Dr. Victoria C Ridger BSc PhD PGCertHE FHEA

Dr Vikki RidgerSenior Lecturer and Deputy Head of Department

Department of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease
University of Sheffield
Medical School
Beech Hill Road
Sheffield
S10 2RX

Tel: +44 (0)114 215 9549
Fax: +44 (0)114 271 1863
Email: v.c.ridger@sheffield.ac.uk

Biography:

I obtained an honours degree in Pharmacology from King´s College, London in 1994 during which time I spent a year in the lab of Professor W James Metzger in North Carolina. The project I undertook was investigating the inhibition of VLA-4 in asthmatic responses in a rabbit model and this, together with my PhD project carried out under the supervision of Professor Susan Brain, ignited my interest in inflammation.

My first postdoctoral position was at the NHLI, Imperial College, London in 1997 working with Professors Tim Williams and Ian Sabroe. I then moved to the Department of Cardiovascular Science at the University of Sheffield in 1998 to take up a Wellcome Trust funded postdoctoral position with Professor Paul Hellewell. This project involved establishing a mouse model of lung inflammation in order to investigate CD18-independent neutrophil trafficking.

In 2000 I started my third postdoctoral project with Dr Keith Norman and Professor Paul Hellewell investigating adhesion molecule interactions using microspheres in a mouse intravital microscopy model. I was awarded a BHF Intermediate Fellowship in 2002 and was then successful in gaining a New Blood Lectureship, which I started at the end of my Fellowship in 2005. In 2016 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer.

Research Interests:

My major research interests are in leukocyte trafficking and, in particular, mechanisms of adhesion and migration in the lung and cardiovascular system. Neutrophils are important cells involved in many inflammatory diseases but their involvement in atherosclerosis and atherogenesis remains unclear. Many of the factors shown to be important players in atherosclerosis are also known to be involved in regulating neutrophil recruitment to sites of injury.

During the course of my second postdoctoral position, I established a novel method for the isolation of pure populations of unactivated murine peripheral blood neutrophils. I carried out this work with a British Heart Foundation (BHF) funded PhD student whom I directly supervised. The use of these isolated cells has proved invaluable in investigating the role of these cells in inflammatory processes.

The award of my BHF Intermediate Fellowship allowed me to focus on direct investigation of the interaction of neutrophils and monocytes with the endothelium in large blood vessels where atherosclerosis predominantly occurs. At the same time my BHF funded PhD student investigated the role of NO in leukocyte-endothelial interactions using flow cytometry and an in vitrochemotaxis assay. During these investigations, we discovered that inhibiting the formation of NO through NOS inhibition with L-NAME resulted in the production of microparticles by neutrophils. These studies furthered my interest in the role of neutrophil-derived microparticles in augmenting the inflammatory response and, more specifically an interest in their potential role in atherosclerosis. I am particularly interested in elucidating the role of neutrophils in vascular inflammation and, more specifically, neutrophil-derived microparticles on progression of atherosclerotic plaque formation, lung inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases. I have recently been awarded a number of BHF funded Grants to investigate these aspects of neutrophils function, one of which is to carry out cutting-edge intravital imaging of the carotid in Professor Marc van Zandvoort’s group at the University of Maastricht.

I currently have collaborations with Dr Helen Philippou and Dr Robert Ariens at the University of Leeds investigating in vivo thrombus formation in the femoral vein. I also work closely with Dr Julie Simpson in SITraN investigating the role of neutrophil microvesicles in neuroinflammation, studies funded by Alzheimer’s Research.

Teaching:

Postgraduate (Research):

Deputy Head of Department (PGR and Student Welfare) for the Department of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease.
Year Tutor for all PGR students in the Medical School.

Postgraduate (Taught):

Course Lead for CDLT01 MRes in Cardiovascular Medicine: From Molecules to Man
Module Lead for CDL402 Vascular Disease - Models & Clinical Practice
Deputy Module Lead CDL602 Research Skills

Undergraduate:

Non-clinical academic tutor for medical students.

Professional Activities:

  • Editor for the Scientific Reports and Pharmacology, Research and Perspectives.
  • Treasurer for the UK Cell Adhesion Society.
  • Member of the UK Cell Adhesion Society, British Society for Immunology and British Atherosclerosis Society.
  • Reviewer for the ERA-CVD, ATVB, MRC, BHF, Wellcome Trust, BJP, EJP, Scientific Reports and Circulation.

Current Projects:

  • Do neutrophil microvesicles play a role in atherosclerosis? BHF Project Grant. (2015-2018) PI: V. Ridger; CoI: P. Hellewell & P. Evans.
  • Mechanisms of fibrin structure modulation in thrombosis. BHF Programme Grant. (2013-2018) PI: R. Ariens; CoI: H. Philippou, R. Ajjan, S. Connell & V. Ridger.
  • Neutrophil-derived microvesicle-induced blood brain barrier dysfunction and white matter lesion formation in the ageing brain. Alzheimer's Research UK Studentship (2016-2019) PI: J. Simpson; CoI: V. Ridger & S. Wharton.
  • Neutrophil derived microvesicles: linking systemic inflammation and dementia. Alzheimer’s Research UK Pilot Grant (2018-2019) PI: J. Simpson; CoI: V.Ridger, D. Blackburn, S. Wharton & P. Heath.
  • Role of neutrophil microvesicles in lung inflammation. Departmental Nodal Studentship (2016-2019) PI: V. Ridger; CoI: A. Condliffe
  • Do neutrophil microvesicles play a role in atherosclerotic plaque erosion? University of Sheffield Faculty PGT-PGR Scholarship (2018-2021) PI: V. Ridger; CoI P. Evans

Publications:

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

Journal articles