BSc Hons (Intercalated) University of London, 1980
MBBS University of London, 1983
MD University of London, 1995
FRCP, Royal College of Physicians, London, 1999
2001-present Professor of Dermatology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
2001-2004 Wellcome Trust Research Leave Fellowship for Clinical Academics
1995-2001 Senior Lecturer, University of Newcastle upon Tyne and
Consultant Dermatologist, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne
1993-1994 Senior Registrar, Department of Dermatology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne
1990-1992 Research Fellow and Lecturer, Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
1987-1990 Registrar, Department of Dermatology, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Avon
Honorary Consultant Dermatologist, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
2008 - 2015 Board Member, European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR)
2011 - Chair, Research Committee, British Association of Dermatologists Biologic Interventions Register (BADBIR) http://www.badbir.org/
2012 - Chair, UK Translational Research Network in Dermatology (UK TREND) http://uktrend.org/
2013-2014 - President, European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR) http://www.esdr.org/
• Translational and systems biology research in dermatology and skin biology (including Proximity to Discovery scheme)
• Stratified medicine in Psoriasis and mechanism of action of anti-psoriatic drugs (PSORT: http://www.psort.org.uk/;
• Keratinocyte cell signalling
• UV and wound healing signalling responses
• Clinical trials, molecular genetics and disease models of atopic eczema
My laboratory is interested translatonal research of inflammatory skin disease (specifically psoriasis and atopic eczema). We have a particular interest in gaining insights into disease mechanisms and the pathways involved in clearing psoriasis. We are part of a consortium led by the University of Manchester that has begun work to apply a stratified medicine approach to psoriasis and predict which biological therapy is best suited for an individual patient. The Psoriasis Stratification to Optimise Relevant Therapy (PSORT) consortium is a unique partnership between five UK universities: Manchester, Newcastle, King’s College London, Queen Mary and Liverpool, 10 pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies and the Psoriasis Association and NHS partners representing patients.
We also study the mechanism of action of anti-psoriatic therapies including UVR as we think this may provide important insights into disease pathogenesis and lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets. On-going studies focus on the induction of apoptosis by UVR in the clearance of psoriatic plaques, the interaction of calcineurin inhibitors (ciclosporin and tacrolimus) with the Ca2+/calcineurin/NFAT pathway in human keratinocytes, and the role of mitochondria in mediating the therapeutic action of dithranol in psoriasis.
Another area of focus is keratinocyte cell signalling, particularly in response to environmental insults such as ultraviolet radiation, wounding (in collaboration with Prof Jeremy Lakey, through a EPSRC/BBSRC Innovate UK project) and AhR receptor activation (through a BBSRC Case studentship with Astra Zeneca). We are interested in understanding the regulation of diverse cellular responses induced by UVR. These studies are supported by important collaborations with Professor Peter Farr and Dr Sophie Weatherhead, Dermatology RVI.
We have conducted important investigator-led clinical trials in atopic eczema (e.g. REF 2014 impact case http://impact.ref.ac.uk/CaseStudies/Results.aspx?Id=18946 - graded at least 3* - internationally excellent) and have contributed to increased understanding of the molecular genetics of atopic eczema. We have set up a skin equivalent model of atopic eczema which we are using to investigate therapeutic targets ((through a BBSRC Case studentship with Stiefel/GSK).
I am also lead investigator of Newcastle’s Proximity to Discovery scheme. Newcastle University was the only institution in the UK to be awarded the highest amount - £250,000 in 2014 by the Medical Research Council underscoring our strengths in translational research, business development & innovation and stratified medicine. Our 2015 application was also recently renewed. The goal of the Newcastle Proximity to Discovery programme is to address, in a systematic and innovative fashion - the so called ‘third translational gap’, that is the bilateral knowledge gap between Universities and industry, in order to build further joint ventures and projects.
BBSRC (CASE) with AstraZeneca and GSK
Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)
British Skin Foundation
EPSRC/BBSRC Innovate UK
We place a strong emphasis on undergraduate teaching and postgraduate training. We run an active weekly programme both within ICM and dermatology (clinical and basic science journal clubs, research in progress meetings) and play a key role in the MRes in Medical and Molecular Biosciences.
EADV Annual Meeting, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: “Personalised medicine for inflammatory skin disease”
BAD Annual Meeting, Glasgow, UK: “Physiology and importance of IL-17 in the pathogenesis of psoriasis”
ESDR/EADV Summer Research School, Helsinki, Finland: “Cutaneous transcriptomics”
RCP of Edinburgh Symposium on Dermatology: “How should we manage patients with difficult eczema?”
KSID, Seoul, South Korea: “Mechanistic insight into epidermal remodelling in psoriasis: a systems biology approach”
Leo Research Foundation Prize Award Ceremony, Copenhagen, Denmark: “The dynamic platform of translational research: from bench to bedside and back again”
ESDR Future Leaders Academy, Florence, Italy, A journey through Translation
Medicine and me symposium, RSM, London: “Key advances in psoriasis research” http://www.rsmvideos.com/videoPlayer/?vid=436&class=videoThumb
EADV meeting, Istanbul: “Keratinocyte apoptosis in remodeling and clearance of psoriatic plaques” and “Efficacy of phototherapy in childhood and adult atopic eczema”
BAD Annual Meeting, Liverpool: “Future psoriasis therapy beyond TNF-a blockade” and “Systemic treatment for severe adult atopic dermatitis”
Psoriasis International Network Congress, Paris: “Resistant palmoplantar pustulosis” and “The impact and management of psoriasis in pregnancy”
Irish Association of Dermatologists Meeting, Belfast
RSM Michael Fuell Memorial Lecture, London: “Systems biology in dermatology: mechanistic insight into epidermal remodelling in psoriasis”
EADV Annual Meeting, Prague: “Practical aspects of systemic treatment for atopic dermatitis”
ESDR/EADV Research Course, Rotterdam: “How to run a RCT”.
BAD Annual Meeting, Birmingham: “BADBIR publications and research outputs”
EADV, Lisbon, Portugal: “Evidence-based phototherapy and systemic treatment of atopic dermatitis”. .
ESDR/EADV Research Course, Rome, Italy: “Live Cell Imaging”. .
BAD Annual Meeting, London: “Individualisation of medicine in dermatology: a realistic aim?”
THESIS Meeting, London: “Clinical Research”.
Many of our clinical trainees pursue higher research degrees funded through external nationally funded fellowships (Wellcome, MRC, Action Medical Research, British Skin foundation) and our PhD students have secured fellowships (European Commission) and post-doctoral positions (eg Khavari lab, Stanford; Buck Institute, San Francisco; NIH, Bethesda; University of Chicago). In 2006/2007 we were one of only three units in England and Wales to be awarded academic clinical fellowships in dermatology through a national competition and a Walport/NIHR Lectureship was recently established.
Since 2008, three of our clinical trainees have gone on to secure prestigious Wellcome Intermediate Fellowships, one in Dundee and two in Newcastle. Two of these investigators were recently awarded Senior Wellcome Fellowships in Clinical Science (one in Dundee and two in Newcastle).
Dermatology is one of six priority areas supported through a Wellcome Clinical Research Training Fellowship Scheme in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at Newcastle University which provides up to four fellowships per year for the next five years. This scheme is designed principally to provide training for clinicians in translational research to PhD level in Newcastle.