Prof Adrian S. Woolf MA MD

Chair in Paediatric Science

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Professor Adrian S. Woolf

Room D2515, Michael Smith Building, University of Manchester
Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PT, UK


Telephone: +44 (0)161 275 1534


University of Manchester

Chair in Paediatric Science (from 2010), Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health 

Centre Lead, Paediatrics and Child Health, Institute of Human Development (2014-2016)

Board Member, Manchester Regenerative Medicine Network (2016-2020)

Organiser, Cross Faculty Renal Biology Group (from 2013)

Member of Faculty Academic Malpractice Panel (from 2015) and Univeristy Disciplinary Panel (from 2018)

Member of University Senate (2019-present)

Year 2 Biomedical Science Tutor (2020-2021)

Royal Manchester Children's Hospital

Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Nephrology (from 2010; revalidated 2015 and 2020)

Member of Greater Manchester Academic Nephrology Network (from 2015)

President, Manchester Paediatric Club section of Manchester Medical Society (2016-2017)

Manchester Medical School

Lead for Phase II Nutrition, Metabolism and Excretion Module, Manchester Medical School (2011-2014)

Academic Advisor and ePortfolio Reviewer for undergraduates, Manchester Medical School (2010-present)

Health and Conduct Committee panel member (2018-present)

Outside Manchester

Honorary Professor University College London (from 2010)

Kidney Research UK Trustee (2012-2018), Career Development Ambassador (2013-2018) and Chair of Research Strategy Committee (2014-2018)

Member of UK National Renal Research Strategy Steering Group (2014-2016)

Member of European Society for Paediatric Nephrology Working Group on Congenital Urinary Tract and Kidney Malformations (from 2014)

Member of European Reference Network for Rare Kidney Diseases (from 2017)



In 2010 I took up a new Chair in Paediatric Science at the University of Manchester. 

I am also an Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Nephrology in the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Previously, in 1998, I established an academic centre for Nephrology and Urology at the UCL Institute of Child Health, London, which I headed until the end of 2009.

A main research aim is to find out why people are sometimes born with abnormal kidneys, ureters and bladders. These are the key causes of children needing long term renal dialysis and kidney transplantation. I am also working on translational therapies, including those based on growth factors and precursor cells, for kidney, bladder and, more recently, neural disease.

My research successes include: discovery of mutations in kidney and urinary tract malformations, and showing that the encoded molecules regulate epithelial, smooth muscle and neural differentiation; elucidating and ameliorating pathological mesenchymal-epithelial growth factor signalling in the renal tract and also the peritoneal lining; testing preclinical growth factor therapies for polycystic kidney diseases and renal agenesis; and using human pluripotent stem cell models to model normal and abnormal renal tract development.

My research and development work unites speciality clinical services with new perspectives from Developmental, Cell Biology and Genomic sciences. I have published 165 original research publications, with 'h' and 'g' factors of 63 and 101 (Google Scholar).

I have supervised clinical and science students leading to 19 PhD, three MD, 11 MRes, two MSc and one MPhil awarded theses. I currently supervise three PhD students and one MRes student.

Of my ex-students: two are full Professors and one is an Associate Professor (all at UCL); two others became a Lecturers (UCL and UoM); one is a research associate at University of Cambridge; and one is a Senior Lecturer (Chester University). Of postdoctoral researchers I supervised, one is Associate Professor (University of Nottingham), two are Lecturers (Universities of Nottingham and Salford), another became a Lecturer and founded a Bio-Tech company (UCL and Angio-Proteomie), and one became a Kidney Research UK Fellow (UoM).

In 2015, The Renal Association gave me their Lockwood Award, and I was their 2016 de Wardener Lecturer, both in recognition of my outstanding record in research and teaching.

From 2006-2009 I undertook a clinic at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, focusing on renal tract malformations, which had an impact on diagnosis of these conditions and genetic counseling. With clinical genetics and adult nephrology colleagues, I established a similar clinic in the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital in 2010. In 2012, we established another clinic, in St Mary's Hospital, to assess adults with a family history of kidney disease.

I was a Trustee and Honorary Secretary of The Renal Association (2000-2004). I was the Research Secretary of the British Association for Paediatric Nephrology (2000-2002). I served on the National Kidney Research Fund grants committee (1997-2002). I was a Trustee of Kidney Research UK (2012-2018), with special remits leading their Research Career Development programme and chairing their Research Strategy Committee.

Social responsibility

Trustee, Kidney Research UK (2012-2018)

Undertaking interactive research seminars at primary and secondary schools.

Undertaking Renal Genetics Clinics in the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and in St Mary's Hospital, Central Manchester Foundation Trust.




  • 1968-1974 St Paul's School, London
  • 1975-1978 Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
  • 1978-1981 Westminster Medical School, London


  • 1981 MB BS, University of London
  • 1982 MA, University of Cambridge
  • 1984 MRCP II UK
  • 1989 MD Thesis, University of London

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Academic Paediatrics Association GBI
  • American Society of Nephrology
  • Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland
  • British Association for Paediatric Nephrology
  • European Society for Pediatric Nephrology
  • Manchester Medical Society
  • Manchester Paediatric Club
  • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • The Renal Association

External positions

Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Nephrology, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital

1 Jan 2010 → …

Honorary Professor, University College London (UCL)

1 Jan 2010 → …

Related information


Project: Research

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Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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