Professor Robert Barker

Chair in Medicine & Therapeutics


Professor Robert Barker

Contact Details

Telephone: +44 (0)1224 437353
Fax: +44 (0)1224 555766
Address: Department of Medicine and Therapeutics
University of Aberdeen
Institute of Medical Sciences
Foresterhill Aberdeen
AB25 2ZD



Professor Barker qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Bristol, where he first became attracted to immunology while undertaking an intercalated degree in cellular pathology. After a period in general practice he returned to academia, gaining a PhD in autoimmune disease from the University of Bristol. His interest in immunology developed further with the award of a Wellcome Trust Fellowship, which allowed him to exploit a unique approach to the study of immune-mediated diseases, using red blood cells as model target antigens. In 1996, Professor Barker accepted a Lectureship in Aberdeen and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2000, to Reader in 2003, and now holds a personal Chair in Immunology. He currently leads the Immunology Research Programme.

Professor Barker is currently a Trustee of the British Society for Immunology; the Groups' Secretary of the British Society for Immunology; a British Society for Immunology Autoimmunity Affinity Group Committee Member; a British Society for Immunology Regional Group Chair (Aberdeen Immunology Group); and a Scottish Immunology Group committee member.  In the past he has served as Chair of the British Society for Immunology Council; a British Society for Immunology Journals Committee Member; a British Society for Immunology Meetings Committee member; a director of Triangle 3 (British Society for Immunology Trading Company); and has represented the British Society for Immunology at the International Union of Immunological Societies Council.  He is a member of the Research Committee of the Arthritis and Rheumatism Campaign; a member of the Editorial Board of the Open Pathology Journal; a member of the Association for Comparative Haematology; and a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Research Interests

Since arriving in Aberdeen as lecturer in immunology in 1996, he has extended the approach to the study of immune-mediated diseases, using red blood cells as model target antigens to further understanding of the pathogenesis of a number of diseases in which the immune system plays an important role, including autoimmune haemolytic anaemia; haemolytic disease of the newborn; immune-mediated thrombocytopenia; Goodpasture’s disease; bullous skin diseases; atopy and asthma; viral and tumour immune evasion. The aim is to be able to control these diseases by manipulating immune regulation, particularly as mediated by regulatory T lymphocytes, and a number of projects are now undergoing commercial development for human trials.


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