Principal Investigators

Professor Konstantinos Gerasimidis

Professor of Clinical Nutrition

Dr Konstantinos Gerasimidis

Professor Konstantinos Gerasimidis is professor Clinical Nutrition. He has graduated in Nutrition and Dietetics and completed his postgraduate studies in Clinical Nutrition.

During his doctoral research at the University of Glasgow, he explored the effect of exclusive enteral nutrition on the gut microbiota and nutritional status of children with Crohn’s disease. He holds an honorary contract as Clinical Paediatric Nutrition Scientist with the National Health Service at Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Affiliations and memberships: He is the Allied Health Professional (AHP) representative in the Nutrition Committee of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN).

Professor Richard Russell

Honorary Clinical Associate Professor and Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist

Professor Richard RussellProfessor Richard Russell is a Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist He is the former chair of Paediatric ECCO having been a committee member for the previous 3 years. He is a member of the ESPGHAN “Porto” IBD group and became the chair in 2020. He was chair of the UK paediatric IBD group until the start of 2017. He was the local organiser of the 2019 annual ESPGHAN meeting in Glasgow.

He was awarded a PhD for an investigation into the genetic determinants of PIBD in children in 2008. He has published around 140 research papers the vast majority in PIBD including all major GI journals which include previous and forthcoming ECCO/ESPGHAN PIBD guidelines. He is an active clinical researcher in PIBD with a strong interest especially in dietary treatment of Crohn’s disease. He was a co-applicant on the successful European Union horizon 20/20 award in conjunction with PIBDnet of which he was one of the founding members.

He says “I remain indebted to my Scottish colleagues and all friends within the PIBD community who support this work including the fantastic Catherine McEwan foundation charity and the BINGO group who make so much of our work possible”

Dr Richard Hansen

Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist

Dr Richard HansenMy main research interest is the gastrointestinal mucosal microbiota and its importance in paediatric disease, particularly inflammatory bowel disease. I am particularly interested in the molecular characterisation of the microbiota and its subsequent modification for the purposes of therapeutic effect.

This theme of microbial therapeutics fits nicely into the concept of stratified medicine since the microbiota is highly individualistic yet also modifiable. Being a paediatrician, I am naturally interested in how the gut microbiota develops as the child grows and matures, particularly at the earliest stages of microbial colonisation. This area of research is a natural extension of my CSO-funded PhD studies during which I was the first to catalogue and publish the colonic microbiota in paediatric IBD at the onset of disease.

I currently hold a competitive fellowship supporting the development of microbial therapeutic studies, awarded by NHS Research Scotland. In addition to my research interests, I have clinical interests in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease and Helicobacter pylori. I am clinical lead for paediatric hepatology and paediatric endoscopy training in the West of Scotland and am the Scottish endoscopy representative on British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

I helped co-host the 2017 meeting of British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the 2019 meeting of European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in Glasgow.

Professor Simon Milling

Professor of Immunology (Immunology),
Associate - Life Sciences (School of Life Sciences)

Professor Simon MillingMy lab works on the immunology of the intestine, with two specific areas of special interest. First, we focus on the biology of dendritic cells, innate lymphoid cells, and T cells, and how these cells respond to infectious or inflammatory stimuli, and how they change in mice with colorectal cancer. We study the functions of subsets of all these cells in vivo. Using blood and tissue samples from people with intestine-associated inflammatory disease, we also aim to understand the contributions of immune cells to pathogenesis, in order to improve future treatments. Currently we use samples from people with inflammatory bowel disease, psoriatic arthritis, and autoimmune alopecia. The aim of all this work is to understand the vital roles that intestinal immune cells play in the induction and polarisation of adaptive immune responses against pathogens, and how these responses also contribute to disease when they are not properly controlled.

Dr Umer Zeeshan Ijaz

Reader in Information Engineering

Dr Umer IjazDr Umer Zeeshan Ijaz (http://userweb.eng.gla.ac.uk/umer.ijaz) leads the Environmental 'Omics Lab in Infrastructure & Environment Division, James Watt School of Engineering.

He develops software and statistical tools for data originating from OMICS technologies, and then integrates them with clinical outcomes/environmental meta data (http://userweb.eng.gla.ac.uk/umer.ijaz#bioinformatics). Additionally, he is member of the Water & Environment Group (James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow) as well as AGENSI (A Genetic View into Past Sea Ice Variability in the Arctic) Group, Bergen, Norway.

