Professor Faisel Khan


Understanding the role of endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness in cardiovascular disease


Vascular & Inflammatory Diseases Research Unit
Division of Molecular & Clinical Medicine
Mailbox 1
School of Medicine
Ninewells Hospital & Medical School.

Phone Number:

+(44) 01382 383531

Email Address:


I joined the Vascular Diseases Research Unit in 1993, having completed postdoctoral training in Boston, USA. Currently, I am Head of the Vascular Physiology Group and Deputy Head of the Vascular and Inflammatory Diseases Research Unit. I currently serve on 4 national and international committees, including the Royal Society of Medicine’s Council of Vascular Medicine and as a National Delegate for United Kingdom in the Administrative Board of the International Union of Angiology. I have been a long serving member of the Scottish Society for Experimental Medicine Committee (since 2000) and have hosted 4 successful national meetings. As a committee member of the British Microcirculation Society, I hosted the successful 2006 Annual meeting in Dundee, the first meeting in Scotland for the Society in over 20 years. I currently serve on the Editorial Board for Microcirculation and International Angiology (Regional Editor) and am a regular reviewer of manuscripts and grant applications in my area of expertise. I have been the principal or co-applicant on successful grant applications totalling over £7.57million and have published a total of 85 peer reviewed full papers.

At the University level, I currently serve on 10 committees. I have taken on the lead role of Coordinator for the Medical Education Institute postgraduate research degrees and also serve on the Medical Education Institute Executive Board. I have been on the University Examining Committee as Internal Examiner or Convenor for 27 postgraduate degrees (12 PhD, 12 MD, 3 MSc). Other memberships include:

College of Life Sciences Learning & Teaching School Board.

Medical Education Institute Postgraduate Taught and Research Group.

Member of Cross College (CLS & CMDN) Biomedical Sciences Working Group.


Cardiovascular disease begins early in life, well before development of clinical symptoms. Endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness are central to early development of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis. Preventive measures are of key importanceand we need to understand the fundamental underlying mechanisms mediating these disorders. It is therefore becoming clear that a range of biomarkers, measuring different vascular beds and different aspects of vascular function, are required to gain a better understanding of development and progression of cardiovascular disease. To this end, previously developed techniques for assessing the microcirculation in the Vascular and Inflammatory Diseases Research Unit have been complemented by the development of further tests for measurement of endothelial function and arterial compliance. Using a combination of biomarkers provide a global assessment of vascular function and helps to increase our understanding of the development and progression of large and small blood vessel disease, and for determining cardiovascular risk and outcome. These tests are being applied within Vascular and Inflammatory Diseases Research Unit to a programme of research that investigates the possible factors involved in early endothelial dysfunction and its modification in normal children and adults, and in asymptomatic disease, as well as in established vascular disease states.

The current and future 5 year programme of research is exploring early contributory factors to development of cardiovascular disease. This research programme takes a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases and to the development of biomarkers and their utility in disease stratification.


