Institute of Cellular Medicine

Staff Profile

Dr Chris Lamb

Clinical Intermediate Fellow and Honorary Consultant in Gastroenterology

Background

I am an adult gastroenterologist with a specialist interest in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), clinical nutrition and intestinal failure. I lead a translational mucosal immunology group at Newcastle University with a focus on gut immunity and host-microbe interactions. I undertake outpatient clinics, inpatient duties, diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy within the gastroenterology department of the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

 

I am currently a Clinical Intermediate Fellow and Honorary Consultant in Gastroenterology. I was previously a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Lecturer in Gastroenterology and am a former Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics. I am a previous recipient of the award Young Gastroenterologist of the Year: Emerging Leader from the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG), and have previously been awarded the prestigious BSG President’s medal. I am lead author of the 2019 BSG guidelines for the management of inflammatory bowel disease in adults. I am a current committee member of the BSG IBD Section, have previously Chaired the Trainees Section Committee, and have been a member of the Training Committee, Education Committee and Council of the Society. I am a member of the Faculty of Medical Sciences Ethics Committee and the Faculty of Medical Sciences Research and Innovation Committee. 

Research

The overarching purpose of my research is to improve the lives of patients impacted by gastrointestinal inflammation. I study ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, the two principal forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and several other inflammatory conditions of the gut including necrotising enterocolitis, primary immunodeficiency, immune-oncology mediated colitis and cancer. The aim of my laboratory work is to investigate aspects of the human gut immune system that can contribute to efforts in precision medicine; a concept that requires detailed immune understanding in order to provide the right drug, to the right patient, at the right time. My research group study cellular processes in human health and during inflammation to better understand how these processes may trigger or perpetuate disease, how they differ between individuals and whether there are biological signatures that may be associated with aspects of disease severity or response to therapy. My group study aberrant innate and adaptive responses in leukocytes (white blood cells), epithelial cells, and also the microbes (bacteria, viruses and fungi) living in the gut to unravel how they impact on human cellular behaviour. This type of research is essential in order to develop new and improved treatments, or to better use existing therapies.

 

My laboratory makes use of a number of cutting-edge scientific techniques to profile cells at a molecular level. These include flow cytometry, mass cytometry (CyTOF), multiplex immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, transcriptomics and microbial sequencing. We use computational techniques to visualise and analyse these data.

 

Within the NHS, I work as part of the inflammatory bowel disease clinical research team in the Newcastle Hospitals and work in collaboration with patients to deliver a strong track record of recruitment to clinical trials of new treatments in IBD. Our patients have also provided strong support for Newcastle’s contribution to large-scale genetic discovery studies in both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Teaching

I believe teaching is of fundamental importance to develop future researchers and healthcare professionals, and is essential to share knowledge and promote best practice amongst established scientists, and clinicians. I lecture as part of the Biomedical Sciences (BSc) and Medicine undergraduate (MBBS) degree courses at Newcastle University on subjects including gastroenterology, immunology, the gut microbiome and the ethics of research. I also take part in regular clinical classroom and bedside teaching of medical students within the hospital. I present at national and international forums regarding my laboratory research and aspects of clinical research and practice in gastroenterology. I am convenor of the annual North East Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Gastroenterology and Hepatology Symposium that aims to share state of the art clinical practice and research between secondary and primary care to promote best practice.

Publications