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Dr Emma Kidd

Dr Emma Kidd

Dean of Postgraduate Studies, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences

School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Email
kiddej@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5803
Campuses
Redwood Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB
Comment
Media commentator
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

I have always been interested in the brain and the diseases which affect it and have worked previously on identifying novel targets and potential drugs for the treatment of anxiety and depression. I now work on Alzheimer’s disease to understand how various risk factors affect its development. I am also interested in the treatment both of Alzheimer’s disease and various other conditions associated with it. By training, I am a neuropharmacologist bridging the gap between in vivo pharmacology and molecular and cell biology with a strong translational approach towards the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for a variety of diseases.

I am the Dean for Postgraduate Studies for the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences at Cardiff University. I have oversight of all postgraduate taught and research students in the College and work closely with staff in Schools and across the University to improve the student experience, improve existing programmes and develop new ones.

Biography

Career profile

I graduated with a degree in Pharmacology from the University of Bath in 1987 and then went to the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Nottingham University to do a Ph.D. on the "Functional Adaptation of 5-HT Receptors" under the supervision of Prof. Charles Marsden, funded by a BBSRC CASE award with Janssen Pharmaceutica. Having graduated from Nottingham in 1990, I went to Paris to work for two years as a postdoctoral research associate in Dr Michel Hamon's INSERM-funded laboratory. In 1992 I returned to the U.K. to work as a Postdoctoral Research Associate and subsequently as a Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate for Prof. Pat Humphrey in the Glaxo Institute for Applied Pharmacology in the Department of Pharmacology at Cambridge University. In 1999, I joined the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff University as a lecturer and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2009 and to Reader in 2013. In addition to my teaching and research responsibilities, I am currently the Dean of Postgraduate Studies for the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences.

Qualifications

  • BSc in Pharmacology, University of Bath, 1987
  • PhD in Neuropharmacology, University of Nottingham, 1990

Scientific and professional service

Academic lead for Cardiff University for the GW4 BioMed MRC DTP 

External examiner in Pharmacology, University of Portsmouth, MPharm degree, 2017-21.

Professional memberships

Academic positions

    Current appointments

    Reader in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2013 – present

    Dean of Postgraduate Studies for the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, 2016- present

    Previous appointments

    Senior Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2009-2013

    Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 1999 – 2009

    Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Cambridge, 1997–1999.

    Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Cambridge, 1992–1997.

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, INSERM Unité 288, Paris, 1990–1992.

    Speaking engagements

    • July 2020                 Invited to discuss PGR careers at the Virtual ARUK Network Seminar, Cardiff, U.K.
    • November 2018       Invited talk at the Hodge Annual Meeting, Cardiff, U.K.
    • November 2018       Invited talk to the PhysPharm Society, Bristol, U.K.
    • March 2017              Invited talk at the CITER Workshop on Ageing, Cardiff, U.K.
    • June 2016                Invited talk at the BRACE Annual Celebration, Bristol, U.K.
    • September 2013      Invited talk at the 12th International Symposium on Neural Transplantation & Restoration, Cardiff, U.K.
    • November 2012       Interview about Alzheimer’s disease by Skype with high school students from the American                                                    School Foundation of Guadalajara, Mexico
    • October 2012           Invited talk at the Alzheimer’s Society Wales Conference, All Nations Centre, Cardiff, U.K.
    • September 2012      Invited talk at the Cardiorespiratory Pathophysiology Group Away Day, Cardiff, U.K.
    • April 2012                Invited talk at the Prion Chemical Biology Network meeting on Alzheimer’s disease, Sheffield, UK
    • September 2010      Invited talk at the University of the 3rd Age (U3A), Porthcawl, U.K.
    • September 2010      Invited talk and workshop at the Alzheimer’s Society Annual Conference, University of Warwick, Warwick, U.K.
    • January 2010           Invited talk at the School of Pharmacy, University of Reading, Reading, U.K.
    • July 2009                 Invited to talk about my research to Alzheimer’s Society potential donors, London, U.K.
    • July 2008                 Invited talk at the Annual Open Meeting of the Neath and Port Talbot branch of the Alzheimer’s Society, Neath, U.K.
    • December 2006       Interviews on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Wales, ITV Wales and Swansea Bay Radio. The research was highlighted on the University’s and the BBC’s website and also appeared on a number of other websites. It was covered in The Western Mail, The Sun, The Big Issue Cymru and Cardiff University News and an article appeared in Advances Wales

    Committees and reviewing

    • Grant Review Board membership Member of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Grant Board, July 2019-June 2023
    • Peer review for journals
      • African Journal of Biotechnology
      • Autonomic and Autocoid Pharmacology
      • Biochemical Pharmacology
      • British Journal of Pharmacology
      • Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
      • Experimental Lung Research
      • Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
      • Journal of Comparative Neurology
      • Journal of Immunological Methods
      • Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine
      • Neuropharmacology
      • PLoS ONE
      • Pharmacy
      • Phytomedicine
      • SynapsePeer review for funding bodies
    •  Peer review for grant funders
      • L'Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France)
      • Alzheimer’s Research UK
      • Alzheimer’s Society
      • Bristol Research into Alzheimer’s and Care of the Elderly (BRACE)
      • Children and Young People’s Research Network
      • Foundation for Alzheimer Research (SAO-FRA, Belgium)
      • Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal)
      • Medical Research Council
      • Wellcome  

