Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Professor Derek Mann

Dean of Research & Innovation (Non-Clin)



I am head of the fibrosis laboratories at Newcastle University who are primarily interested in understanding the cell and molecular regulation of tissue fibrosis (scarring), a major underlying cause of morbidity and mortality. Emphasis is placed on signalling pathways in myofibroblasts that can be manipulated with drugs already proved to be safe for use in man. This strategy has led to the discovery that inhibitors of NF-kappaB, angiotensin II receptor blockers and 5-HT2B receptor antagonists have strong therapeutic potential as treatments and/or preventative medicines in chronic liver disease. We are also interested in the epigenetic control of fibrosis including the potential for intergenerational transmission of heritable adaptive epigenetic traits that influence disease susceptibility amongst individuals in the population. Recent highlight publications include Nature Medicine 27;17(12): 1668-73, rated as "must read" by Faculty 1000. 

Lab website  http://research.ncl.ac.uk/fibrosislab/ 

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Research Interests

Liver inflammation and fibrosis.
Gene regulation (epigenetic and transcriptional)

Current Work

Discovery of therapies for the prevention and treatment of chronic liver disease.

Understanding the basic regulatory mechanisms that control cell phenotype, function and fate with the emphasis on events at the level of gene transcription.

Research Roles

Group Leader

Postgraduate Supervision

Currently supervise four PhD students

Esteem Indicators

1. Editorial board membership for Hepatology, Nucleic Acids Research, Apoptosis and the International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology.
2. Membership of MRC College of Experts


Current funding includes:

MRC research grant £260,000: Function of IKKbeta in the progression and regression of liver fibrosis.
Mann (PI), co-applicants Dr Jelena Mann (Newcastle, ICM) and Prof John Iredale (Edinburgh)

NIH R21 $280,000: Epigentic control of hepatic stellate cell activation and alcoholic liver fibrosis.
Mann and Hide Tsukamoto (UCSD, Los Angeles) - joint PIs.

Wellcome Trust £250,000: Clinical Training Fellowship for Dr Ahmed Elsharkawy. Anti-inflammatory role for the p50 subunit of NF-kB.

British Liver Trust £100,000: Optimisation of siRNA for therapies in liver fibrosis.
Mann PI with co-applicant Prof Tom Brown (Southampton)

Wellcome Trust project grant £260,000; recombineering the baculovirus for cell targeting and surface display of peptides.
Mann co-applicant with Dr Colin Dolphin (PI - Kings College, London)

British Heart Foundation project grant £140,000: Functional analysis of the MMP3 gene 5A/6A polymorphism.
Mann co-applicant with Dr Shu Ye (Barts) and Dr Paul Townsend (Southampton)

Tenovus PhD studentship £70,000. Epigenetic regulation of the ZAP70 gene in chronic lymphocytic leaukemia.
Mann PI.

MRC Research Grant – Functional dissection of the serotonin system in liver disease. £350,000. DA Mann (PI), MC Wright and F Oakley.

Wellcome Trust (2008-2011). The role of hepatic myofibroblasts in liver injury and regeneration. £264,000. MC Wright, DA Mann (Co-I), F Oakley and AD Burt.

EU FP7. Understanding inflammation-associated tumorigenesis for the rational design of novel anti-cancer therapeutic strategies (INFLA-CARE). £350,000 for DA Mann (as partner member of 22-group strong EU consortium led by Dr A Eliopoulos (Crete, Greece).

Royal College of Surgeons. Chemoassociated steatohepatitis in patients having liver resection for coorectal liver metastasis. £9,500. White SA, Manas DM, Burt A, Mann DA (Co-I).

The SPIRE Surgical Fellowship Scheme. £1,051, 641. White SA, Manas DM, Wright M, Jones D, Shaw J, Mann DA (Co-I).

Wellcome Programme Grant. Towards the modulation of innate immune signaling for the attenuation of tissue fibrosis. £690,415. Mann DA (PI), Karin M, Burt A.

Industrial Relevance

BBSRC CASE Studentships with GSK and Wyeth.