Dr Kirkby is a cardiovascular pharmacologist who leads a group in the Vascular Biology section of the National Heart & Lung Institute. His research interests centre around vasoactive hormones in health and disease, using rigorous basic science approaches including complex in vivo and in vitro models coupled with cutting edge '-omics' and systems biology techniques to address clinical relevant questions. These are applied with a view to rapid translation of findings into new drugs and therapeutic approaches that benefit the treatment of cardiovascular disease. He is also academic lead for the BSc Medical Biosciences course LABP, LITP and WKBP modules.
Dr Kirkby performed his undergraduate training at the University of Edinburgh where he received a 1st class honours degree in Pharmacology in 2005. He remained in Edinburgh to undertake a PhD in the laboratoroes of Prof. David Webb and Dr Patrick Hadoke, studying the roles of the endothelial hormones, particularly endothelin-1, in the response to vascular injury. He completed his first post-doctoral training in Edinburgh under the guidance of Dr Patrick Hadoke and Prof Robin Plevin (Strathclyde University) before joining Imperial College in 2010.
In 2013, Dr Kirkby was awarded an Imperial College Research Fellowship to develop his independent research. In 2015, he was awarded a highly prestigious British Heart Foundation Intermediate Basic Science Research Fellowship which was extended in 2020.
Dr Kirkby has received numerous awards for his work from bodies including American Heart Association, British Pharmacology Society, American Physiology Society, International Association of Inflammation Societies, National Heart & Lung Institute Foundation, Imperial College, British Heart Foundation and Royal Society. In 2015 he was recognised for his outstanding contribution to post-graduate teaching by nomination for an NHLI student supervision award and in 2016 for his contribution to research in the cyclo-oxygenase field through a British Pharmacology Society Bill Bowman Award.
His current work centres around the role of cyclo-oxygenase and related enzyme pathways in cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammation and immunology and is supported by close collaboration with colleages at NHLI and international leaders in the field. Further information on current research projects in the ‘Research’ page.