Centre for Inflammation Research

The QCH network

Find out about our key researchers and collaborators.

Key researchers


The interdisciplinary STOPCOVID team unites a world-leading programme based in Edinburgh BioQuarter with global partners.


Ahsan Akram is a Clinician Scientist Fellow and Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine. His research focuses on developing translational imaging tools for human in vivo imaging and characterisation.

Kenny Baillie is an Academic Consultant in Critical Care Medicine and a Senior Clinical Research Fellow. His research is focused on using genomics and transcriptomics to better understand and treat critical illness with much of his work focusing on specific infections, such as influenza. He is a member of the ISARIC consortium and is PI of the UKRI funded 4C consortium.

Tim Birks is Professor of Physics at the University of Bath. His research specialises in optical fibre physics and technology, and is supporting the design and manufacture of endoscopic devices for simultaneous imaging and micro-dosing in the distal lung.

Debby Bogaert is Professor and Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Infectious Diseases. Her research focuses on how the microbiome influences lung health through the life course and drives lung inflammation. She is a member of the ISARIC 4C consortium.

Annya Bruce is a clinical study and project manager with expertise in developing clinical trial protocols, facilitating ethical and regulatory applications and liaising with pharmaceutical and medical device companies involved in investigator-initiated studies.

Neil Carragher is Professor of Drug Discovery and Director of Translation at the MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine. His current research interests include high-content analysis, phenotypic screening, reverse phase protein array technology and drug combinations.

Tom Craven is a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Critical Care and a NRS Research Fellow. His research is focused on investigating the mechanisms of ARDS and developing novel pulmonary molecular imaging techniques for use in critically ill patients.

Donald J. Davidson is Professor of Host Defence & Inflammation Biology at the CIR. His research is focused on the role of host defence peptides as endogenous antivrials and modulators of cell death, inflammation and immunity in infectious and inflammatory lung diseases, and innate immune signalling.

Kev Dhaliwal (Translational Lead) is Professor of Molecular Imaging and Healthcare Technology and Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, Tuberculosis/Infection and Interventional Medicine. He is Director of the University of Edinburgh / NHS Healthcare Technology Accelerator Facility and the Translational Healthcare Technology Group. He works across disciplines with a major emphasis on translational and experimental medicine.

David Dockrell (Scientific Lead) is Professor of Infectious Medicine. His research focuses on the role of macrophages in host defence against bacteria and viruses with emphasis on microbicide mechanisms and cell death paradigms in pulmonary infection and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). He leads the MRC SHIELD consortium targeting host-based interventions to combat AMR. He is also a Member of the Commission on Human Medicines - Anti Infectives/AIDS/Hepatology Expert Advisory Group and the special advisory group for COVID-19. He is also a contributor to the ISARIC 4C consortium.

David Dorward is a Consultant in the Department of Pathology at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. His main interest is in pulmonary pathology, the role of tissue-derived damage associated molecular patterns and their interaction with cognate receptors on cells of the innate immune system. 

Ian Dransfield is Emeritus Professor of Leukocyte and Lung Cell Biology. He has 35 years of experience in monocyte/macrophage biology, with a particular emphasis on phagocyte responses to apoptotic cell clearance during inflammation.

Rodger Duffin is a Reader in Respiratory Medicine at the CIR. A key part of his work focuses on understanding of the mechanisms controlling inflammatory processes to help develop novel therapies for chronic inflammatory diseases.

Michael Eddleston is Professor of Clinical Toxicology in the Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics Unit and Consultant Physician at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. He supports studies across the globe and in particular in South East Asia.

David Ferenbach is is a Senior Research Fellow at the CIR and an academic Consultant in Renal Medicine at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.  His research focuses on the role of senescent cells in driving fibrotic responses in aged and chronically injured organs.

Keith Finlayson is the Director of Industrial Partnerships at the CIR. He has a background in pharmacology and leads the development of strategic industrial partnerships to deliver translation and clinical outputs across the BioQuarter site.

