Dr. Victoria C Ridger BSc PhD PGCertHE FHEA

Dr Vikki RidgerSenior Lecturer and Postgraduate Research Lead for Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease

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

Secretary: Mrs Vicky Cottam
Tel: +44 (0) 114 215 9504
Email: vicky.cottam@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 vitro chemotaxis 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 atherogenesis and, more specifically, neutrophil-derived microparticles on progression of atherosclerotic plaque formation. 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 have a long-standing collaboration with Professor Dan Cutler at UCL investigating the role of intracellular trafficking molecules in the modulation of leukocyte-endothelial interactions and leukocyte trafficking in vivo.

Teaching:

Undergraduate: I am a non-clinical academic tutor for medical students.

Postgraduate: I am Postgraduate Research Lead and Selector for the Department of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular DIsease. I am also one of the yearly PhD Tutors for all PGR students in the Medical School.  I am course leader for the MRes Cardiovascular Medicine: From Molecules to Man.

I am module leader for the Experimental Models of Vascular Disease module of the Cardiovascular Pathway on the Molecular Medicine MSc.

I am also deputy module leader for the Physiology module of the Human Nutrition MMedSci course.

I have been supervising PhD students since 1998 and have had 4 students successfully complete their PhD.

Professional Activities:

  • Editor for the Journal of Inflammation and Pharmacology, Research and Perspectives.
  • Member of the UK Adhesion Society Committee.
  • Member of the UK Adhesion Society, British Society for Immunology and British Atherosclerosis Society.
  • Reviewer for the MRC, BHF, Wellcome Trust, BJP, EJP.

Current Projects:

  • Do neutrophil microvesicles play a role in atherosclerosis? BHF Project Grant. (2015-2018) PI: V. Ridger; CoI: P. Hellewell & P. Evans.
  • The role of neutrophils in plaque development. Faculty Funded Project. (2014-2016). PI: V. Ridger & P.Hellewell.
  • How do neutrophil microparticles promote vascular inflammation? BHF Studentship. (2014-2017) PI: V. Ridger; CoI: 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.
  • The effect of anti-platelet therapies on neutrophil function Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Scholarship PI: V. Ridger; CoI: H. Judge & R. Storey.

Publications:

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

Journal articles