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Meet The Team

Early Career Researcher? Why not join the team?

Professor Paul Winyard


BIRAs Chairman

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Paul is Professor of Experimental Medicine at the University of Exeter Medical School. He originally trained as a biochemist, and his research interests centre on the role of oxidative/nitrative stress and redox signalling in chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. In particular, he has focused on the development of novel free radical-related assays and therapeutic anti-inflammatory strategies, and the translation of these developments into clinical diagnostic assays and pre-clinical and early-phase clinical studies.

Dr Dianne Cooper


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Dianne is a lecturer at the William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University of London. Dianne obtained her PhD from the University of Bradford and went on to do post-doctoral research at Louisiana State University before joining QMUL. Her research interests focus on understanding the function of galectins, a family of carbohydrate binding proteins, in the process of inflammation and its resolution. She has a particular interest in how they modulate leukocyte trafficking and persistence in chronic inflammatory pathologies such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Professor Paul Kirkham


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Paul is Professor of cell biology at the University of Wolverhampton. His main research interests focus on understanding the role of oxidative stress and its impact on chronic inflammation and immunity in respiratory diseases such as COPD. He originally trained as a biochemist before gaining experience as a molecular immunologist. His career has spanned both academia and industry, with 12 years at Novartis working on a number of drug discovery and biomarker projects from discovery through to clinical development.

Dr Peter Bunyard

Meetings Secretary

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Peter obtained his PhD in Immunology in 2002 from University College London and after post-doctoral research at Nottingham University has worked in auto-immune and fibrosis drug discovery. Peter’s career has progressed through a number of biotech and pharmaceutical companies including Celltech-UCB, GSK and Takeda and Redx, currently Peter is Director of Immunology at the UK biotech company Sitryx Therapeutics.


Dr Asif Iqbal

Meetings Secretary

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Asif is a Birmingham Fellow in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Birmingham. Asif qualified with a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Surrey in 2006. He went on to study for an MSc in Immunology of infectious diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and then a PhD at the William Harvey Research Institute, QMUL. 

Asif has been studying the role of inflammation in cardiovascular disease and other chronic inflammatory pathologies and how we can harness endogenous mediators (such as galectins) to regulate this process.

Dr Graham Wallace

President IAIS

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Graham is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing. Graham has published over 100 research papers in scientific journals as well as reviews in the fields of ocular immunology, Behcet’s Disease and immunogenetics. He has received grants from Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Fight for Sight, and the Wellcome Trust. He is an enthusiastic communicator on the theme immune responses in the eye and the effects of gene polymorphgisms on ocular diseases. Graham is on the Medical Panel of the Behcet’s Syndrome Society and speaks at meetings of patient groups on a regular basis. Graham is currently President of the International Association of Inflammation Societies.


Dr Emily Offer

Committee & Website

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Emily is Head of Cellular Sciences at the Medicines Discovery Catapult on Alderley Park working in the area of inflammatory disease, fibrosis and neuroinflammation. She obtained her BMedSc at the University of Birmingham and PhD in respiratory inflammation from the University of Sheffield. Following a PostDoc at the University of Nottingham, Emily joined the biologics-based pharmaceutical company MedImmune working on monoclonal antibody therapeutic projects for a wide range of diseases including immune oncology, inflammation and metabolic diseases. Emily then moved to Redx Pharma to work as a Principal Scientist and Team Leader in fibrosis research. Currently Emily works at the Medicines Discovery Catapult supporting the UK medicines discovery community.

Professor Ian Adcock

Former Chairman

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Ian is Professor of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology at Imperial College, London. His main interests lie in the effects of glucocorticoids on airway inflammation in patients with severe asthma and COPD patients.  The roles of oxidative stress and epigenetics in modulating steroid responses in in vitro and in vivo are also a long term research focus. Recent work is on novel drug interventions and the detection of drug-response signatures in large patient datasets such as in U-BIOPRED, a pan-European consortium of 20 academic groups and 11 Pharmaceutical companies along with patient organisations, aimed to use unbiased assessement of multi-omic data to determine the mechanisms of severe asthma subtypes, along with translational research. 


Dr Ezra Aksoy

Committee & Social Media

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Ezra is a Lecturer in immunology and pharmacology at the William Harvey Research Institute in Queen Mary, University of London. Ezra has obtained her BSc (Hons) in Microbiology from Kansas State University. After brief research experience at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, she moved to Belgium where she carried out her doctoral studies in innate immunity with Prof Michel Goldman at the Free University of Brussels, School of Medicine. During her PhD, fascinated by cell signalling networks downstream of Toll-like receptors (TLRs), she moved to London with an EMBO Long-term Fellowship and Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship to carry out her post-doctoral research with Prof. Bart Vanhaesebroeck at Barts Cancer Institute, QMUL. Since 2013, Ezra has been studying investigating the role of phosphatidylinositol lipids and their key enzymes, PI3Ks in vesicular trafficking processes (i.e. phagocytosis, endocytosis and autophagy) following activation of innate immune receptors in health and disease states.

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