Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine

Dr Richard Weller

Honorary NHS Consultant Dermatologist, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Senior Lecturer in Dermatology

Dr Richard Weller


Richard graduated in Medicine (1987) at St Thomas’ Hospital, University of London. He trained in general medicine in Britain and Australia (MRCP 1990, FRCP (Ed) 2006). He trained in Dermatology at the St Johns Institute of Dermatology, London and in Scotland .

His research training (MD, University of London, 2000) took place in the laboratories of Prof Victoria Kolb-Bachofen (Immunbiologie, Heinrich-Heine Universitat, Düsseldorf, Germany. 1998-99) and Dr Tim Billiar (Dept of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre, USA. 2000-02).

His two main clinical and research interests are in eczema, and into the nitric oxide mediated interactions between sun exposure and health. His eczema interest is focussed on the roles of anti-microbial peptides, particularly beta-defensins on skin function, and on the immunological and clinical response of eczema patients to phototherapy. His more long standing interest in cutaneous Nitric oxide has led to the identification of a novel UVA driven, nitrate derived NO production from the skin, which lowers BP and probably accounts for the cardiovascular benefits of sunlight exposure. His original work on NO production in the skin identified an anti-microbial action of skin surface produced nitric oxide.

In addition to his UK work, RW has taught at the All Africa Leprosy, TB and AIDS Rehabilitation and Training Centre (ALERT) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia every year for the last 5 years.

Selected Publications

1. Weller R: Microbial communities on human tissue: an important source of contaminants in plant tissue culture, A.C.Cassells (ed): Pathogen and Microbial Contamination Management in Micropropagation, pp 245-257 (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 1997). Book Chapter.

2. Weller RB. Nitric oxide-containing nanoparticles as an antimicrobial agent and enhancer of wound healing. J Invest Dermatol 2009;129:2335-7.

3. Weller R, Dykhuizen R, Leifert C, Ormerod A. Nitric oxide release accounts for the reduced incidence of cutaneous infections in psoriasis.J Am Acad Dermatol 1997; 36 (2): 281-282.

4. Benjamin N, Pattullo S, Weller R, Smith L, Ormerod A. Wound licking and nitric oxide. Lancet 1997; 349: 1776.

5. Weller R, Ormerod AD, Hobson R, Benjamin N. A randomised trial of acidified nitrite cream in the treatment of tinea pedis J Am Acad Dermatol 38: 559-563. 1998.

6. Weller R. O’Callaghan CJ, MacSween R, White MI. Scarring in molluscum contagiosum: comparison of physical expression and phenol ablation.BMJ. 319: 1540. 1999.

7. Weller R, Price RJ, Dykhuzien RS, Lamza K, Ormerod A, Benjamin N, Golden M, Leifert C. Antimicrobial Effect of Acidified Nitrite on Skin Pathogens: Implications for non specific host defence and antimicrobial chemotherapy. Journal of Applied Microbiology 2001;90:648-652 .

8. Finnen MJ, Hennessy A, McLean S, Bisset Y, Mitchell R, Megson IL, Weller R. Topical application of acidified nitrite to the nail renders it antifungal and causes nitrosation of cysteine groups in the nail plate. Br J Dermatol 2007;157:494-500.

9. Feelisch M, Kolb-Bachofen V, Liu D, Lundberg J, Revelo L, Suschek C, Weller RB. Is sunlight good for the heart? Eur.Heart J 2010;31:1041-5.

10. Scott-Lang V, Holme A, Kavanagh G, Weller RPJB, & Laurenson I. Cutaneous Mycobacterium chelonae infection in three immunosuppressed patients. Br J Dermatol, 2012 167, 32-33.

11. Liu D, Fernandez B, Hamilton A, Lang N, Gallagher J, Newby DE, Feelisch M, Weller RB. UVA Irradiation of Human Skin Vasodilates Arterial Vasculature and Lowers Blood Pressure Independently of Nitric Oxide Synthase. J Invest Dermatol (2014) 10.1038/jid.2014.27