Chair in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
I obtained my PhD in human zinc metabolism from the University of Leeds in 1989 and developed an interest in free radicals and antioxidants, becoming involved in intensive care and liver transplantation research. I was appointed to the post of Lecturer in Anaesthesia & Intensive Care in Aberdeen in 1995 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2002, then awarded a Personal Chair in 2010. I have published on a wide range of topics and my research interests now focus on modulation of inflammatory and immune responses in the critically ill, particularly the use of melatonin as a therapy for inflammation and pain. We currently have two trials of melatonin running- DREAM-CP (melatonin for sleep disturbance in chronic pain) and DAMSEL-2 (melatonin as a treatment for sepsis due to community acquired pneumonia). In addition PhD students work in the laboratory investigating the mechanisms of the effects of melatonin using cell models.
I was awarded the Sir Humprey Davy medal by the Royal College of Anaesthetists in 2002 for services to Anaesthesia Research in the UK and in 2011 was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. In 2012 I was also awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society of Biology by election and an honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine in 2016.
I teach on science (undergraduate - BSc- and taught postgraduate -MSc) courses and the medical (MBChB) course. My teaching areas are inflammation, particulalry in relation to sepsis and the role of oxidative stress, and clinical trial methodology including ethics (I spent 12 years as Chair for the North of Scotland research ethics service until recently).
I have a strong interest in the role of women n in science and medicine and am co-lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for the Institute of Medical Sciences. I am also co-lead for the Immunology, Infection and Inflammation research programme.
I review for a number of basic science, anaesthesia and was an Editor of the British Journal of Anaesthesia for 10 years. I am now a Director and Trustee of the charitcable arm of the journal. I sit on the Board of the National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia and am also President of the Anaesthetic Research Society. In addition I represent the British Journal of Anaesthesia on the Clinical Research Training Fellowhip panel of the Medical Research Council for joint funded awards.
Mechanisms of the inflammatory and immune responses in the critically ill and their modulation as potential therapeutic approaches, notably using melatonin. Use of melatonin as a therapy in patients with chronic pain and investigation of the mechanisms of its effects.
Melatonin in doctors and urses working nightshifts (the MIDNIGHT trial https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN15529655)
Melatonin as a therapy for sepsis (the DAMSEL2 trial http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN70688534).
Melatonin for sleep disturbance in patients with chrnic pain (the DREAM-CP trial http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN12861060 )
Experimental and discovery medicine
Antioxidant protection in mitochondria in chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain
Optimising translational capacity of melatonin administration for chemotherapy induced neuropathic pain
The effect of melatonin and 6-hydroxymelatonin on mitochondrial bioenergetics under conditions of sepsis
Metabolomic analysis after exogenous melatonin administration in healthy subjects
Effect of melatonin and its metabolites on key molecular pathways in sepsis
Interactions between melatonin and endogenous opioid peptide release
Previous and current collaborations
Professor Mike Murphy, MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Cambridge (mitochondrial antioxidants).
Professor John Beattie, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health (zinc studies).
Professor Neil Gow, University of Aberdeen (candida and inflammation).
Professor Ahmet Hoke, Johns Hopkins University, USA (neuronal cells).
Dr Lesley Colvin and Dr Carole Torsney, University of Edinburgh (neuropathic pain).
Dr Ben Shelley and Professor John Kinsella, University of Glasgow (lung injury).
Dr Wenlong HUang (neuropathic pain).
British Journal of Anaesthesia/Royal College of Anaesthetists
Melatonin in doctors and nurses working nightshifts: the MIDNIGHT trial.
Metabolomic analysis after exogenous melatonin administration
Antioxidant protection in mitochondria in chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (PhD studentship).
Double-blind randomised controlled trial of exogenous administration of melatonin in chronic pain (DREAM–CP)
Interactions between melatonin and endogenous opioid peptide release (PhD studentship)
Chief Scientist Office
Dose escalation study of melatonin in healthy volunteers- a potential treatment in sepsis (DAMSEL 1).
A pilot study of oral melatonin in patients with sepsis (DAMSEL 2).
MSc course co-ordinator.
Student selected component Year 1 and Year 4.
Lectures on MBChB and various BSc and MSc courses.
- Further Info
Director and Trustee Member of the British Journal of Anaesthesia
President of the Anaesthetic Research Society.
Member of the Board of the National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia .