Dr William Ford

Dr William Ford

Senior Lecturer

School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Qualifications

  • B.Sc Hons: Applied Biological sciences
  • PhD: Cardiovascular pharmacology      

Member of the School's Pharmacology & Physiology Research Discipline.

Career profile

  • 2002 - Cardiff University (Cardiff, UK) Lecturer in the Welsh School of Pharmacy. (promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2010)
  • 1998-2002 - University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK) Department of Pharmacology Fellowship. Five year appointment with departmental operating grant (£72,000 over 5 years). Salary: £24,227
  • 1996-1998 - University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada): Postdoctoral fellowship with Dr BI Jugdutt researching the pharmacology of angiotensin II in post-myocardial infarction remodeling, ischaemia-reperfusion injury and myocardial energy substrate metabolism.
  • 1994-96 - University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada): Ciba-Giegy postdoctoral fellowship with Dr AS Clanachan, Dr R Schulz and Dr GD Lopaschuk. Researched adenosine A1 receptor and KATP-channel pharmacology in cardioprotection from ischaemia-reperfusion injury and myocardial energy substrate metabolism.

Scientific service

Honours and awards

Robert Beamish award, Best paper of 1998 

Recipient of the Robert Beamish award for the paper 'Effect of the novel angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist L-158,809 on acute infarct expansion and acute anterior myocardial infarction in the dog' published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Fellowship award (1997)

Professional memberships

2017

2016

2015

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2005

2002

2001

  • PH1122  The role of the pharmacist in professional practice
  • PH1124  Human body systems
  • PH1125  Chemical and biological properties of drug molecules
  • PH2112  Principles of drug design
  • PH2113  Diseases and drugs I
  • PH2203  Drug disposition
  • PH3110  Optimisation of pharmaceutical care
  • PH3113  Diseases and drugs II
  • PH3202  Research methodology
  • PH4116  Pharmacy research or scholarship project
  • PH4118  Pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy practice and the patient

Member of the School's Pharmacology & Physiology Research Discipline.

Research interests

My research interests are spread across three main areas with common threads running through each area. Historically my background has been in cardiovascular pharmacology and more specifically in myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury. I have studied the how the rennin-angiotensin system affects short- and long-term recovery from myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury. More recently, I am engaged in investigating cardiovascular responses to endocannabinoids and trace amines. I am also involved in pulmonary research where we are studying the effects of modifying components of the inflammatory response (including the use of endocannabinoids) to reduce inflammation and allergen-induced bronchoconstriction. Study of the endocannainoid system also forms the basis of a new collaboration with Norgine to study inflammatory bowel disease.

Cannabinoids in the cardiovascular system 

The body is capable of making and releasing compounds (endocannabinoids) similar to those found in extracts of Cannabis sativa. We are interested in identifying the receptors that link these endocannabinoids to cardiovascular response. Our work has identified cardiovascular responses that appear to be mediated by one or more novel sites of action. As we and others have shown that endocannabinoids mediate important cardiovascular responses ,such as protection from ischaemia-reperfusion injury, these novel sites of action represent potential therapeutic targets.

Cannabinoids in the gastro-intestinal tract 

Observations of cannabis users suggest that endocannabinoids might have a beneficial role to play in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We are currently investigating the potential exploitation of the endocannabinoid system for the treatment of IBD in collaboration with an industrial partner.

Pulmonary inflammation 

Dysregulated pulmonary inflammation underlies human lung disease such as asthma and chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD). We have models of ovalbumin-induced guinea-pig and murine pulmonary inflammation. In both of these models early and late phase bronchoconstriction to inhaled allergen can be observed. In the guinea-pig, we have also generated a model of pulmonary inflammation to PIV-3 and influenza viral infection as well as virally-induced exacerbation of allergic (ovalbumin-induced) asthma. In addition to further characterization of these models, we are interested in the effects of endocannabinoids, bradykinin and trace amines on pulmonary function and inflammation.

β-adrenoceptor stimulation and myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury

Adrenaline has been given for many years to try to resuscitate asystolic patients. The pharmacological justification for such an intervention is weak. However, we have been investigating the potential that activation of one or more β-adrenoceptors can protect the heart from ischaemia-reperfusion injury. Potentially, this research might lead to a treatment for myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury.

Collaborators

  • Collaboration with Dr Joachim Bugert in the Medical Microbiology Department of the Medical School on viral infection of the airways. We are particularly interested in influenza and para-influenza-3 virus infection and the mechanisms of lung inflammation and its effects on lung function.
  • Dr Tony Nials, GlaxoSmithKline who has co-supervised 4 PhD students with Prof Broadley supported by the company over the past 10 years.
  • We are in the final stages of submitting a proposal with Dr Audrey Long, a consultant gynaecologist with Cardiff and Vale NHS trust to study the role of endocannabinoids in pregnancy-induced changes to the circulation.
  • I have established collaborations with Prof Broadley and Dr Kidd (pulmonary and cardiovascular research). I am also developing collaborative projects with Prof Baxter (cardiovascular research), who has recently joined the School, and Dr Mark Gumbleton (gastrointestinal research)

Post doc: Dr M Akhtar Anwar

Key expertise

  • Langendorff heart perfusion
  • Isolated cardiac tissue function
  • In vivo study of the cardiovascular system
  • Plethysmographical measurement of pulmonary function

Research funding

  • Collaborative BBSRC Studentships with GlaxoSmithKline (2006-9) to study the pulmonary effects of chronic ovalbumin sensitization.
  • British Heart Foundation studentship (2004-8) to study the role of β-adrenoceptor subtypes in severity of myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury and a project grant (2002-5) to investigate the potential that endocannabinoids might reduce myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury.
  • Contract research for Ferring research Ltd investigating novel anti-inflammatory compounds on airway inflammation.
  • Industrial-sponsored studentships with Topigen (2006-9) to investigate the effects of nitric-oxide donating compounds on airway inflammation and Norgine (2008-2011) to study the potential role of endocannabinoids in inflammatory bowel disease.