Meet the members on our committee
BSID Chair and BSID Trustee
Professor Des Tobin
Dr Desmond J. Tobin is Professor of Dermatological Science and Director of The UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology at the School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Ireland. Prior to Sept 2018 he was Professor of Cell Biology and Director of the Centre for Skin Sciences at the University of Bradford (UK). He holds a BSc from the National University of Ireland (Maynooth), a PhD from the University of London (St. John’s Institute of Dermatology) and post-doctoral training from New York University Medical School’s Dept. of Dermatology. Over the past 25 years he has researched in basic and applied skin/hair sciences, with a focus on the biology of human melanocytes/pigmentation and hair growth disorders, especially those with an immune basis. Des is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, Royal Society of Biology, Institute of Trichologists (Vice-President), and Institute of Biomedical Science. He is a member of the UK Translational Network in Dermatology (UKTREND). Des serves(ed) on several editorial boards, scientific advisory panels, and the UK-based Research Excellent Framework 2021. He has published over 150 publications, incl. 3 books. His H-Index is currently 59 (Scopus 2019
BSID Chair and BSID Trustee
Dr Daniele Bergamaschi
Non-Clinical Senior Lecturer, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Blizard Building, 4 Newark Street, London, E1 2AT
Dr Daniele Bergamaschi is a senior lecturer within the Centre for Cell Biology and Cutaneous Research at the Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, QMUL in London. He is a Deputy Education Lead for Non-clinical teaching. After postgraduate studies in Cancer Pharmacology at Mario Negri Institute in Milan (1994-98), he had postdoctoral research training at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in London (1998-2005). He was appointed in 2005 as a Lecturer at the Blizard Institute and in 2009 promoted to Senior lecturer. He has over 15 years of internationally recognized research experience in cancer cell biology with publications in prestigious journals such as Nature Genetics, Cancer Cell, and Molecular Cell. His current research interest is focused on the signalling pathways that fine tune epidermal homeostasis during skin development and eventually monitor how these mechanisms could be deregulated in specific types of cutaneous diseases. He is also historically interested in melanoma with a particular focus on the physiological roles of p53 family members in the intrinsic apoptotic resistance of melanoma cells. More recently he is exploring in BRAF inhibitors melanoma resistant cells how the p63 signalling is controlled by microRNAs.
BSID Webmaster and BSID Trustee
Dr Neil Rajan
Dr. Neil Rajan M.D. PhD. is a senior lecturer and honorary consultant dermatologist based in Newcastle, U.K. He has received 6 national awards for his work on patients with rare genetic skin disease. He has received fellowships from the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council, that have supported his work on the molecular dissection of inherited cutaneous tumour syndromes. His basic science research programme is coupled with the delivery of early phase clinical trials in rare disease, an exemplar of which is the TRAC study in CYLD cutaneous syndrome, where he was chief investigator. By working in partnership with patients with rare skin disease, his work aims to discover oncogenic dependencies in skin tumours that can be targeted for therapeutic benefit.
Dr Miriam Wittmann
Studies of Human Medicine 1989-1996 (Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf, Germany). Junior professor for Chronic inflammatory skin diseases 2002-2008: Department of Dermatology, Hannover Medical School (Germany) From 2008-2012 was a Lecturer in Immunology (University of Leeds). Since 2012: Associate Professor in Inflammatory Skin Diseases, University of Leeds / Honorary Speciality Doctor in Dermatology, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Field of Interest: cutaneous Lupus erythematosus and scarring outcome, mechanism underlying chronic inflammatory responses, dermato-rheumatology, IL-1 family, hand eczema, IL-10 family member
Dr Girish Patel
European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute,
Girish Patel, MB BS, MD, FRCP(UK), is Hon. Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University and Consultant Dermatologist at the Welsh Institute of Dermatology, University Hospital of Wales. He trained in dermatology in St. Johns Institute of Dermatology, Welsh Institute of Dermatology and National Cancer Institute (NIH, USA).
He is recipient of a number of awards, including: Geoffrey Dowling Fellowship (2004), the most prestigious fellowship awarded by the British Association of Dermatologists; Post-Doctoral Visiting Fellows Research Fellowship (2004), National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health; NIH Merit Award (2006), National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health; NISCHR Clinical Research Fellowship (2012).
His research interest is skin cancer stem cells. His group have identified skin cancer stem cells in the two most common skin cancers: Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. His group uses human skin cancer stem cell models to address fundamental questions in cancer biology which may have far reaching implications (e.g. management of renal cancer). Current projects involve identifying cancer cause, developing new treatments and understanding drug resistance.
Professor Marta Polak
Marta trained in biotechnology at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland and graduated obtaining MSc degree in molecular biology. During her post-graduate project under the supervision of Prof Ian Cree and Dr Martine Jager she investigated the role of dendritic cells (DCs) in melanoma, and obtained the PhD in medicine at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. In 2008 she moved to Southampton and joined Dr Michael Ardern-Jones in the newly formed Innate Immunity Group, in a project exploring the mechanisms of regulation of immune responses in human skin. In July 2012, she was awarded the Faculty of Medicine Career Track Award to study molecular mechanisms regulation the function of human cutaneous dendritic cells. In 2016, when Marta received a Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellowship and became an Associate Professor at the University of Southampton. Leading a Systems Immunology Group Marta investigates how immune responses are initiated and regulated by human dendritic cells, whether human dendritic cells can be used for induction of tolerance in immune disorders and develops an in silico model for the molecular processes underpinning the immune decision making process.
Professor Gareth Inman
Gareth carried out his PhD studies on Epstein Barr virus in Professor Paul Farrell’s laboratory in the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in St Mary’s Hospital, London, before joining Professor Ed Ziff’s laboratory as an HHMI postdoctoral fellow in New York. He then returned to the Ludwig Institute as a Wellcome Trust postdoctoral fellow and studied TGFb signalling in human B cells in Professor Martin Allday’s lab. He then moved to Dr Caroline Hill’s lab at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund to study TGFb signalling dynamics. Gareth set up his own lab investigating TGFb signalling in cancer at The Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute in Glasgow in 2003 following his award of the first AICR International Cancer Fellowship. Gareth moved to the School of Medicine in Dundee in 2010. He was promoted to full Professor in 2017 and returned to the CRUK Beatson Institute in 2018 as Director of Research Strategy and Professor of Cell Signalling in the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow. The Inman lab seeks to identify when and how TGFb acts as a tumour suppressor or a tumour promoter and is investigating TGFb signalling in the development and metastatic spread of several cancer types including melanoma and HNSCC. Given our findings that TGFb signalling is intimately involved in sporadic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) development we have joined an international consortium to study the molecular landscape of cSCC progression with a view to understanding the biological drivers and potential therapeutic susceptibilities. Work in the Inman lab is supported by Cancer Research UK and DEBRA UK.