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Personal profile

Research interests

My research uses synthetic chemistry to design molecules that will help us study calcium signalling in human cells.

Calcium signalling forms part of vital processes, including cell division, fertilization and cell death. It is often dysfunctional in diseases like cancer, diabetes and inflammation. I hope that improving our understanding of these processes will also lead to new treatments for human disease.

I’m currently working on analogues of NAADP (Nicotinic Acid Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate) – the most potent calcium releasing second messenger known to date. A combination of multiple negatively charged phosphate groups and the nicotinic acid make it both difficult to synthesize and challenging to study in biological systems. 

I’m also continuing projects on the other nucleotide second messengers, ADPR (Adenosine DiPhosphate Ribose) and cADPR (cyclic-ADPR) to study their role in calcium release and their formation by CD38.

Other responsibilities

Member of University of Bath Research Staff Working Group

Education/Academic qualification

Organic Chemistry, Doctor of Philosophy, Imperial College London

Chemistry, Master of Science, Imperial College London

External positions

Visiting Researcher, University of Oxford

1 Jun 2016 → …


  • medicinal chemistry
  • synthesis
  • signalling
  • calcium

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Joanna Watt is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 3 Similar Profiles
Ribose Chemical Compounds
Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose Medicine & Life Sciences
Calcium Signaling Medicine & Life Sciences
Diphosphates Chemical Compounds
Second Messenger Systems Chemical Compounds
Inosine Chemical Compounds
Inosine Diphosphate Medicine & Life Sciences
Cyclic ADP-Ribose Medicine & Life Sciences

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Research Output 2009 2019

1 Citation (Scopus)

Different substrate specificities of the two ADPR binding sites in TRPM2 channels of Nematostella vectensis and the role of IDPR

Kühn, F. J. P., Watt, J. M., Potter, B. V. L. & Lückhoff, A., 21 Mar 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 1, p. 1-12 12 p., 4985.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)
10 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)

Direct activation of NADPH oxidase 2 by 2-deoxyribose-1-phosphate triggers nuclear factor kappa B-dependent angiogenesis

Vara, D., Watt, J. M., Fortunato, T., Mellor, H., Burgess, M., Wicks, K., Mace, K., Reeksting, S., Lubben, A., Wheeler-Jones, C. P. D. & Pula, G., 10 Jan 2018, In : Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 28, 2, p. 110-130 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
NF-kappa B
NADPH Oxidase
Chemical activation
1 Citation (Scopus)

Small Molecule Antagonists of NAADP-Induced Ca2+ Release in T-Lymphocytes Suggest Potential Therapeutic Agents for Autoimmune Disease

Zhang, B., Watt, J. M., Cordiglieri, C., Dammermann, W., Mahon, M., Flugel, A., Guse, A. H. & Potter, B., 13 Nov 2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 17 p., 16775.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Synthetic cADPR analogues may form only one of two possible conformational diastereoisomers

Watt, J. M., Thomas, M. & Potter, B., 15 Oct 2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 15268.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access