Personal profile


I have always been fascinated by the idea that the human body produces its own immunomodulatory molecules. My very early focus on Annexin-A1 biology was born out of this interest and sparked in 1990 when I joined the Department of Experimental Pharmacology as an undergraduate student. I was only 20 years old and at the second of my 5-year degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

Thirteen years later (2003) and after a 4-year spell in the world of molecular immunology at Yale University, I have had the chance to go back to my first ‘passion’ and resume my studies of Annexin-A1. Looking back at what happens over the last 13 years, I consider myself very lucky because I have had the opportunity to see my ideas translating into a possible new treatment for autoimmune diseases e.g. a therapeutic antibody blocking AnxA1 functions in vivo in mouse models of autoimmune diseases. 

Having successfully completed these studies a long seeded scientific interest, I would like now to focus my scientific and academic career on understanding the link between emotions, immunity, and inflammation. This area of research has recently gained lots of attention in the field of psychoneuroimmunology, and I have ‘christained’ it myself as Affective Immunology ( My studies have also attracted a great deal of interest by the lay public and practitioners interested in wellbeing, psychologists, psychotherapists, anthropologists, neuroscientists, and behavioralists.

My overall aim is to demonstrate the therapeutic potential of emotion-affecting immunomodulatory therapies and to establish this new field of research through teaching and mentoring. I am planning to do so using a interdisciplinary approaches that combine different and classically ‘separated’ disciplines such as neuroscience, performing arts and drama, psychology, immunology, pharmacology, and design. My hope and ambition are that the results of this project will constitute an example of ‘paradigm shift’ in translational research where ‘body and mind’ are taken together into consideration to achieve a better and patient-tailored treatment.



2002-2017: Master of Art (MA) in Counselling and Psychotherapy

1996-1999: PhD student in Experimental Pharmacology

1994-1996: Master of Research (MRes) in Experimental Pharmacology

1988-1993: Bsci in Pharmaceutical Chemistry



2014- 2017: Deputy Director of the Centre for Biochemical Pharmacology, William Harvey Research Institute

2014- 2017: Professor of Immunopharmacology, Queen Mary University of London

2014-2016: Biomedical Research Theme Lead for the Life Science Institute, Queen Mary University of London

2009- 2014: Reader in Immunopharmacology, Queen Mary University of London

2006-2009: Senior Lecturer in Immunopharmacology, Queen Mary University of London

2004-2007: Medical Research Council New Investigator Award

2003-2004: Postdoctoral Fellow, William Harvey Research Institute

1999-2003: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Immunobiology, Yale University

1998: Visiting Scientist, National Cancer Research Institute-East, Japan

1994: Visiting Scientist, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Professional affiliations


Member of the British Society of Pharmacology, British Society of Immunology and Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society.

One of the 30 recipients of the Frontiers travel award to recognize the exceptional contributions to the editorial activity (

Member of the Editorial Board of the following peer-reviewd journals:

  • Chief Editor for Frontiers for Young Mind (since 2016;;
  • Research Ideas and Outcome (since 2015;;
  • Scientific Reports (since 2014;;
  • Peer J (since 2014;;
  • Plos One (since 2014;;
  • Frontiers in Immunology (since 2010;;
  • Biochemical Pharmacology (since 2008;;
  • Mediators of Inflammation (since 2007;


Reviewer for the following national and international funding agencies:


  • The Newton foundation fellowship (since 2017);
  • The Knowledge Foundation (since 2015; );
  • Agence Nationale de la Recherche (since 2014);
  • Estonian Science Foundation and Romanian Partnership Programme (since 2011);
  • Research Grant scheme of the Royal Society (since 2010);
  • Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS; Belgium) since 2009;
  • MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowships (since 2007);

Research interests

Summary of research over the last five years


My last five years in research have been focused on two primary objectives:


  1. Complete the pre-clinical research for the development of Annexin-a1 blocking antibody;
  2. Establish the foundation for a new niche of research investigating the therapeutic potential of the cross-talk between emotional states and immune/inflammatory diseases. I christened this new field of research Affective Immunology (


The studies carried out to explore this new field of research have provided the first evidence that the inflammatory response is very 'plastic' and readily responds and adjust to changes in environmental and psychosocial conditions. Second, that there are distinct and unexplored cellular and molecular mechanisms by which different environmental and psychosocial conditions influence the inflammatory response. These findings challenge the current understanding of inflammatory diseases as one-cell/one-molecule/one-pathway and are in line with emerging ideas that advocate for a comprehensive cross-disciplinary approach for a better understanding inflammatory disorders. 


External positions

Honorary Professor of Immunopharmacology , Queen Mary, University of London

25 Sept 201724 Sept 2020

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or