Prof Lesley Rhodes BSc, MD, FRCP, FRSB

Professor of Dermatology and Photobiology

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Professor of Dermatology and Photobiology, Honorary Consultant Dermatologist, Director of the Photobiology Unit.


Lesley E. Rhodes is Professor of Dermatology and Photobiology (2007-), Director of the Photobiology Unit and Honorary Consultant Dermatologist (2000-) at the University of Manchester and Salford Royal Hospital, Manchester, UK. She is Leader of the Photodermatoses Research Programme and Associate Director of the Dermatology Theme, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre, Manchester (2017-).

Lesley received 2 international honours in 2019: The European Society for Photobiology medal for outstanding contributions to photobiology science and leadership in the field of photobiology, and the Edna Roe Lecture Award of the International Union of Photobiology for breakthrough research in the photosciences.

She has joined the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Environmental Effects Assessment Panel as co-author, providing scientific reports on the impact of solar radiation on human health (2018-).

Lesley obtained her medical degree at Kings College & Kings College Hospital Medical School, London and her clinical and research training in Dermatology at Royal Liverpool University Hospitals and University of Liverpool, UK, and Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine, Boston, USA. She founded and directs a major specialist diagnostic and treatment service for patients with photodermatoses (photosensitivity disorders) covering 15M UK population, including immune-based conditions (e.g. CAD, SU, PLE), biochemical (cutaneous porphyrias e.g. EPP), DNA repair and photoaggravated disorders (e.g. photoaggravated eczema, SLE, CLE), drug photosensitivity and contact photoallergy. A leading photodynamic therapy service for skin cancer treatment was also developed. 

Her research programme focuses on solar ultraviolet and visible radiation beneficial and adverse effects on human skin, particularly sunburn inflammation, the photodermatoses, vitamin D synthesis, and the development of photoprotective measures including dietary and hormonal (aMSH analogue) agents and phototherapies including photodynamic therapy for skin cancer. H-index 42. She has >180 publications with >140 original research manuscripts and >40 editorials, reviews and book chapters; includes NEJM, Ann Rev Path, J Invest Dermatol, AJCN, Free Rad Biol Med. Lesley is often an invited plenary speaker and has >200 scientific conference contributions. Research funding includes NIHR, Cancer Research UK, Association for International Cancer Research (AICR), The Wellcome Trust, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Action Medical Research, British Skin Foundation, Dunhill Medical Trust, Department of Health (DoH), European Commission collaborative programmes. Twenty-three postgraduate research degrees supervised (8 current).

Research informs reports and guidance on sunlight exposure, and Lesley has held chair, board and advisory roles including to the UK Skin Cancer Working Party; National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE); DoH; Cancer Research UK; British Association of Dermatologists (BAD; incl. photodermatology & phototherapy guidelines); Public Health England (PHE); Royal College of Physicians. Coauthored reports include PHE Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR), 2017: "Ultraviolet radiation and vitamin D: the effects on health", its preceding report, 2002: "Health Effects from Ultraviolet Radiation", and Photodermatoses in the European Dermatology Forum (EDF) White Book, 2020: "The Challenge of Skin Disease in Europe". She promotes interdisciplinary photobiology research and its translation to human health internationally including though roles as president, congress chair and board of the European Society of Photobiology.   

Current appointments include United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Environmental Effects Assessment Panel; Board, European Society for Photodermatology; Board USA Photomedicine Society; Board member, NICE Public Health Advisory Committee: Sunlight exposures - benefits & risks; Member, Dept. of Health & Social Care Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment; Board member, PHE AGNIR; BAD Skin Cancer Prevention subcommittee, Education subcommittee, and PDT guideline and standards groups. Co-Editor, RSC Comprehensive Book Series in the Photosciences; Emeritus Editor Photoderm, Photoimmunol, Photomed; Editorial Board, Br J Dermatol.

Previously she was Lead for Epidemiology, Education and Prevention, National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Melanoma Clinical Studies Group; Leader, Dermatological Sciences Research Group, University of Manchester; Chair, UK Skin Cancer Working Party; Chair, British Photodermatology Group; Committee, British Society for Investigative Dermatology; Department of Health Working Party - Cancer Reform Strategy; National PDT Advisory Board; Associate Editor, Photochem Photobiol Sci



BSc 1st Class Honours. Basic Medical Sciences & Physical Anthropology, University College, London

AKC Associateship of Kings College, Kings College, London

MB BS Kings College London & Kings College Hospital Medical School

MD doctoral thesis "Mechanisms of UVB-induced erythema", University of Liverpool

FRCP (UK) Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians

FRSB  Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology

Memberships of committees and professional bodies


  • Immediate Past President and Director of Education & Traning, European Society for Photobiology
  • Board, European Society for Photodermatology
  • Board, USA Photomedicine Society
  • Education Sub-Committee, British Association of Dermatologists
  • Photodynamic Therapy Guideline Update Group, British Association of Dermatologists
  • Working Group on National Standards in Photodynamic Therapy, British Association of Dermatologists
  • Board, Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation, Public Health England
  • NICE Public Health Advisory Committee: Sunlight exposures: benefits & risks
  • Cancer Research UK, Skin Cancer Prevention Advisory Board
  • Emeritus Editor, Photodermatology Photoimmunology Photomedicine
  • Co-Editor, RSC Comprehensive Book Series in the Photosciences
  • Editorial Board, British Journal of Dermatology
  • Scientific Advisory Board, International Photodynamic Association
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians
  • Fellow of the Royal Society for Biology
  • Member of British Association of Dermatologists; member of British Photodermatology Group; member of British Society of Investigative Dermatology.
  • Member of European Dermatology Forum; member of European Society for Dermatological Research; member of European Academy of Dermatovenereology; member of European Platform for Photodynamic Medicine; member of European Society for Photobiology.
  • International Fellow American Academy of Dermatology; member of American Society for Photobiology; member of International Photodynamic Association.


  • President, European Society for Photobiology
  • Chair, UK Skin Cancer Working Party
  • Chair, British Photodermatology Group
  • Lead for Epidemiology, Education and Prevention, NCRI Melanoma Clinical Studies Group 
  • Secretary, European Society for Photobiology
  • Committee, British Society for Investigative Dermatology
  • Associate Editor, Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences
  • Co-Editor, Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, Photomedicine


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