Selected publications since 2008

  • Dias MP, Newton DJ, McLeod GA, Khan F, Belch JJF. The inhibitory effects of local anaesthetics on the vascular flare responses to bradykinin and substance P in human skin. Anaesthesia 2008; 63(2): 151-155.
  • Franklin VL, Khan F, Kennedy G, Belch JJF, Greene SA. Intensive insulin therapy improves endothelial function and microvascular reactivity in young people with Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetologia 2008; 51: 353-360.
  • Spence VA, Kennedy G, Belch JJF, Hill A, Khan F. Low grade inflammation and arterial wave reflection in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Clinical Science 2008; 114(8): 561-566.
  • Khan F, Patterson D, Belch JJF,Hirata K, Lang CC. Relationship between peripheral and coronary microvascular function using laser Doppler imaging and transthoracic echocardiography. Clinical Science 2008; 115(9): 295-300.
  • Khan F. The human cutaneous circulation as a model of generalized microvascular functionCommentary on Viewpoint. Journal of Applied Physiology 2008; 105: 385.
  • Khan F, George J, Wong K, McSwiggan S, Struthers AD, Belch JJF. The association between serum urate levels and arterial stiffness/endothelial function in stroke survivors. Atherosclerosis 2008; 200: 372-379.
  • Newton DJ, Khan F, McLaren M, Kennedy G, Belch JJF. Improvement in systemic endothelial condition following amputation in patients with critical limb ischaemia International Angiology 2008; 27(5): 408-412.
  • Khan F, George J, Wong K, McSwiggan S, Struthers AD, Belch JJF. Allopurinol treatment reduces arterial wave reflection in stroke survivors. Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2008; 26: 247-252.
  • Galarraga B, Khan F, Kumar P, Pullar T, Belch JJF. C-reactive protein: the underlying cause of microvascular dysfunction in rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatology 2008;47(12):1780-1784.
  • Turner JB, Belch JJF, Khan F. Current concepts in assessment of microvascular function using laser Doppler imaging and iontophoresis. Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine 2008; 18: 109-116.
  • Khan F, Green FC, Forsyth JS, Greene SA, Newton DJ, Belch JJF. The beneficial effects of breast feeding on microvascular function in 11-14 year-old children. Vascular Medicine 2009; 14(2): 137-142.
  • ALZadjali MA, Godfrey V, Khan F, Choy AM, Doney AS, Wong AK, Petrie JR, Struthers AD, Lang CC. Insulin resistance is highly prevalent and is associated with reduced exercise tolerance in non-diabetic patients with heart failure. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2009; 53(9): 747-753.
  • Lim TK, Choy AM, Khan F, Belch JJF, Struthers AD, Land CC. Therapeutic development in Cardiac Syndrome X:  A need to target the underlying pathophysiology. Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2009; 27(1): 49-58.
  • Manasnayakorn S, Khan F, Levison RA, Cuschieri A, Hanna GB. Influence of compression pressure from the hand access device on hand microcirculation during hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery. Surgical Endoscopy 2009; 23(5): 1070-1074.
  •  Galarraga B, Khan F, P Kumar, T Pullar, JJF Belch. Etanercept improves inflammation associated arterial wave reflection in rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology 2009; 48(11): 1418-1423
  • Kennedy G, Khan F, Hill A, Underwood C, Belch JJF. Biochemical and blood flow aspects of pediatric chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis). Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 2010; 164(9): 817-823.
  • Vaidyanathan S, Williamson P, Clearie K, Khan F, Lipworth B. Fluticasone reverses oxymetazoline induced tachyphylaxis of response and rebound congestion. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2010; 182(1): 19-24.
  • Galarraga B, JJF Belch, T Pullar, S Ogston, F Khan. Clinical improvement in rheumatoid arthritis is associated with a healthier microvascular function in patients who respond to anti-TNFα and methotrexate therapy. Journal of Rheumatology 2010; 37(3): 521-528.
  • Khan F, Mires G, MacLeod M, Belch JJF. Relationship between maternal arterial wave reflection, microvascular function and fetal growth in normal pregnancy. Microcirculation 2010; 17(8): 608-614.
  • Khan F, Galarraga B, Belch JJF. The role of endothelial function and its assessment in rheumatoid arthritis. Nature Review Rheumatology 2010; 6(5):253-261.
  • Khan F. Assessment of endothelial function as a marker of cardiovascular risk in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases 2010; 13(3): 189-195.
  • Elhadd T, Khan F, Greene SA, Belch JJF. Endothelial dysfunction in young people with diabetes mellitus in the absence of clinical vascular disease: A Review. The Journal of Clinical Metabolism & Diabetes 2011; 2(2): 82-92.
  • Dias MP, Newton DJ, McLeod GA, Belch JJF, Khan F. The vasoactive properties of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and CGRP8–37 administered by iontophoresis in human skin. International Angiology 2011; 30(5): 424-428.
  • Newton DJ, Kennedy G, Chan KKF, Lang CC, Belch JJF, Khan F. Large and small artery endothelial dysfunction in chronic fatigue syndrome. International Journal of Cardiology 2012; 154(3): 335-336.
  • Witham MD, Dove F, Khan F, Lang CC, Belch JJF, Struthers AD. Vitamin D supplementation to improve vascular health after myocardial infarction – a randomised controlled trial. International Journal of Cardiology 2012 (in press).


  • Lead for School of Medicine and Member of Cross College (CLS & CMDN) initiative on physiology teaching.
  • Lead for Medical Education Institute postgraduate research degrees.
  • Lead for 4th BSc/BMSc (Honours) Cardiovascular Pharmacology.
  • Module Lead for Phase 2 SSC.
  • MSc in Biomechanics, University of Edinburgh.
  • External Examiner - BSc (Honours) Podiatry, Queen Margaret University.
  • External Examiner - MSc Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Glasgow.

PhD Supervision

Golan Kabir, 'Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease risk in UK South Asians', 2013.

Fiona Adams, 'Methodological advances in non-invasive tests of endothelial function', 2013.

Wen Ling, 'Determining whether plasma levels of KATP channels are related to vascular function'. 2013.

Naveed Akbar, 'Protein Phosphorylation and Cardiovascular Disease: A strong connection?', 2013.


2008    Measuring peripheral blood flow in systemic sclerosis. 2nd International Systemic Sclerosis Forum, 7th – 9th March, Paris.

2008    Vascular aspects in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. New Horizons: International Conference on ME/CFS Biomedical Research, May, Wellcome Trust Conference Centre, Cambridge.

2009    Assessment of vascular function in scleroderma. Annual Conference of the Scleroderma Society, July. The Royal Free Hospital, London

2011    Endothelial function testing in diabetes. 22nd Scottish MRI Conference, May 5th 2011, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee.

2012    Endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease risk – bench, bed and beyond. A*STAR-Dundee-EPFL Research Symposium, 18-20 Jan 2012, Biopolis, Singapore.

2012    Advance photonics technology for assessment of vascular integrity. MEDI‑LASE Project Symposium, February 2012, Askion, Gera,  Germany.