Academic Promotions - Researcher Highlights
Six members of staff at CIR were promoted in the most recent round of academic promotions.
Congratulations to the esteemed CIR colleagues who were recognised in the latest round of promotions. We are thrilled to showcase and celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of these individuals. For more details of their valuable contributions, please continue reading below.
David Ferenbach has been promoted to Personal Chair of Regenerative Nephrology.
David Ferenbach, an MRC Senior Clinical Fellow, leads a research group focusing on understanding the role of senescent cells in mediating chronic fibrosis in various organs, including the kidney. His work has resulted in a series of publications and academic and industry collaborations aimed at developing novel treatments for organ fibrosis. David is committed to knowledge exchange and has spoken at a number of international meetings, including the British, Japanese and American Kidney Weeks, the European Society for Organ Transplantation and the International Cellular Senescence Association. David also remains involved in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate medical students and offers clinical expertise in the Renal and Transplant Units of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Mohini Gray has been promoted to Personal Chair of Rheumatology.
Mohini Gray's research bridges clinical medicine and fundamental immunology, enhancing understanding of immune processes and autoimmune diseases. Her work includes discoveries related to self-reactive B1a B cells, an unconventional anti-inflammatory role for alpha defensins from necrotic neutrophils, and DN2 B cells' involvement in autoimmune diseases. Mohini has been a consultant rheumatologist for more than 20 years in Edinburgh and also contributes to medical education, clinical services improvement, and patient resources. She led initiatives including the transitional service for teenagers, the Connective Tissue Disease (CTD) clinic, and the early rheumatoid arthritis (ERA) service. Her commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion is evident through her active participation in the University Race Equality and Anti-Racist (REAR) subcommittee, as well as her role as lead for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at Edinburgh Medical School (EMS).
Prakash Ramachandran has been promoted to Personal Chair of Experimental Hepatology.
Prakash Ramachandran brings a wealth of expertise as a practicing hepatologist and dedicated researcher investigating the role of the immune system in regulating tissue fibrosis. His primary goal is to advance understanding of the pathobiology of chronic liver disease, ultimately paving the way for much-needed therapies. With a background in macrophage heterogeneity research, his work has evolved to identify a novel scar-associated macrophage subpopulation in diseased human livers. This discovery offers potential therapeutic avenues for liver fibrosis, recognized by prestigious national and international research prizes. Prakash's dedication extends to clinical practice, where he cares for liver disease patients at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the Scottish Liver Transplant Unit. His passion for teaching and mentoring undergraduate and postgraduate students, coupled with knowledge exchange activities and contributions to industry partnerships, underscores his commitment to advancing liver research and inspiring the next generation of researchers. Additionally, he seeks leadership and mentorship roles within the University to foster future scientific breakthroughs.
Steve Jenkins has been promoted to Reader.
Steve Jenkins leads a research group investigating immune cell behaviour and survival. His work has identified cell-to-cell competition and the time spent with a tissue as key mechanisms that regulate the survival and inflammatory functions of macrophages. His work includes a number of primary research papers as corresponding author published in respected journals like Science Immunology, Nature Communications, and The Journal of Experimental Medicine. His accomplishments also include being part-holder of a US patent relating to his research about altering macrophage function for enhanced tissue repair. Steve's commitment extends to education, through taught and tutorial content for undergraduate courses, as well as public engagement and involvement in University and Centre committees, reflecting his broader contributions to the university.
Sonja Vermeren has been promoted to Reader.
Sonja Vermeren’s research group investigates molecular control of pro- and anti-inflammatory neutrophil functions and their modulation by cross-talk with other immune and non-immune cells in health and disease. Outside of research, Sonja teaches on undergraduate courses and is deputy lead of one such course. She chairs the CIR Blood Resource and the Postgraduate Committees, and is involved in national (UK Cell Adhesion Society) and international societies (European Phagocyte Group) demonstrating contributions both within and outwith the University of Edinburgh.
Calum Bain has been promoted to Senior Lecturer.
Calum Bain, a Sir Henry Dale Fellow, leads a research group with a primary focus on understanding the factors that control macrophage behaviour in healthy mucosal tissues and how these change in the context of disease. The overarching goal of this research is to harness these signals to promote or target specific pathways when macrophages behave abnormally in inflammatory or fibrotic diseases. Calum has published numerous peer-reviewed papers and secured research funding through productive collaborations. He actively contributes to teaching and mentoring, instructing on the undergraduate Clinical Immunology & Haematology BSc course and supervising several PhD students. His leadership extends to management roles within CIR and the British Society for Immunology, where he advocates for the interests of early career researchers and facilitated the launch of the 'Early Career Enhancing Grant' scheme. Calum has also led on several public engagement and citizenship initiatives within the Centre, including development of several local science festival activities and co-founding of the Macrophages@EdUni group, which fosters collaboration in the field of macrophage biology and organises the annual macrophage symposium.