF Studentship) (2023 - 2027)


Masters by Research

Cameron Rayment BSc

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

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

External positions

2016, Afferent Pharmaceuticals


  • Biology (general)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Vascular
  • Adipose
  • Ion Channel
  • Cellular Signalling
  • G protein Coupled Receptor
  • Calcium Signalling
  • Pharmacology
  • Blood Vessels
  • Drug

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or