Neil Finlayson is a Research Fellow in the CMOS Sensors and Systems Group at the University of Edinburgh. He has a 35 year engineering and research career in industry and academia, and currently focuses on the development and translation of novel imaging systems into clinic.

Stuart Forbes is Director of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and is a clinician scientist working at the forefront of regenerative medicine. He has a translational program of work and has developed and led clinical trials to deliver novel regenerative therapies. He is director of the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform Hub for engineering and exploiting the stem cell niche.

Robert Gray is an NRS Senior Clinical Fellow, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Academic Lead for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in Edinburgh.  His lab studies the process of lung inflammation and repair with a major focus on NETosis, and the development if calprotectin as biomarker and therapeutic target in lung disease.

Chris Gregory is Professor of Inflammatory Cell Biology and Director of the Centre for Inflammation Research. His research focuses on understanding the relationships between cell death – especially apoptosis – and the tissue microenvironment, with particular reference to the responses of inflammatory cells.

David Griffith is a Senior Lecturer in Anaesthesia and Critical Care and Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.  David has a research interest in inflammatory resolution after critical illness, and is the PI for the ARDS-Neut study, a blood sampling study with approvals in place to take blood samples from critically ill patients with COVID-19.

Bruce Guthrie is Professor of General Practice with expertise in health services research and epidemiology, and the director of the NHS Research Scotland Primary Care Network which supports research recruitment in primary care.

Emily Gwyer Findlay is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin fellow. Her research examines T cell cytokine production during inflammatory and infectious disease and how this is altered by innate immune cells.

Gareth Hardisty is a postdoctoral researcher in the CIR focusing on lung inflammation and repair and the role the immune system plays in this.

Chris Haslett is Chair of Translational Medicine and Director of the Queen's Medical Research Institute. He has over 30 years of experience in ARDS and inflammatory cell biology and has led seminal studies in ARDS.

Adam Hill is Professor of Respiratory Medicine and focuses on infection and neutrophil-mediated damage and leads multiple translational clinical studies. He leads translational  studies on pneumonia and bronchiectasis. 

Nik Hirani is Clinical Director for Respiratory Medicine in Lothian and leads the Edinburgh Lung Fibrosis service. He is a Reader at the CIR and his research interests include macrophage biology in lung fibrosis and the natural history of interstitial lung diseases.

James Hopgood is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Digital Communications within the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. He works in the disciplines of Data Science and Machine Learning within the field of Statistical Signal Processing. His research specialisation include model-based Bayesian signal processing and general statistical signal and image processing.

Mohsen Khadem is  a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow. His research interests are in surgical robotics and image-guided therapies spanning continuum and flexible robots, mechanics-based modeling and simulation, applications of control theory in robotics. He will expedite the implementation of assisted microendoscopy.

Jonathan Knight is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) for the University of Bath, where he has been Professor in the Department of Physics since 2000, and served as Head of Department. From 2005 to 2008, he was founding Director of the University's Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials. His team develop novel interventional photonic devices for distal lung biosensing.

Nik Krstajic is a Lecturer in Engineering at Dundee University. His research focuses on developing time-resolved spectroscopy, imaging and endomicroscopy systems. He has recently translated systems into the clinic which have successfully been used in patient trials.

Chris Lucas is a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow and an Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that drive the resolution of inflammation and how these processes engage successful tissue repair after injury.

John Marwick is a Senior Research Fellow and Lead Scientist at Edinburgh Phenotypic Assay Centre. His research specialises in development and application of inflammatory and fibrotic assays for drug discovery, with a focus on utilising primary human cells.

Stephen McLaughlin is Head of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriott Watt University, with expertise in signal and image processing: algorithms, theory and associated applications.

Brian McKinstry is a Professor of General Practice and Director of SHARE, the Scottish Health Research Register and clinical lead for the Scottish TEC fund telemonitoring COVID program to identify patients at different stages of the illness for recruitment.

Nick Mills is is Professor of Cardiology and Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. He has experience of embedding clinical trials into clinical care pathways and the use of routinely collected data to improve trial efficiency and recruitment. He leads the unique NHS Lothian DataLoch that will allow every patient with COVID-19 in both community and hospital to be identified.

