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 (2017-2022) & (2022-2027) and Associate Director of the Dermatology Theme (2017-2022), National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre, Manchester.
Lesley gave the Ian Magnus Memorial Lecture at the European Society of Photodermatology (ESPD) (2022), which followed other international honours (2019): the European Society for Photobiology (ESP) 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 (IUPB) for breakthrough research in the photosciences.
She has joined the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Environmental Effects Assessment Panel as co-author (2018-), and panel member (2020-) providing scientific reports on the impact of solar radiation on human health. Lesley was further appointed to the Department of Health & Social Care Committee on Medical Effects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE, 2021-).
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 46. She has >200 publications with >150 original research manuscripts and >50 editorials, reviews and book chapters; includes NEJM, Nature Sustain, 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 (current awards >£11M) 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-six postgraduate research degrees supervised (7 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; 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; Board member, PHE Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR); 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