Ruth Andrew (BSc, PhD, MRPharmS)

Personal Chair of Pharmaceutical Endocrinology

  • Centre for Cardiovascular Science

Contact details



The Queen's Medical Research Institute,
Edinburgh BioQuarter,
47 Little France Crescent

Post code
EH16 4TJ


Ruth Andrew graduated as a pharmacist from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK in 1989 and carried out her PhD in pharmaceutical analysis using GC-MS to study synthesis and metabolism of adrenal medullary hormones in hypertensive subjects. She gained a lectureship in the University of Edinburgh in 1994 and was awarded a Chair in Pharmaceutical Endocrinology in 2015. She specialises in understanding regulation of glucocorticoid action in metabolic and inflammatory diseases and has developed innovative tools to study steroid metabolism and flux in vivo, most recently by mass spectrometry imaging. She also is the Director of the Mass Spectrometry Core of the Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility; this laboratory supports a broad spectrum support for clinical researchers requiring small molecule analysis in their research programmes, including studies of toxicology, drug discovery, experimental physiology and pathology. She plays an active role in undergraduate and post-graduate teaching in Endocrine Pharmacology.


BSc Hons First Class Pharmacy (specialisation Pharmaceutical Chemistry)

PhD Pharmaceutical Chemistry


Post-graduate Certificate in Higher Education

Responsibilities & affiliations

Director, Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility, Mass Spectrometry Core

Society for Endocrinology  General Secretary, Council Member and Finance Committee Member

Scottish Metabolomics Network, Scientific Board (Treasurer until 2021)

European Oxysterol Research Network Scientific Board

British Journal of Pharmacology Reviews Editor

Frontiers in Endocrinology, Specialty Chief Editor, Systems Endocrinology

Talanta, Associate Editor

Chair Seminar Committee, Centre for Cardiovascular Science

Post-graduate Appeals Committee Member

Grant Panellist for Wellcome Trust, FWO, NCN, BBSRC, CSO

Undergraduate teaching

Endocrine Physiology and Pharmacology, Honours Biomedical Sciences, Deputy Course Organiser

Contributing Lecturer, Y3 BSc Clinical Biochemistry and Endocrinology  

Postgraduate teaching

Centre for Cardiovascular Science Post-graduate Committee Member

University Post-graduate Appeals Committee Member

Contributing Lecturer, MSc Cardiovascular Biology

External Lecturer, MSc Pharmaceutical Analysis, University of Strathclyde

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

My research interests are in steroid biochemistry and applied mass spectrometry. I study glucocorticoids and their actions on fuel metabolism and inflammation. I have a particular interest in the enzyme 5alpha-reductase, which activates androgens and modulates glucocorticoid action. Inhibitors of the enzyme used in prostate disease alter steroid hormone action and my group has shown that inhibition of this enzyme increases susceptibility to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. I am also interested in studying 5alpha-reduced glucocorticoids as potential dissociated glucocorticoid receptor modulators. Lastly I apply mass spectrometry to enable tracking of steroid metabolism, using stable-isotope tracers and also advanced methods of MS detection e.g. imaging.

Current research interests

Pharmacoepidemiology of adverse effects of 5alpha-reductase inhibitors on devlopment of type 2 diabetes. The role of 5alpha-reductases in modulating fuel homeostaisis. Application of advanced mass spectrometry to visualise and track steroid hormones in biological systems. Spatial Lipidomics in cardiovascualr didease

Knowledge exchange

Consultant for Actinogen Medical

Current project grants

2024 Chinese Scholarship Commission Visiting Scholar Fellowship (Host for J Wang)
2023-2029 MRC Partnership Grant (O’Donnell, Griffiths, Andrew, Campopiano, Andrews, Stephens, Hawkins, Andrews, Dennis (£1.29M)
Systems Lipidomics tools and resources for biomedical research; LIPID MAPS
2023-2026 Heart Research UK (Andrew, Newby, Hadoke, Sellers, Ntshangase) (£250k)
Spatial Profiling of Lipoprotein (a) and Plaque Vulnerability
2023-2028 BHF Programme Grant (Newby DE, Baker AJ, Dweck MR, Mills NL, Williams MC, Tavares AAS, Henderson N, Andrew R, Sellers S, Brittan M) £1,943,103.52
Finding a Cure for Aortic Stenosis
2022-23 Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement (6,000 Canadian dollars)
Host sponsor for visiting PhD scholar Miss Melody Salehzadeh
2022-2023 BHF REA3 Small Project (£25k) (Ntshangase S, Newby DE, Hadoke PWF, Andrew R)
Developing an MS-based spatial proteomics approach: application to cardiovascular research
2022-2023 Friedman Award for Scholars in Health (Salehzadeh M, Soma K, Andrew R) CAD $49261
Mass spectrometry imaging of glucocorticoids in the mouse thymus
2022-2026 MRC-DTP Precision Medicine Studentship Tu H, Andrew R, Wei L, Michoel T Pearson EZ
“5α-Reductases: Mapping pathways of Metabolic Disease” (~£160K)
2022-2023 Mitacs Globalink Research Award - UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) (Salehzadeh M, Soma K, Andrew R)
Mass spectrometry imaging of glucocorticoids in the mouse thymus (CAD $6000)
2021-2025 Wellcome Trust One Health PhD Studentship (Gray GA, Khan S, Andrew R)
Repurposing 11HSD1 Inhibitors in a pig model of myocardial infarction
2021-2025 Eastbio PhD Studentship (Selvakumar M with Andrew R, Fallowfield J, Webster SP) (~£100k)
Defining lipidomic biomarkers of the interactions between Western diet and liver health using mass spectrometry imaging
2020-2023 BBSRC Biomedical Resource Fund (£800k)
3D Neurosterol Atlas of the Mouse Brain (Griffiths WJ (PI), Wang Y; Andrew R (PI), Yau JWL)
2020-2024 MRC Project Grant (MacLean MR, Andrew R) (£689k)
Oestrogen and oestrogen metabolites in pulmonary arterial hypertension
2019-2023 MRC-DTP Studentship (J Weatherill with Andrew R, MacLean MR, Webster SP) (~£95k)
Investigating estrogen metabolism in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension by MS Imaging
2017-2023 Wellcome Trust Multi-User Equipment Grant (£793,450)
Mass Spectrometry Imaging in Translational Endocrine Research
(Andrew R, Walker BR, Webster SW, Newby DE, Saunders PTK, Reynolds RM)

View all 175 publications on Research Explorer

Invited speaker

2023                Lipidmaps Webinar

2022                BMSS Lipidomics Special Interest Group Webinar

2022                Celebrating Cedric Shackleton Symposium

2021                Society for Endocrinology Research Skills: Grant writing and rebuttal

2021                MSACL Fireside Chat

2020                MSACL Interview Workshop

2020                Oxford University, Diabetes and Endocrinology Metabolism Seminars

2019                Laval University, Seminar Series, Quebec

                                                “Tracing steroids to understand the Metabolic Syndrome”

2018                Peter Derrick Memorial Symposium, American Chemical Society Fall Meeting, Boston

                                                “Imaging steroids by Mass Spectrometry – challenges and opportunities”


Programme Organising Committee Member as follows

Society for Endocrinology Career Development Workshop Co-organiser 2007-2014

Metabolomics Society, Glasgow 2013

Scoiety for Endocrinology, UK Meetings, 2013-2018

Scottish Metabolomics Network, Edinburgh 2015

Androgens, Edinbrugh 2018

European Oxysterol Research Network, Edinburgh 2019

Adipose Tissue Discussion Group 2021, 2022