Dr. Allan Lawrie BSc PhD

BHF Senior Basic Science Research FellowAllan Lawrie
Head of Pulmonary Vascular Research Group

Department of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease
University of Sheffield
Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX
Tel: +44 (0)114 215 9536
Fax: +44 (0)114 271 1863
Email: a.lawrie@sheffield.ac.uk


I completed my PhD “The effects of ultrasound on vascular gene delivery” in the Department of Cardiovascular Science at the University of Sheffield at the end of 2001. I then started my post-doctoral studies under the mentorship of Professor Marlene Rabinovitch at Stanford University, California where I developed my interested in Pulmonary Hypertension. I gained my first independent Fellowship to return to Sheffield at the end of 2004 (Russell Fellowship) and started to build a basic science group focused on pulmonary hypertension research. I obtained a Medical Research Council Career Development Award Fellowship in 2008 to build upon this programme of research and now hold a British Heart Foundation Senior Basic Science Research Fellowship. I lead a talented group of research scientists and students and maintain strong translational links through the Sheffield Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

Research Interests:

My main research interest lies in better understanding the molecular mechanism of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). In particular I am currently studying the role of osteoprotegerin (OPG), Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand (TRAIL) and other related members of the TNF superfamily in the pathogenesis of PAH. I have an additional interest in the role inflammation, particularly IL-1, plays in modulating disease.

I also have a strong interest in biomarkers (proteomic, miRNA and epigenetic) and through collaboration with clinical colleagues in the SPVDU have developed a growing biobank of blood products (DNA/RNA/Plasma/Serum) from patients with pulmonary hypertension, with sample collected at diagnosis and subsequent visits post treatment. I have developed a number of national and international collaborations to maximise the utilisation of this valuable and rare resource.

Teaching Interests:

I currently teach on the MSc in Molecular Medicine course. I cover topics such as RNA interference, micro RNA and gene delivery. On the Cardiovascular Pathway I cover the areas of vascular cell biology and pre-clinical models relating to pulmonary hypertension.

Professional Activities:

  • Member of the American Thoracic Society’s Pulmonary Circulation Program Committee for 2010-present.
  • Grant Reviewer for MRC, Wellcome Trust, BHF, BBSRC, Arthritis Research UK, The Scleroderma Society.
  • Manuscript Reviewer for the leading journals in the field including Nature, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Circulation, Circulations Research, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, European Respiratory Journal and Thorax.
  • Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute (PVRI) Task Force on Animal Models and Phenotying.

Current Projects:

  • May 2014 - April 2016 Medical Research Council DPFS MICA. Developing novel human antibodies targeting the OPG/TRAIL axis for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). (£516,153).
  • December 2013 - November 2018 BHF Senior Basic Science Research Fellowship. Defining cellular and molecular interactions in the OPG pathway in pulmonary arterial hypertension. (£1,010,100).
  • May 2013 - April 2018 Medical Research Council/British Heart Foundation (Experimental Medicine Grand Challenge Grant). National cohort study of heritable and idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. (Co-Applicant. PI Prof Nicholas Morrell, Cambridge - £3.4m).
  • November 2012 - October 2015 MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship (Dr Alex Rothman) Investigation into MiR-140-5p in human and experimental models of pulmonary arterial hypertension. (Sponsor/Supervisor - £292,383).


For key publications see below. For a full list of publications click here.

Journal articles