Dr Daniel Gaya

Consultant Gastroenterologist and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor

Phot of Dr Daniel GayaDr Daniel Gaya is a consultant gastroenterologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. He is also an Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Glasgow Medical School. He has received comprehensive training in Glasgow, Edinburgh, London & Chicago in acute and general medicine, luminal gastroenterology, hepatology and therapeutic endoscopy.

Dr Gaya's sub-specialist interest is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and he receives tertiary referrals for the management of complex IBD cases and set up the transition clinic for adolescents with IBD with colleagues at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow. Dr Gaya is board member of the Scottish IBD charity C³ (www.curecrohnscolitis.org) and a member of the British Society of Gastroenterology IBD Committee.

Dr Gaya is in receipt of a research fellowship from the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of the Scottish Government to undertake a comprehensive IBD research programme in the West of Scotland. His main research interests include novel clinical trials in IBD, environmental/dietary factors in IBD management/pathogenesis and faecal biomarkers. He has recently been awarded funding to explore the role of faecal transplantation in ulcerative colitis (MRC £2.6M), environmental factors effecting disease outcome in IBD (CSO £250K) and the link between intestinal inflammation and spondyloarthopathy (Arthritis UK £200K).

Dr Christopher Quince

Lecturer in Biological Systems Modelling

Photo of Dr Chris QuinceMetagenomics coupled to next generation sequencing has transformed our understanding of the microbial world. It has allowed us to directly determine community structure and function in situ from the DNA of the organisms present. This is revolutionising microbial ecology. My research consists of the development of improved statistical and bioinformatics tools for interpreting this sequence data.

These tools exploit advanced methods from machine learning and Bayesian statistics. I work on both 16S rRNA gene amplicon data, having developed the AmpliconNoise algorithm for error removal from 454 pyrosequenced amplicons http://code.google.com/p/ampliconnoise/ and shotgun metagenomics for example the CONCOCT algorithm for automated genome extraction from shotgun metagenome reads https://github.com/BinPro/CONCOCT. In addition, I also develop Bayesian statistical models for interpreting microbial community structure addressing questions such as are enterotypes real features of the human gut microbiome and are microbial communities neutrally assembled? In collaboration with numerous groups around the world I apply these methods to both environmental and host-associated microbial communities.

For instance, with Dr Konstantinos Gerasimidis (University of Glasgow) and Prof Nick Loman (University of Birmingham) I have resolved the changes in gut microbiota composition of children with Crohn's disease during treatment with exclusive enteral nutrition. This could potentially lead to improved therapeutic strategies.

With Dr Gavin Collins (University of Galway) I study the structure of anaerobic digestion reactor communities. More efficient AD digesters will provide more effective biogas production from wastewater, reducing pollution and providing a renewable energy resource. I am currently employed as an MRC Principal Research Fellow as part of the Cloud Computing for Microbial Bioinformatics (CLIMB) consortium.

Dr John Paul Seenan

Consultant Gastroenterologist and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor

John Paul SeenanDr Seenan leads the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Unit at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. He is also an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Glasgow.

He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate training in the West of Scotland during which he was awarded an MD for clinical research in luminal gastroenterology.

He was awarded a NHS Career Researcher Fellowship in 2018 to help support his interest in clinical research with particular focus on ‘Improving Disease Outcomes and Support for Young Adults with Inflammatory Bowel Disease’. He acts as chief/principle investigator for several academic and commercial clinical trials in IBD

Dr Jonathan MacDonald

Consultant Gastroenterologist and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer

Jonathan MacdonaldI am consultant Gastroenterologist at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. I am departmental lead for R&D and hold a research fellowship award from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. My main area of clinical and research interest is inflammatory bowel disease.  I am active in several areas of IBD research including nutrition, biologic therapeutic drug monitoring, personalised medicine approaches to IBD treatment, bone health and exercise in IBD. I am currently supervising an MD student investigating clinical outcomes associated with the use of therapeutic drug monitoring of biologic medicines in immune mediated inflammatory diseases. I have active collaborations with researchers from Universities across Scotland.

I have established a gastroenterology research biobank to support research opportunities with a range of stakeholders including NHS, Universities and SMEs. I am involved in commercial drug trials as principal investigator for several phase 2 and 3 clinical trials at the Glasgow Clinical Research Facility. In 2019 I was elected to the British Society of Gastroenterology IBD committee

Dr Nicholas J W Rattray

Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellow

Profile picutre of Nik RattrayNik is currently a Chancellor’s Fellow and Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of Clinical Metabolomics at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland. His research strategy currently focuses on using bio-molecular mass spectrometry and metabolomics alongside chemometrics and molecular biology techniques to establish an extensive research portfolio of biomarker detection. His lab contains a range of orbitrap and QQQ based LCMS instruments and using them his work has developed mechanistic understanding on how different energy mechanisms within our cells change and modulate their behaviour through stress.

