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Dr Sophie Harding

Research Assistant

Medical Technology Research Centre

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Social Care
School of Allied Health and Social Care

Sophie is a research assistant in the Fibrosis Research Group. Her research focuses on mechanism of action studies and high throughput screening to find drugs for the prevention of fibrosis.

[email protected]


Sophie obtained her BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of East Anglia where her final-year research project focused on antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella Typhimurium.

After graduating, she worked as a scientist at Charles River Laboratories where she developed assays and ran high throughput screens to identify hit compounds for the treatment of a range of different diseases. Following this, Sophie started her PhD in 2020 at Anglia Ruskin University, where she investigated the mechanism of action of antifibrotic drugs. Sophie recently passed her PhD viva in February 2024 and is now working as a research assistant in the Fibrosis Research Group.

Research interests
  • Fibrosis and fibroproliferative disorders
  • Phenotypic drug discovery and assay development
  • Peyronie’s Disease
  • Cyclic nucleotide signaling
  • Molecular pathways of fibrosis
  • Mechanism of action studies
  • PhD Medical Science, Anglia Ruskin University (2024)
  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia (2016)
Memberships, editorial boards
  • European Society for Sexual Medicine, member since 2021
  • British Pharmacological Society, member since 2022
  • Biochemical Society, member since 2023
Selected recent publications

Ilg, M.M., Harding, S., Lapthorn, A.R., Kirvell, S., Ralph, D.J., Bustin, S.A., Ball, G. and Cellek, S., 2024. Temporal gene signature of myofibroblast transformation in Peyronie’s disease: first insights into the molecular mechanisms of irreversibility. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 21(4), pp.278–287. https://doi.org/10.1093/jsxmed/qdae006.

Recent presentations and conferences

Harding, S. L. (2024). Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors prevent myofibroblast transformation in Peyronie’s Disease fibroblasts through the cAMP/PKA pathway, potentially through PDE1/PDE4. European Society for Sexual Medicine Congress (Bari, Italy).

Harding, S. L. (2023). Inhibition of phosphodiesterases 1, 4, and 5 prevents myofibroblast transformation in Peyronie’s Disease. Biochemical Society. AKAP2023: 7th International Meeting on Anchored cAMP signalling Pathways (London, UK).

Harding, S. L. (2023). The mechanism of action of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors in preventing myofibroblast transformation in in vitro models of Peyronie’s Disease. European Society for Sexual Medicine Congress (Rotterdam, Netherlands).

Harding, S. L. (2022). Mechanism of action of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors in preventing human myofibroblast transformation. British Pharmacological Society Annual Meeting. Pharmacology 2022 (Liverpool, UK).