Centre for Inflammation Research

Professor Moira Whyte

Moira Whyte's research interests have focused on molecular mechanisms of innate immune cell apoptosis in the context both of chronic inflammatory lung disease and of host defence against bacterial infection.

Professor Moira Whyte

Head of College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine / Sir John Crofton Professor of Respiratory Medicine

  • Centre for Inflammation Research

Contact details

Group Members

  • Patricia Coelho - Research Assistant
  • Ananda Mirchandani - Wellcome Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow
  • Tracie Plant - ECAT Fellow (joint with Dr Sarah Walmsley)
  • Eilise Ryan – Clinical Research Fellow
  • Emily Watts – Clinical Research Fellow (joint with Dr Sarah Walmsley)
  • Joseph Willson – PhD Student

Research Overview

My research interests have focused on molecular mechanisms of innate immune cell apoptosis in the context both of chronic inflammatory lung disease and of host defence against bacterial infection. These are areas of major therapeutic challenge with no effective therapies for persistent neutrophilic inflammation and with strategies to manipulate host immune responses to pathogens having exciting potential for treatment of antibiotic-resistance infection.

Biographical Profile

Professor Moira Whyte is the Sir John Crofton Professor of Respiratory Medicine and was formerly Director of the MRC/University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research and Head of Edinburgh Medical School.  Since 1st April 2018 she has been Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

Her main areas of responsibility are the overall management of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, comprising four separate schools with 3500 staff, over 3000 undergraduate students and more than 2000 postgraduate students on campus and online. She is a member of MRC Strategy Board and Chair of the MRC Training and Careers Group and is Chair of Sub-panel 1 (Clinical Medicine) for the UK's Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

A respiratory physician who trained mainly in London (St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College, Hammersmith Hospital, Royal Postgraduate Medical School and Imperial Cancer Research Fund), after MRC and then Wellcome Clinical Fellowships, Moira was appointed Professor of Respiratory Medicine and subsequently Sir George Franklin Professor of Medicine at the University of Sheffield. She moved to Edinburgh in 2014.

Her research interests have focused on molecular mechanisms underlying acute inflammation in the context both of chronic inflammatory lung diseases such as COPD and of host defence against bacterial infection. These are areas of major therapeutic challenge with no effective therapies for persistent neutrophilic inflammation and with strategies to manipulate host immune responses to pathogens having exciting potential for treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections.

Other Responsibilities

  • Registrar, Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Deputy Chair of the MRC/NIHR Efficacy and Mechanisms Evaluation (EME) Board
  • Member, MRC Population and Systems Medicine Board (PSMB)
  • Editorial Boards: British Medical Bulletin, Hypoxia Signalling, Physiological Reports
  • International Advisory Board: Thorax
  • Member, JRCPTB Specialist Advisory Committee in Respiratory Medicine
  • I am active in both respiratory and general internal medicine. I have specialist clinics in interstitial lung disease and in adolescent respiratory medicine.

Sources of Funding

More information on funding at Moira Whyte's Research Explorer profile.