The York Biomedical Research Institute draws together researchers based in departments across the University to focus on key areas of biomedical research excellence.
Our research centres on three themes, which each have a Theme Leader to drive research and innovation forwards.
Professor Jeremy Mottram
Director of the York Biomedical Research Institute
I'm a molecular parasitologist working on trypanosomes and Leishmania, causative agents of the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) human African trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis respectively.
I'm interested in the molecular pathways that control differentiation as the parasites transition between hosts, with a particular focus on protein kinase signalling and proteolysis pathways essential for survival. My work uses genetic manipulation to validate candidate drug targets and work with industrial collaborators and NGOs to develop new drugs for NTDs. I'm also interested in applying next generation sequencing technology to track drug resistance in Leishmania populations in Brazil.
Professor Tony Morland
Theme Leader (Neuroscience)
My research uses functional brain imaging techniques to investigate the organisation of the visual areas of the human brain in health and disease.
I'm particularly interested in the way that eye disease impacts on the structural, functional and neurochemical characteristics of the brain.
Professor Jennifer Southgate
Theme Leader (Molecular and Cellular Medicine)
I am a cell/molecular biologist who studies human urothelium, the epithelium of the urinary bladder. My strategy has been to use in vitro systems to investigate the cell/tissue biology of normal human urothelial cells in health and disease, including infection, inflammation and cancer.
My research use transcriptomics (mRNAseq) and my team were first to identify PPARγ as the major transactivator of a transcription factor network regulating urothelial differentiation and cancer. We also apply Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine approaches towards restoration of urinary tract function for congenital anomaly, trauma and disease; this work is entering a translational phase.
Professor Ian Hitchcock
Theme Leader (Immunology, Haematology and Infection)
I am an experimental haematologist and my research focuses on how certain diseases and infections alter the production and maintenance of blood cells, especially platelets and erythrocytes.
My research investigates the mechanisms of myeloproliferative neoplasm development and how cytokine receptors on the plasma membrane of haematopoietic stem cells interact with oncogenic proteins to drive malignancy. I also look at developing novel agents which could reduce oncogenic hyperactivity. As well, I'm interested in non-malignant haematological diseases such as immune thrombocytopenia and how chronic infections can lead to platelet and red cells pathologies.