    Publications

    2021

    2020

    2019

    2018

    2017

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    2014

    2013

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    2011

    2010

    2009

    2008

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    1998

    1997

    1996

    1995

    1994

    1993

    1992

    1991

    1990

    1988

    1987

    Teaching

    Current teaching responsibilities

    I currently teach students on the undergraduate Master of Pharmacy degree. My teaching covers all 4 years of the degree course and includes lectures on the physiology, pharmacology and therapeutics of the endocrine system. I also support external lecturers to provide advanced material for our 4th year students on a number of topics: legal aspects of life as a pharmacist; critical care and end of life; evaluating and monitoring medicines; developing new medicines. I am also involved with assessment of communication skills via OSCEs.

    Current teaching-related responsibilities

    Module leader for a 4th year module

    Member of the Undergraduate Board of Studies

    Member of the Extenuating Circumstances group

    Personal tutor for undergraduate students

    Current School-related responsibilities

    Chair of the Undergraduate Board of Examiners since January 2016

    Member of the Departmental Safety, Health and Environment Committee since 2002

    Research interests

    I am interested in understanding how Alzheimer's disease develops and how it could be treated. Research in my laboratory is mainly concentrated on cellular and molecular pharmacology to understand more about the mechanisms underlying several risk factors, age and biological sex and how they influence disease processes. The ultimate aim is to improve or develop new therapies for this disease. We use a variety of human cell lines, animal models and human tissue and many biochemical and molecular biological techniques to investigate cell function.

    I am also interested in how conditions associated with Alzheimer's disease are managed in care homes and the community. In particular, I am interested in depression and the use of antipsychotics to treat several of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. We are aiming to understand the management of these conditions by looking at databases for medication management and medical history to improve ultimately patient treatment and thus quality of life.

    Current Projects

    • Ageing, gender and Alzheimer's disease
    • Management of depression in patients with Alzheimer's disease
    • Novel therapies and Alzheimer's disease

    Understanding the contribution of ageing and gender to Alzheimer's disease

    The main risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is increasing age but we still do not understand how ageing leads to the disease. In addition, women make up about 65% of people with the disease. Previously we have looked at how changes in endocytosis contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease in ageing and women. Now, we are focussing on changes in oestrogen receptor signalling and mitochondrial function. Oestrogen is neuroprotective in the brain and the marked decline seen after the menopause in women could explain the increased risk for women. We are investigating this using human brain samples from young, middle-aged and older people and comparing these results to those from people with Alzheimer's disease.

    Understanding how depression is managed in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease

    Depression is very common in patients with Alzheimer's disease. It is difficult to treat as the most commonly used drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors including Prozac don't work well in these patients. We are interested in developing models to understand how to improve therapy including investigating a range of potential treatments. We are also examining how patients in care homes are treated to understand the issues around effective treatments and how to help healthcare professionals manage this condition to improve the quality of life for these patients.

    Novel therapeutic antibodies for Alzheimer's disease

    Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition with very limited treatment and no cure. The incidence of this disease is rising worldwide as the population ages, as are the associated socioeconomic costs. There is therefore much interest in developing novel therapies. We proposed a 'blue skies' approach to devise an antibody-based therapy which would potentially halt the disease process and possibly also be used as a preventative treatment in high risk individuals. This approach differs to many others under investigation by other groups and companies worldwide and could be used in combination with other therapies to treat this debilitating and distressing disease. We are now using the antibody to understand more about how the disease develops.

    Collaborators

    Research associates

    • Mrs Pascale Aeschlimann, funded by the Waterloo Foundation

    School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

    • Dr Julia Gee, Pharmacology & Physiology
    • Dr Emma Lane, Pharmacology & Physiology
    • Dr Will Ford, Pharmacology & Physiology
    • Prof Arwyn Jones, Pharmaceutical Biology

    Cardiff University

    • Prof Dominic Dwyer, Psychology.
    • Prof Mark Good, Psychology
    • Prof Daniela Riccardi, Biosciences

    Key expertise

    • Western blotting
    • Immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistry with bright field and fluorescent microscopy including laser scanning confocal microscopy
    • ELISA
    • Cell culture techniques
    • RT-PCR
    • siRNA

    Current research students

    Jawza Almutiari, ‘Understanding how age and gender influence the development of Alzheimer’s disease’, funded by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education.

    Ben Exley, ‘Recognition Memory Deficits in Alzheimer's Disease: A role for MiR-219’, co-supervision with Prof. Clea Warburton at Bristol University, funded by the Alzheimer's Society.

    Talal Alotaibi, ‘A clinical exploration of the link between Alzheimer’s disease and depression in residential care home residents’, funded by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education.

    Previous research students

    Dr Jill Clark, ‘The effects of adenosine on human breast cancer cells’, graduated 2004.

