Dr Philip F Watson


Department of Oncology and Metabolism

Senior Lecturer

+44 114 215 9228

Full contact details

Dr Philip F Watson
Department of Oncology and Metabolism
EU05, E Floor
The Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX

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

I was awarded my PhD in 1990 from the University of Sheffield, after which I was awarded the John Stokes Research Fellowship and worked for 2 years in the Department of Pharmacology, studying genetic mechanisms of resistance to antifungals.

In 1991 I was appointed as Lecturer in the School of Medicine, and Senior Lecturer in 1994. I am currently based in the Department of Human Metabolism.

Research interests

My main research interests centre on the aetiology of endocrine autoimmune disease, with a particular focus on the thyroid. Autoimmune thyroid disease is the most prevalent form of organ-specific autoimmunity in the population and affects approximately 1-2% of individuals. Antigenic targets in autoimmune thyroid disease are well characterised and this, together with the availability of patient material, makes the disease and important model for other forms of autoimmunity.

In seeking to better understand the origins of thyroid autoimmunity we have developed techniques to study the nature of the immune response. In particular we have used phage display methods to analyse the autoantibody repertoire of thyroid disease patients.

Recombinant antibody technology is a major component of our research efforts, and we are using this approach in a number of areas, including the analysis of human autoimmune disease and the development of novel therapeutics. Aside from recombinant antibodies we have also employed phage display strategies to identify novel human autoantigens by synthesis and screening of cDNA expression libraries.

In a further development of our research effort, we are now employing these techniques commercially in the rational design of novel antibody-based enzyme antagonists for use as therapeutic agents in the treatment of chronic kidney disease. This work is funded by the MRCT.


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Journal articles


  • Weetman AP, Kemp EH, Ridgway JN & Watson PF (2001) Orbital Autoantigens In Bahn RS (Ed.), Thyroid Eye Disease (pp. 1-20). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Ajjan RA, Watson PF & Weetman AP (2000) Cytokines in Graves’ Disease, Endocrine Updates (pp. 79-93). Springer US RIS download Bibtex download
  • Weetman AP, McIntosh RS & Watson PF (1998) Autoimmune hypothyroidism, Endocrine Autoimmunity and Associated Conditions (pp. 39-61). Springer Netherlands RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kelly SL, Kenna S, Bligh HFJ, Watson PF, Stansfield I, Ellis SW & Kelly DE (1990) Lanosterol to Ergosterol — Enzymology, Inhibition and Genetics, Biochemistry of Cell Walls and Membranes in Fungi (pp. 223-243). Springer Berlin Heidelberg RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers

Teaching interests

I lecture in Phase 1b (GU and Endocrine). I also teach on Module MBB311 'Molecular Immunology', and I am Module Coordinator for Module MBB334 'The Biochemical Basis of Human Disease', both in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

Professional activities
  • Member of Society for Immunology
  • Member of Society for Endocrinology - Regional Liaison Officer