Dr Aymen I Idris

MSc, PhD

Department of Oncology and Metabolism

Senior Lecturer

Aymen Idris
+44 114 215 9051

Full contact details

Dr Aymen I Idris
Department of Oncology and Metabolism
Room DU38
The Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX

For enquiries, please contact - iicd-om-operational@sheffield.ac.uk

I am pharmacologist by training, and basic science researcher interested in the design, preclinical testing and commercialisation of novel, inexpensive anti-inflammatory drugs. 

My interest in the field of inflammation began in 2000 at the laboratory of Professor S. H. Ralston at the University of Aberdeen and University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK), where I obtained a Ph.D. in Medicine, and underwent my early postdoctoral training. During this period, I carried out significant research examining the therapeutic (and harmful) effects of plant-derived and synthetic anti-inflammatory substances, which culminated in first- and last-author publications in a number of prestigious scientific journals including Nature Medicine, Cell Metabolism and Ageing Cell, and the foundation of OsteoRX Ltd. - a start-up company established to develop novel anti-rheumatic drugs. As principal investigator, at the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre (Scotland, UK, 2010-14) and University of Sheffield (England, UK, 2014 - present), my pharmacological research led to the design and preclinical testing of a novel class of small-molecule inhibitors of NFκB and the foundation of arthElix Ltd. 

Outside the laboratory, my academic and research interests varied. These are some of the ongoing projects.

I am a data science enthusiast. In 2021, I founded the Africa in Science (AiS) think-tank that monitors the scientific output of Africa-based institutes, with the aim to uncover under-researched and neglected topics in Africa.

I am an avid supporter of issues and needs of early-career researchers. In 2019, I founded and served as Editor-in-Chief of HubLE.org, the IFMRS Learning and Sharing Environment. 

I have been especially interested in positive ethnic discrimination in science, as a result of personal experience

    Research interests

    The primary interest of my group is pharmacology of inflammation. The specific aims of our research are to:

    1. uncover novel druggable pro-inflammatory transduction pathways essential for the regulation of cancer – immune - bone cell interactions, and guided by these studies
    2. design and test novel therapeutic agents - alone or in combination with drugs in clinical practice - for the treatment of chronic inflammation associated with bone diseases and cancer.

    Current Projects

    • Targeting of IKK-Epsilon alone or in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs for breast cancer treatment.
    • Regulation of adipocyte – cancer cell crosstalk by NFkB signalling.
    • Role of TRAFs/NFkB signalling in inflammation associated with metastatic cancer.
    • Role of RANK/NFkB signalling in cancer cell behaviour in bone.
    • Regulation of bone – immune – malignant cell interactions by the Endocannabinoid/NFkB axis.

    Show: Featured publications All publications


    • Idris AI (2019) Bone Research Protocols. Humana Press. RIS download Bibtex download

    Journal articles


    All publications


    • Idris AI (2019) Bone Research Protocols. Humana Press. RIS download Bibtex download
    • Idris AI (2019) Preface. RIS download Bibtex download

    Journal articles


    Conference proceedings papers


    • Idris A (2009) Ketones and reduced ketones as therapeutic agents for the treatment of bone conditions. PCT/GB2004/001958 Appl. 11 Aug 2009. RIS download Bibtex download
    • Idris A (2006) Aryl Alkyl Sulfonamides as therapeutic agents for the treatment of bone conditions. PCT/GB2005/002043 Appl. 26 Jan 2006. RIS download Bibtex download
    • Idris A (2004) Cannabinoid receptor inverse agonists as therapeutic agents for the treatment of bone disorders. PCT/GB2004/000858 Appl. 16 Sep 2004. RIS download Bibtex download



    Teaching interests
    • Supervise undergraduates, MSc and PhD students in my laboratory
    • Teach a module on hypothesis testing and experimental design in medical research
    • Teach and run tutorials on research skills to PhD students
    • Act as lead tutor to postgraduate students
    • Act as personal academic tutor to medical, MSc and PhD students
    Professional activities and memberships
    • Chairman, Data Scientist and Founder at AiS Think-Tank (2021 - present).
    • Founder of the cloud-based software PubFund.
    • Editor, Springer Bone Research Protocols, 3rd edition (2019)
    • Editor-in-Chief and Founder, HubLE - The IFMRS Learning Environment (2019-21)
    • Associated editor at BoneKEy Reports (2013 - 2017)
    • Member of editorial board of Calcified Tissue International
    • Editor, Cancer and Bone, Calcified Tissue International (February, 2018)
    • Member of British Pharmacological Society (BPS), European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS), International Bone and Mineral Society (IBMS) and American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR).
    • Ad hoc reviewer for a number of national and international science journals and research charities.
    • Board member of the Calcified Tissue International Society (ECTS, 2010 – 2013).
    • Founder of the ECTS Postdoc Gathering and co-founder of ECTS New Investigator Seminar.
    • Co-founder and chair of the ECTS New Investigator Committee (2010 – 2013).

    Startup Companies

    1. PF SYSTEM Ltd - Founder of PF System Ltd. (Registration No: 11983932), a company established to develop the cloud-based software, PubFund in collaboration with a team of independent software engineers.
    2. ArthElix Ltd - Founder and shareholder of ArthElix Ltd. (Registration No: 10597512), a company established in 2017 to develop and test novel TRAF/NFkB inhibitors as a novel class of anti-rheumatic and anti-metastatic drugs.
    3. OSTEORX LIMITED - Co-founder and shareholder of OSTEORX LIMITED (Registration No: SC288265), a company established in 2005 to develop biphenyl-carboxylic acid compounds and their non-hydrolysable derivatives as a novel class of anti-rheumatic drugs. OSTEORX LIMITED and Modern Biosciences plc. have recently entered into an R&D alliance and global option and licence agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc.


    • Young investigator award (ECTS, 2007)
    • AMGEN/ECTS Bone Biology Fellowship
    • Young investigator award (ECTS, 2006)
    • IBMS Young investigator award (ECTS, 2005)
    • Young investigator award (ECTS, 2004)
    • Frontiers of Skeletal Biology Young investigator award (2002)