John Norrie is Professor of Medical Statistics and Trial Methodology and Director of Edinburgh Clincal Trials Unit (ECTU).  He will support the adaptive study design and ECTU will support the experimental medicine programme.

Brian McHugh is a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow and immunologist with extensive experience of animal models of infection. He has developed a murine COVID-19 model with David Dockrell, Jürgen Schwarze, and external collaborators at the Moredun Research Institute in order to test novel and repurposed therapeutics in a pre-clinical model of COVID-19 infection.

Anne Moore is the Head of Research Management in the Translation Healthcare Technologies Group. She has extensive experience of delivering high value research and development in both Industry and Academia.

Richard O'Connor is a senior scientist and T cell immunologist and expert in multparametric flow cytometry. He will lead the immunophenotyping programme.

Adriano Rossi is Professor of Respiratory and Inflammation Pharmacology at the CIR. His research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms regulating inflammatory cell behaviour and apoptosis and manipulating the processes controlling the resolution of inflammation in order to develop new therapeutic strategies to remove unwanted and dysregulated inflammation.

Emma Scholefield is operations manager in the Translational Healthcare Technologies Group and oversees GMP manufacture, quality systems and health and safety.

Jürgen Schwarze is the Edward Clark Chair of Child Life and Health and an Honorary Paediatric Consultant. His research investigates host immune responses to respiratory viruses with a particular focus on the innate/adaptive immune interface, using both preclinical models and primary well-differentiated respiratory epithelial cell cultures.

Sohan Seth is Senior Data Scientist at the School of Informatics with expertise in statistical model criticism, archetypal analysis, kernel methods, information retrieval, image processing and computational biology.

Aziz Sheikh is is Director of the Usher Institute. He is also Director of the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (AUKCAR), Director of the Scottish Allergy and Respiratory Academy (SARA), Director of the NIHR Global Respiratory Health Unit (RESPIRE) and is Co-Director of the NHS Digital Academy.

Jim Stone holds an EPSRC UKRI Innovation Fellowship in the Department of Physics at the University of Bath.  He leads a group which uses cutting edge optical fibre technology to solve clinical problems.

Robert Thomson is Professor of Photonics at Heriot Watt University, with expertise in the biomedical applications of optics and optical instrumentation.

Marc Turner is Professor of Cellular Therapy / Medical Director  of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS). He leads a grouping with the cell therapy catapults to advance novel cell-based therapies.

Marc Vendrell is a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Imaging at the CIR. He has pioneered the development of chemical optical probes for high-resolution imaging of biological systems and his research focuses on dynamic activatable fluorophores for real-time imaging of key molecular events in inflammation.

Sarah Walmsley is a Wellome Senior Clinical Fellow, Professor and Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine. Her research focuses on understanding of the mechanisms by which hypoxia regulates key neutrophil functions and survival responses in order to validate the therapeutic potential of selective manipulation of these pathways in inflammatory lung diseases.

Tim Walsh is Professor of Critical Care, lead for the Edinburgh Critical Care Research Group, and the R&D Director at NHS Lothian. His main interest is in pragmatic clinical trials, epidemiology, and quality improvement research. 

Moira Whyte is the Sir John Crofton Professor of Respiratory Medicine and is Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Her research focuses 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.

Chris Williams is Professor of Machine Learning and Turing lead for Edinburgh. He is an expert in a wide range of theoretical and practical issues in machine learning, statistical pattern recognition, probabilistic graphical models and computer vision.

Gareth Williams is a Chancellor's Fellow in Translational Healthcare Technology. He develops and translates micro-endoscopic fluorescence lifetime imaging and sensing platforms for use in clinic. The first fluorescence lifetime imaging system is currently being translated into initial clinical trials.

William Wood is Professor of Tissue Regeneration and Repair. His research focuses on immune cell migration during inflammation and infection.

Vikki Young is a senior research facilitator and governance manager who oversees regulatory submissions for novel medicinal products and devices.




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