Roberto Solari is a Visiting Professor within the Infection in Airway Disease research group, Respiratory Infections section within the National Heart and Lung Institute.
Professor Solari obtained his first class BSc from Nottingham University in 1978 followed by his PhD in 1981 for which he studied the receptor mediated transmission of IgG from mothers to neonates via intestinal uptake. He went on to do a post-doc at the Institut de Biochimie, University of Lausanne funded by a Royal Society European Fellowship and followed this with a second post-doc in the Department of Cell Biology, Liverpool University. Both postdoctoral positions researched the receptor mediated transepithelial transport of dimeric IgA into mother’s milk.
In 1986, Professor Solari joined Glaxo and worked on inflammation and allergy drug discovery. He has since held a number of research posts in industry working from target discovery through to human clinical trials. Most recently, he was Vice President in the Respiratory Therapy Area at GSK leading a unit working the discovery of novel asthma drugs. Roberto has also been involved with the creation of UK start-up companies such as Astex Pharmaceuticals, Lorantis, Chroma Therapeutics and Heptares.
His industrial research interests have broadly been in drug discovery in inflammation and allergy, but as a cell biologist his main scientific interest has been in the functioning of the secretory pathway.
His current research is on the interaction between human Rhinovirus and the host cell in particular how the virus hijacks the cellular ER and Golgi membranes in order to replicate. The aim is to discover novel targets to allow the development of anti-viral drugs.