He was awarded his PhD in 2012 for the development of a range of molecular probes to detect different bacterial species and has held postdoctoral positions within the School of Chemistry in the University of Manchester and the School of Public Health at Yale. He has published over 50 research papers in journals such as Nature, Nature Methods, Nature Communications and Trends in Biotechnology and is active within the Metabolomics Society (sat on BoD in 2015) and sits locally within the Scottish Metabolomics Network.

BINGO Group Collaborators

Professor Christine Edwards

Professor of Nutritional Physiology (Medicine), Associate (Institute of Health and Wellbeing)

Phot of Professor Christine EdwardsChristine Edwards is Professor of Nutritional Physiology in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing at the University of Glasgow where she has worked for 28 years. She trained at the University of Sheffield with a BSc in Biochemistry and Physiology and in her PhD developed one of the first continuous culture models to study the human colonic microbiota and the impact of diet and environment on bacterial metabolism. She worked as a post doc in Sheffield University studying gut function, motility and short chain fatty acids. She then worked at Edinburgh University studying the gut microbiota and their role in the health effects of dietary fibre and resistant starch before moving to the University of Glasgow as a Lecturer in 1990.

In Glasgow, she focused on early bacterial colonisation of the infant gut and the role of environment and early diet, funded by two multi-partner EU grants (MEDIGUT and INFABIO) of which she was the co-ordinator.

She then studied the role of gut bacteria and carbohydrate substrates in Crohn’s disease, obesity and human metabolism. Her current work funded by the BBSRC Manipulating the activity of the gut microbiota with fermentable carbohydrates to maximise the bioavailability of bioactive phenolic acids for health. This project is studying the interactions of dietary fibre and plant polyphenols (often consumed together) on bioactive molecules such as SCFA and phenolic acids released by the colonic microbiota. She is also a co-investigator for a MRC GCRF project, in Malawi studying Development of nutritional strategies for diabetes prevention in Malawian adults at high diabetes risk. In addition, she is leading an ILSI Europe working group to evaluate the evidence for the transfer of bacteria from mother to infant through the placenta and via the breast milk microbiome http://ilsi.eu/task-forces/nutrition/early-nutrition-and-long-term-health/.

 

Dr George Raptis

Consultant in Paediatric Allergy and General Paediatrics, Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer

Photo of Dr George RaptisDr George Raptis is an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Paediatric Allergy, based at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow. George's main interest is to understand further the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal allergy in children. Better understanding of the microenvironment of the gastrointestinal mucosa and mechanisms of allergy will enable researchers and clinicians to develop means to prevent or induce immunological tolerance. Additionally, he is striving to develop a model of care for allergic patients that aims to consider each stage of the allergic disease continuum and propose a number of strategies to provide consumer-focussed, best care. Dr Raptis is committed to contributing to the development of research in this field in order to alleviate the impact of allergies on sufferers.

 

 

 

Professor Gordon Ramage

Professor (Dental School), Associate Academic (Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation)

Photo of Dr Gordon RamageGordon is an intelligent researcher with excellent networking skills. An up and coming clinical scientist with interests in biofilms, oral microbiology, and antifungal development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Donal Wall

Senior Lecturer (Bacteriology) Associate (School of Life Sciences)

profile picture of Dr Donal WallMy lab works on interactions between bacteria and their hosts, primarily focusing on the mammalian intestine. We focus on all aspects of bacterial pathogenesis from mechanisms of intracellular bacterial survival, their control of programmed cell death in host cells and immune response to pathogen presence.

Our interests intersect very well with those of the BINGO group as we focus on Escherichia coli pathotypes associated with Crohn’s disease. These studies have focused on the origin of these strains, the potential input of Western food production methods into their evolution, and their role as drivers or bystanders as disease progresses. Membership of the BINGO group has facilitated progression of these studies beyond the bench to provide clinical relevance to our findings.

More recently we have begun to focus on the role of bacterial metabolites from the Crohn’s disease intestine in secondary health problems associated with the disease. Where possible and necessary we have applied advanced technologies such as RNA sequencing, mass spectrometry imaging and mass cytometry imaging to understand these complex host-microbe interactions. This work is carried out in collaboration with Dr. Richard Burchmore from Glasgow Polyomics and Dr. Richard Goodwin from AstraZeneca.