I am a Clinical Pharmacologist funded by an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship.
My fellowship is investigating the role of microglia in brain disease. Microglia are referred to as the “policemen of the brain” because they activate in response to almost any brain injury, including degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The way in which microglia respond to these diseases is very important, because this response partly determines how fast the disease progresses. My focus is on identifying drugs to modulate their responses and therefore slow the progression of these diseases.
In addition, I am Head of Clinical Studies at the NIHR Imperial Clinical Research Facility, a unit which helps Imperial College researchers turn their laboratory discoveries into medicines of the future. At the moment, we are focussed almost exclusively on COVID-19, examining both vaccines and potential treatments.
I spend the remaining ~20% of my time in clinical medicine seeing patients on the acute medical take, leading Pharmacology teaching (with Chris John) at Imperial Medical School, and contributing to committees on the use of medicines. This includes chairing the North West London Integrated Formulary Committee which covers GP practices responsible for approximately 2.6 million people, and chairing the Subregional IVIG committee covering the stewardship of this life saving but scarce resource across 6 NHS Trusts.
If you are interested in working on any of these projects, or wanting to start a new one in this field, please do get in touch.
Nicholas R, Brooks D, Owen D, 2020, 18F-GE180, a radioligand for the TSPO protein: not ready for clinical trials in multiple sclerosis, European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, ISSN:1619-7070
Nicholas R, Brooks D, Owen D, 2020, Letter to the Editor re: Confirmation of Specific Binding of the 18-kDa Translocator Protein (TSPO) Radioligand [F-18]GE-180: a Blocking Study Using XBD173 in Multiple Sclerosis Normal Appearing White and Grey Matter In Response, Molecular Imaging and Biology, Vol:22, ISSN:1536-1632, Pages:13-14
et al., 2019, A quantitative neuropathological assessment of translocator protein expression in multiple sclerosis, Brain, Vol:142, ISSN:1460-2156, Pages:3440-3455
et al., 2019, Confirmation of specific binding of the 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) radioligand [18F]GE-180: a blocking study using XBD173 in multiple sclerosis normal appearing white and grey matter, Molecular Imaging and Biology, Vol:21, ISSN:1536-1632, Pages:935-944
et al., 2019, A bioinformatics approach to understand the regulation of TSPO gene expression in myeloid cells, 35th Congress of the European-Committee-for-Treatment-and-Research-in-Multiple-Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) / 24th Annual Conference of Rehabilitation in MS, SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, Pages:222-222, ISSN:1352-4585