Professor Derek Mann
Research profile and key clinical specialties
I am responsible for providing scientific leadership and delivering high impact research into mechanisms responsible for the development of liver inflammation, fibrosis and cancer.
A secondary responsibility is to translate this research into therapeutics for chronic liver disease.
One of my roles at Newcastle as a Co-director of the Institute of Cellular Medicine is to provide scientific leadership and vision for the 80+ principle investigators within the institute.
I am the head of the Fibrosis Laboratory Research Group and provide the strategic direction and leadership to senior clinical and basic science academics focused on developing translational solutions to tissue remodelling and scar formation in the liver, lung, kidneys, heart and skin.
My research group in Newcastle are primarily interested in understanding the molecular basis for tissue fibrosis (scarring) and developing therapeutic strategies for the treatment of fibrotic diseases.
Emphasis is placed on signalling pathways in myofibroblasts such as the NF-ÎºB system that can be manipulated with drugs already proved to be safe for use in man. This strategy led to the discovery that NF-ÎºB inhibitors such as sulphasalazine and angiotensin II receptor blockers promote reversion of fibrosis in chronic liver disease.
Two key publications
- Jurk D, Wilson C, Passos JF, Oakley F, Correia-Melo C, Greaves L, Saretzki G, Fox C, Lawless C, Anderson R, Hewitt G, Pender SL, Fullard N, Nelson G, Mann J, van de Sluis B, Mann DA, von Zglinicki T (2014). Chronic inflammation induces telomere dysfunction and accelerates ageing in mice. Nature Communications 24;2:4172. Joint senior author.
- Wilson CL, Jurk D, Fullard N, Banks P, Page A, Luli S, Elsharkawy AM, Gieling RG, Chakraborty JB, Fox C, Richardson C, Callaghan K, Blair GE, Fox N, Lagnado A, Passos JF, Moore AJ, Smith GR, Tiniakos DG, Mann J, Oakley F, Mann DA (2015). NFKB1 is a suppressor of neutrophil-driven hepatocellular carcinoma. Nature Communications Apr 16; 6818.
Possible PhD projects
- Discovering plasma DNA methylation biomarkers for minimal-invasive diagnosis and stratification of tissue fibrosis in age- related chronic disease.
I am currently supervising two clinical fellows and 6 scientists in their PhD studies. I have extensive experience of supervision of PhD candidates through to successful completion.
Keywords: Liver, inflammation, fibrosis, cancer, molecular, fibrotic diseases, myofibroblasts, Derek, Mann, Newcastle