Speakers 2018

Leah McLaughlin

Leah Mc Laughlin, Health and Social Care Research, Bangor University

Leah is an applied researcher working at the intersection between health and social care. Currently she is the lead research officer for the Wales Kidney Research Unit – Social Care Arm. They undertake research into anything non-clinical around kidney disease. Previously Leah was the lead research officer on the Organ Donation Study evaluating the impact of the new deemed consent act in organ donation in Wales.  http://www.kidneyresearchunit.wales/en/social-care-research.htm

Leah's research interests include co-production, applied research methods, research design, qualitative and mixed methods, creative communication and the intersection of health and social care. She is a trustee of Touch Trust, a charity that develops creative and movement based interventions for people with profound disability and enjoy running and cooking. Leah is based in Cardiff at the Heath Hospital, Wales Kidney Research Unit.

Sian Griffiths

Sian Griffin, Consultant Nephrologist in Cardiff

Siân Griffin is a Consultant Nephrologist in Cardiff. She graduated in medicine and received her PhD in immunology from the University of Cambridge. Her major clinical and research interests are immune-mediated renal diseases including glomerulonephritis and kidney transplantation. An enthusiasm for the role of clinical trials to provide evidence to inform decision making led to the development of the ITOPS study, funded by a research grant from Kidney Research UK. Siân leads the UK Kidney Research Consortium Transplantation Clinical Study Group and is General Secretary of the British Transplantation Society.

Timothy Bowen

Dr Timothy Bowen, Senior Lecturer in Matrix and Molecular Biology

Dr Timothy Bowen is currently Senior Lecturer in Matrix and Molecular Biology at the Wales Kidney Research Unit, Cardiff University School of Medicine (https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/people/view/122808-bowen-timothy).

The central theme of Tim’s research is the regulation of gene expression in kidney disease. This involves understanding how the gene sequences in human genomic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) give rise to functional ribonucleic acid (RNA) and protein products. This knowledge is then translated to inform novel approaches to diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of human kidney disease.

Gene products have potential utility as kidney disease biomarkers i.e. sentinels of disease occurrence and/or progression, and may represent targets for therapeutic intervention. In this context, we are interested in functional RNAs including protein coding RNAs, microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs, as well as proteins and the functional molecules that they synthesise such as hyaluronan, a glycosaminoglycan of the extracellular matrix.

Current research projects include analysis of microRNAs as biomarkers for diabetic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, peritoneal fibrosis and renal transplantation outcomes. Investigation into the roles of microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs in mechanisms of kidney disease such as renal fibrosis is also ongoing.

Dr Keith Wilson

Dr Keith Wilson, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Haematology, Cardiff University and Director, South Wales Blood and Marrow Transplant Programme

Dr Wilson graduated from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.  Early post-graduate training was undertaken in his native Trinidad and Tobago and his specialist training was in London at St George’s, the Royal Marsden and St Helier Hospitals.

He moved to Cardiff in 1999 to take up the post of Senior Clinical Lecturer in Haematology at the University of Wales College of Medicine (now Cardiff University) and Director of the Blood & Marrow Transplant Programme at the University Hospital of Wales.  This was initially a joint appointment with the Welsh Blood Service where he was the Lead Consultant for Apheresis and the Medical Director of the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

Dr Wilson relinquished his duties at the Welsh Blood Service in 2006 due to the expansion and increasing demands of the transplant programme.  He led the merger of the existing programmes in south Wales to form the South Wales Blood and Marrow Transplant Programme in 2011, serving adults and children in south, mid and west Wales.  The Programme has a catchment area of 2.7 million amounting to over three-quarters of the Welsh population.  Approximately 150 procedures are performed annually including transplants from sibling and unrelated donors.

Dr Wilson maintains an interest in Transfusion Medicine and has served on national committees and continues to speak at various national and international conferences.  Other research interests include the role of immunotherapy and late effects in transplantation.


Dr Adnan Sharif, Consultant Transplant Nephrologist, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

Dr. Adnan Sharif graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2002 and underwent his general medical and specialist nephrology training in Cardiff and Birmingham respectively, while also attaining his research MD in the field of post-transplantation diabetes. He took up his Consultant Nephrologist post at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in 2011 with a special interest in renal transplantation. He retains an active research focus and is currently Chief Investigator on a number of prospective cohort and randomized clinical trials. He has recently been appointed to the Board of Trustees for Kidney Research UK.

In addition to his clinical and research interests, he is the secretary of the non-Government Organization Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) which campaigns against illegal and unethical organ procurement around the globe and was nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. He also sits on the steering committee for Give A Kidney, a registered charity that promotes non-directed altruistic kidney donation. Finally, he is a member of the National BAME Transplantation Alliance that seeks to promote blood, stem cell and organ donation from minority ethnic groups in the UK.


Effie photo

Professor Effie W. Petersdorf, MD, Professor of Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Effie Wang Petersdorf, M.D. is Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Professor, Division of Oncology and Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, and Attending Physician, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She earned her A.B in 1978 from Harvard University, and M.D. in 1982 from McGill University in Montreal. She completed her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in oncology at the University of Washington before joining the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 1987. For the last three decades, Dr. Petersdorf has devoted her research to the immunogenetics of the HLA system in transplantation. Dr. Petersdorf combines her year-round laboratory research with two months of attending on the stem cell transplant clinical services at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 1999. Dr. Petersdorf is the 2016 recipient of the Ceppellini award from the European Federation for Immunogenetics. She is past President of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the World Marrow Donor Association.

Paul Bowness

Professor Paul Bowness, Professor of Experimental Rheumatology, Oxford University

Paul Bowness is a Consultant Rheumatologist at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (since 1999) and Professor of Experimental Rheumatology, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal science (NDORMS), Oxford University. He trained at Cambridge University and then undertook postgraduate training in London. He studied under Andrew McMichael and received a DPhil (PhD) in Immunology from Oxford University in 1993.

His principle research interests are in the immunology of Spondyloarthritis.  He has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles in major scientific journals and has written reviews and chapters in textbooks including in the Oxford Textbook of Medicine. He was elected to ASAS in 2009 and was co-president of the International Congress of the Spondyloarthropathies for 2012.

Matthew Everly

Matthew J. Everly, Director, Terasaki Research Institute

Dr. Matthew Everly is focused on developing innovation that can make organ transplantation better. As the Director of the Terasaki Research Institute, he works with transplant centers around the world, through numerous collaborative studies, in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the underlying problems that lead to organ transplant graft failure. Dr. Everly has published extensively on the impact of alloantibodies in organ transplant. Additionally, Dr. Everly focuses on patient quality of life and data science to learn and model risk in transplant. Dr. Everly received a B.S. in Pharmacy (2002) and PharmD (2003), both from the University of Cincinnati. He completed Transplant Pharmacy Residency and Transplant Clinical Research Fellowship at the University of Cincinnati (2007-2008). He was named a Fellow of the American Society of Transplant in 2016.

Lisa Mumford

Lisa Mumford, Principal Statistician, NHS Blood and Transplant

Lisa Mumford is a Principal Statistician within the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) Statistics and Clinical Studies Department. She joined NHSBT in 2004 and has primarily specialised in the areas of pancreas and kidney transplantation. Lisa is a Member and lead statistician within the NHSBT Kidney Advisory Group. Lisa has a BSc in Mathematical Sciences and an MSc in Statistics and Management Science.


Dr Geraldine Gillespie, Principal Investigator/Group Head, NDM Research Building/University of Oxford

Geraldine Gillespie obtained her DPhil (PhD) in 1997 at Oxford University’s Medical Science Division under the instruction of Prof Paul Moss in Prof John Bell’s laboratory where she studied T cell perturbations in haematological malignancies.

She completed a two-year postdoctoral stent with Prof Moss thereafter, where she availed of the (then) newly developed MHC class I tetramer technology to re-evaluate CMV-specific CD8+ T cells in healthy individuals. Following a post-doctoral placement in the laboratory of Prof Rowland-Jones, she investigated CD8+ T cell immunity in HLA-B*57+, HIV-infected elite controllers, during which time (2003) she was awarded an Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.  Subsequently, she obtained a MRC New Investigators Research Award (2006) to study the structural aspects of T cell receptor – MHC class I ligand interactions.

She was elected Mary Goodger Scholar in 2012 and University Research Lecturer in 2016.  More recently, Geraldine’s lab work closely with Prof Sir Andrew McMichael’s group to study the biology of TCR and KIR receptor interactions with MHC.  Following the recent discovery that RhCMV-SIV vaccine regimens drive broadly targeting, protective HLA-E restricted CD8+ T cells in rhesus macaques, their groups are interested in the re-evaluation of the human HLA-E peptide-binding repertoire from a biochemical and structural perspective.  The Gillespie lab also explores features of cross-reactivity and heterotypic T cell immunity relating to specific HLA-B*57 subtypes.  They also investigate potential T cell drivers of autoimmunity in HLA-B*27+ Ankylosing Spondylitis patients.

