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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

I direct the Institute of Biomedical and Environmental Health Research (IBEHR) co-lead the Centre for Musculoskeletal Science (CMS) with Dr Carl Goodyear (University of Glasgow) investigating the pathogenesis of arthritis; this involves identifying novel therapeutic targets, and assessing novel therapeutic approaches.

The CMS is an established multi-institutional collaboration venture between the University of the West of Scotland, the University of Glasgow (Professor Iain McInnes) and the University of Strathclyde (Professor Robin Plevin), with a primary focus on regulatory mechanisms, and their disturbance during disease processes such as rheumatoid arthritis. Research spans fundamental to clinical levels.

Centre expertise includes clinical physiology, pharmacology, immunology, bioengineering and biotechnology. The group adopts an integrated system's approach combined with a molecular base of research to enable comprehensive investigations at cellular, genetic and functional levels.

As a physiologist and bioengineer, my biomedical research career to date has covered a range of diseases and conditions including diabetes, sickle cell anaemia, neonatology, hypertension and now arthritis.  This research has focused on inflammation, haemorheology and microvascular haemodynamics with regard to function and regulation, and involved in situ investigations of blood flow in synovial, renal and other microcirculations using laser Doppler, radiolabelled microspheres and videomicroscopy techniques.

Current research activities

Leadership Roles

I currently co-direct the Insitute of Biomedical & Environmental Health Research, and head the Centre for Musculoskeletal Science (www.uws.ac.uk/IBEHR). The latter is an inter-institutional and multidisciplinary research team with primary focus on arthritis.  Having published landmark ‘proof of concept’ papers identifying two novel therapeutic targets (PAR-2 and AT1 receptors) in rheumatoid/osteoarthritis, followed by translational studies to confirm the relevance of these findings to humans, our research programme now seek to elucidate their pathophysiological roles, develop and evaluate new drugs to target these receptors and establish down-stream signalling pathways. 

 

Arthritis Research UK £1.2m Programme

I am currently part of a consortium of universities that has been awarded a £1.2 million grant from Arthritis Research UK to bring together for the first time experts in bone, matrix, molecular and systems biology in a concerted effort to better understand osteoarthritis.  We have discovered a novel pathway involved in the development of osteoarthritis which could present a new approach to treatment of this disease.

The consortium integrates researchers at the Universities of Glasgow (Professor William Ferrell), Edinburgh ( Dr Robert van’t Hof), Newcastle (Professor Andrew Rowan) and Strathclyde (Professor Robin Plevin) and West of Scotland (Professor John Lockhart) in the study of a new pathway they previously discovered that may drive disease in osteoarthritis.  This could present an entirely new avenue for drug development. 

Desired research direction

COPD is an incurable and progressive lung condition characterised by progressive airflow reduction, breathing difficulties and irreversible lung damage and ranks as the 3rd leading cause of death world-wide. Despite the high prevalence of COPD and the associated mortality and morbidity within the Southwest of Scotland, there has been almost no research or training provision in this field. This lack within the both Southwest Scotland and Ireland has led to our planned partnered initiative to advance COPD research and training within these regions by establishing a new research training hub - BREATH.

Target collaborative companies

Companies interested in inflammatory diseases

Moor Instruments
AstraZeneca
Avanticell Science

External positions

Fellow, The Physiological Society (London)

1 Jan 2018 → …

Visiting Professor, University of Glasgow

1 Jan 2005 → …

Supporter, International da Vinci Decathalon

Member, Mayo Foundation Sigma Xi Community

Member, The Mayo Clinic & Foundation Alumni

Member, The Microcirculatory Society

Member, The Physiological Society (London)

Keywords

  • QP Physiology
  • Inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Synovial microcirculation

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