Meet the members on our committee
BSID Chair and BSID Trustee
Prof. Neil Rajan
Professor Neil Rajan M.D. PhD. is Professor of Dermatogenetics 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. He is Deputy Editor of the British Journal of Dermatology and is a board member of the European Society of Dermatological Research.
BSID Treasurer and BSID Trustee
Dr Abigail Langton
Dr Abigail Langton is a Research Fellow within the Centre for Dermatology Research (CfDR) at The University of Manchester. She received her PhD in cutaneous stem cell biology from The University of Manchester and joined the CfDR as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in 2009. She has an established record of internationally-recognised original research in the field of skin health and ageing. Her current research interest is focussed on understanding skin health across global populations, facilitated by a very successful collaboration with researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, USA. Abigail has been an active member of the BSID for 12 years and was honoured to receive the BSID Early Career Investigator Award for Basic Science in 2019.
BSID Head of Digital Communications
Dr. Paola Di Meglio
Dr. Di Meglio is a Senior Lecturer in Cutaneous Immunology, at St John’s Institute of Dermatology, King’s College London. She received her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Naples Federico II and trained at Yale University (USA), St. John’s Institute of Dermatology (London), and at the MRC NIMR, now the Francis Crick Institute (London). Dr Di Meglio’s research interest is in the etiopathogenesis of complex inflammatory skin conditions, with a particular focus on the interplay between environmental triggers and immune dysregulation, and the discovery of immune biomarkers of outcome to biologic therapies. Di Meglio has coauthored more than 30 original articles in high profile journals, such as Nature Genetics, Immunity, Cell, Science Translational Medicine, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Dr Di Meglio has given over 30 invited lectures, including at the World Congress of Dermatology in 2015 and at the Montagna Symposium on the Biology of Skin in 2017. She has been the recipient of the European Society for Dermatological Research/Celgene Award, and of the British Society for Investigative Dermatology Young Investigator Award, both in 2014. She is Section Editor in Dermatology and Skin Immunology for Pharmacological Research ans Associate Editor for The Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
BSID Committee Member
Prof. Wei-Li Di
Professor Wei-Li Di is a Professor of Skin Biology at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and obtained her medical degree at Shanghai Medical University, China and was trained in Epidemiology after her graduation. She started her research career at St. Bartholomew’s and Royal London Hospitals in the Department of Reproductive Physiology and earned her PhD degreed in 1996. Following her PhD, she completed her post-doc training at UCL, Cancer Research UK and Queen Mary including 6-year skin research at Professor David Kelsell’s lab. In 2004, Wei-Li was appointed as a Non-Clinical Lecture by UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and started her independent skin research. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2014 and became Professor of Skin Biology in 2020 based on her research achievements in the field of skin biology and the development of therapies for skin diseases.
Wei-Li’s research focuses on the molecular mechanism of skin diseases with the aim of developing more specific treatments for these devastating skin conditions. She has been developing gene therapy strategies for rare genetic skin disorders by grafting gene corrected skin sheet and cells on patients. She used her expertise to develop pre-clinical models to test these strategies and this has led to phase I gene therapy trials for Netherton syndrome and dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa in which she was a non-clinical lead. She also has interest in the common skin disease eczema and has been developing a small molecule therapy for this condition. Wei-Li’s innovative work has attracted the attention of pharmaceutical companies and new collaborators and her research outcomes have been published in high impact journals.
BSID Committee Member
Dr Chester Lai
Dr Chester Lai is a Consultant Dermatologist and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust / University of Southampton. He conducted research into the role of T-cells in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) during his clinical academic training in Dermatology as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow, Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellow and NIHR Clinical Lecturer, leading to publications in Clin Cancer Res, Nat Immunol, Immunity, J Immunother Cancer, J Invest Dermatol, etc. His current research, which is funded by a MRC Clinical Academic Partnership award, uses melanoma and cSCC as models to study cancer immunology, with a focus on developing and optimising immunostimulatory antibodies for skin cancer immunotherapy.
BSID Committee Member
Dr. Catherine Wright PhD
Dr Catherine S. Wright is a Lecturer in the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University. She undertook her PhD in Reproductive Science and Medicine at Imperial College London, after which she was a Serono Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, moving to Glasgow Caledonian University in 2006 as Postdoctoral Research Fellow, becoming Lecturer and Principal Investigator in 2014. Her current research focuses on wound healing in diabetes, in particular skin gap junction communication, fibrosis and their roles in diabetic wound healing, and connexin mimetic peptides and their therapeutic potential. She has a record of internationally recognised research and leads the GCU Skin Research Tissue Bank. She also sits on the Chief Scientist Office Translational Clinical Studies Committee.
BSID Committee Member
Prof. Gareth Inman
Professor Gareth Inman is Professor of Cell Signaling at the University of Glasgow and 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.
BSID Committee Member
Dr Matthew Caley
Dr Matthew Caley is a Senior Lecturer in Cell Biology within the Centre for Cell Biology and Cutaneous Research at the Blizard Institute, QMUL. He started working in skin research during his PhD in Cardiff studying Chronic Wounds under the supervision of Prof. Phil Stephens. He worked as a Post Doc at Imperial college investigating prostate cancer metastasis in the laboratory of Dr Justin Sturge and Prof. Jonathan Waxman. In 2011 he joined Prof. Edel O’Toole’s lab at QMUL to study the skin basement membrane and its role in healthy and damaged skin as well as in skin cancer.
In 2019 Matthew was appointed as a Lecturer in Cell Biology and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2022.
Matthews research group focuses on the role of the basement membrane protein laminin 332 in skin homeostasis, skin ageing, wound healing, skin cancer and in the blistering skin disease Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa.