Born in 1953, I was brought up in Ealing, West London. In 1964 I won a scholarship to Latymer Upper School, Hammersmith. After completing A levels in Biology, Physics and Chemistry I entered St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School in London from which I graduated BSc (Anatomy 2:i), MB, BS in 1970.
I trained in General Medicine in Portsmouth and Leicester, passing the MRCP (UK) examination in 1983. I then entered into pathology training in the University of Manchester, passing the MRCPath examination in Histopathology in 1986. I have since been made FRCP(E)(1990), FRCP (1995) and FRCPath (1996). I have specialised in Osteoarticular (bone and joint) pathology since 1983 (when I was awarded an ARC Clinical Lectureship) and was given a personal chair in 1993.
In 1984 I was awarded an MD for work on the migration of lymphocytes into diseased tissue. I was the first person to show vascular specialisation for promoting lymphocyte entry into disease tissues.
I am Professor and Honorary Consultant (at MFT since 1986). I am gradually reducing my clinical work to focus on research. In the past I have had a large diagnostic histopathology practice in bone and joint disease. I have been replaced by 2 consultants, but retain a clinical inout into the synovial fluid service. Synovial fluid microscopy as a test for the early and accurate diagnosis of joint disease. I have written a book, several chapters in leading Rheumatology and Cytology texts, and in excess of 25 peer-reviewed publications on this subject.
My basic scientific and clinical research is focused in the broad area of molecular pathology and, in particular, the development and application of molecular pathology techniques to human skeletal tissues to obtain a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underpinning disease.
Most of the work I have undertaken over the last 20 years or so has focused on an understanding of the pathology of the degenerate intervertebral disc, the origins of discogenic back pain, and regenerative medicine and materials engineering approches to reversing these debilitating conditions.
The work on back pain has led to the formation of a University "spin-out" company "Gelmetix Healthcare plc" which is now capitalised to progress to "first in man" studies of a novel injectable nano material to restore the function of the intervertebral disc.
I am also Director of MMPathIC (Manchester Molecular Pathology Innovation Centre), an MRC/EPSRC Molecular Pathology node with £4M of funding from MRC/EPSRC (£2.9M), UoM (£800,000) and MFT (£300,000) to take novel molecular pathology and molecular pathology related engineering discoveries into clinical use in partnership with industry. This builds on my research in molecular pathology, and experience gained as Founder and Director of Gelmetix, and serving for 7 years on the NICE MTAC Committee.
I have authored or co-authored about 300 peer reviewed publications, >50 reviews, ≈30 book chapters, and 1 book. I have supervised 37 MD/PhD students. I am a member of the College of Experts of the MRC and EPRSC and editorial board member of 4 journals.
I am Director of MMPathIC
I am a keen tower bell ringer, including being Training Officer for the Shropshire Association of Church Bell Ringers, and a collector of brass threepenny bits.