Paul Veys

Professor Paul Veys, Director BMT GOSH, Honorary Professor UCL, GFOSH

Current posts

1994 –                              Director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation

Great Ormond Street (GOS) Hospital for Children NHS Trust

2011 –                              Co-chair / Chair General Medical Staff Committee

2013 –                              Honorary Clinical Professor University College London

GOS Institute of Child Health, Infection Immunity, Inflammation.

Previous Posts

2015                                  Chair of the CIBMTR Scientific Committee BMT Tandem Meeting San Diego, California

2008 – 2013                    Chair of Immune Deficiencies and Inborn Errors of Metabolism Working Committee, Centre for International blood and Marrow Transplant Research

2004 –  2012                   Chair of Children and Young Person’s Pan Thames, Blood and Marrow Transplant group

2007 –  2013                   Reader in Stem Cell Transplantation, UCL Institute of Child Health Molecular Immunology Unit

2007 – 2008                    Deputy Medical Director GOSH

2005 – 2008                    Clinical Unit Chair: Infection Cancer and Immunity

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust

1998 - 2004                     Chairman of United Kingdom’s Children’s Cancer Blood and Marrow Transplant Group

2002 - 2005                     Co-Chairman/Chairman of Acute Medical Services Division

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust

2000 - 2002                     Chairman of the Host Defence Management Board, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust

1993 - 1994                     Fellow in Paediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation

Hospital for Sick Children Toronto, Canada

1991 - 1993                     Lecturer/Honorary Senior Registrar in Haematology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London

1989 - 1991                     Lecturer/Honorary Senior Registrar in Haematology, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London

1988 - 1989                     Registrar in Haematology, Royal Free Hospital, London

1986 - 1988                     Lecturer/Honorary Registrar in Haematology, The Royal London Hospital, London

1985 - 1986                     Senior House Officer, Haematology Dept, The Royal London Hospital, London

Author of 17 book contributions , >200 peer-reviewed papers, and in receipt of > £6.5 million of research grant income

Prof Aithal

Professor Guruprasad P. Aithal, GI & Liver Disorder Theme Lead, NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre

Professor Guruprasad P. Aithal is the GI & Liver Disorder Theme Lead at the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, and was the Director of NIHR Nottingham Digestive Diseases BRU between 2008 & 2016.

He is the Professor of Hepatology and the Head of the Division for the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre and Deputy Director of Nottingham Molecular Pathology Node.

He won the NHS Innovation Award (2013), Shire Award for Gastrointestinal Excellence (2015) and was BMJ Gastroenterology team finalist (2015).

Professor Aithal’s research interests include drug-induced liver injury, metabolic liver disease, hepatopancreaticobiliary imaging and epidemiology of liver and biliary disorders.

His landmark study on warfarin pharmacogenetics (Lancet 1999) catalysed the field, leading the US Food and Drug administration (FDA) to recommend (2007 & 2010) genetic testing during warfarin dosing and its wider application in practice. He also led an international expert panel to establish phenotypic standardisation in drug-induced liver injury (DILI) (Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2011). He co-chaired international DILI consortia (iDILIC) to conduct a seminal genome-wide association studies identifying key associations with key polymorphisms in HLA and other genes with DILI (Nat Genet. 2009, Gastroenterology 2017).

Professor Aithal contributed critically to the evaluation of the Enhanced Liver Fibrosis panel (Hepatology. 2008, Hepatology. 2013), the only non-invasive marker recommended for clinical use by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, UK in 2016. He also evaluated piogltazone (Gastroenterology. 2008) which has been recommended by NICE, European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) and European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in 2016. He was also involved in liraglutide (Lancet 2016) in phase II trial to demonstrate efficacy in NASH.

Professor Aithal has led the development of fast, and inexpensive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method to estimate the degree of inflammation and fibrosis within the whole liver (NMR Biomed. 2015). Recently, he used this method to estimate portal pressure (J Hepatol 2016), showing that it correlates with hepatic venous pressure gradient measurements – the current gold standard but invasive and expensive test, only available in selected centres.