    Dr Sofia Fernandez-Rodriguez, ‘Cell signalling pathways in the airways inflammatory responses in asthma’, graduated 2006.

    Dr Mahmood Al-Qallaf, ‘Characterization of P2X7 receptors in human osteoblasts and modulation by oestrogen’, graduated 2008.

    Dr Martina Fehler, ‘Characterisation of trace amine receptors in the rat cardiovascular system’, graduated 2008.

    Dr Peter Penson, ‘ß-Adrenoceptor subtypes and transduction pathways involved in myocardial pre- and post-conditioning’, graduated 2009.

    Dr Rhys Evans, ‘Chronic airways inflammation models induced by repeated antigen: airways function and sensitivity to anti-inflammatory agents’, graduated 2010.

    Dr Dawn Turner, ‘Mechanisms of action of nitric oxide donating compounds in models of asthma’, graduated 2010.

    Dr Gaudencio Natividad, ‘Isolation and chemical and pharmacological characterization of potential trace amine receptor antagonists from plant sources’, graduated 2011.

    Dr Alex Henson, ‘Investigation of the role of adenosine in the growth of human breast cancer cells’, graduated 2011.

    Dr Martha Hvoslef-Eide, ‘Characterising transgenic APP mutation mouse models of amyloid pathology for use in preclinical immunotherapy’, graduated 2013.

    Dr Alex Lowe, ‘The role of viral and bacterial infections in asthma exacerbations and corticosteroid resistance’, graduated 2013.

    Dr Ceri Davies, ‘In vivo examination of viral exacerbations of airways inflammation, function, mucus hypersecretion and mucociliary clearance’, graduated 2014.

    Dr Zakky Cholisoh, ‘Mechanisms of resistance to steroid actions in the airways’, graduated 2014

    Dr Charles Evans, ‘Development and characterisation of an anti-amyloid precursor protein antibody in vivo as a potential therapy for Alzheimer’s disease’, graduated 2017.

    Dr Shayda Maleki-Toyserkani, ‘ Eicosanoid response to infection in sepsis’, graduated 2019.

    Dr Adam Brelsford, ‘Depression and dementia: The effect of Aβ pathology and therapeutic interventions on affective and cognitive processes in mice’, graduated 2020.

    Dr Thomas Freeman, ‘Elucidating the role of amyloid precursor protein in normal memory’, graduated 2020.

    Supervision

    I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

    • The role of age and biological sex in the development of Alzheimer's disease
    • Management of depression and anti-psychotic use in patients with Alzheimer's disease

    Current supervision

    Jawza Almutairi

    Research student

    Past projects

    Current research students

    Jawza Almutiari, ‘Understanding how age and gender influence the development of Alzheimer’s disease’, funded by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education.

    Ben Exley, ‘Recognition Memory Deficits in Alzheimer's Disease: A role for MiR-219’, co-supervision with Prof. Clea Warburton at Bristol University, funded by the Alzheimer's Society.

    Talal Alotaibi, ‘A clinical exploration of the link between Alzheimer’s disease and depression in residential care home residents’, funded by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education.

    Previous research students

    Dr Jill Clark, ‘The effects of adenosine on human breast cancer cells’, graduated 2004.

    Dr Sofia Fernandez-Rodriguez, ‘Cell signalling pathways in the airways inflammatory responses in asthma’, graduated 2006.

    Dr Mahmood Al-Qallaf, ‘Characterization of P2X7 receptors in human osteoblasts and modulation by oestrogen’, graduated 2008.

    Dr Martina Fehler, ‘Characterisation of trace amine receptors in the rat cardiovascular system’, graduated 2008.

    Dr Peter Penson, ‘ß-Adrenoceptor subtypes and transduction pathways involved in myocardial pre- and post-conditioning’, graduated 2009.

    Dr Rhys Evans, ‘Chronic airways inflammation models induced by repeated antigen: airways function and sensitivity to anti-inflammatory agents’, graduated 2010.

    Dr Dawn Turner, ‘Mechanisms of action of nitric oxide donating compounds in models of asthma’, graduated 2010.

    Dr Gaudencio Natividad, ‘Isolation and chemical and pharmacological characterization of potential trace amine receptor antagonists from plant sources’, graduated 2011.

    Dr Alex Henson, ‘Investigation of the role of adenosine in the growth of human breast cancer cells’, graduated 2011.

    Dr Martha Hvoslef-Eide, ‘Characterising transgenic APP mutation mouse models of amyloid pathology for use in preclinical immunotherapy’, graduated 2013.

    Dr Alex Lowe, ‘The role of viral and bacterial infections in asthma exacerbations and corticosteroid resistance’, graduated 2013.

    Dr Ceri Davies, ‘In vivo examination of viral exacerbations of airways inflammation, function, mucus hypersecretion and mucociliary clearance’, graduated 2014.

    Dr Zakky Cholisoh, ‘Mechanisms of resistance to steroid actions in the airways’, graduated 2014

    Dr Charles Evans, ‘Development and characterisation of an anti-amyloid precursor protein antibody in vivo as a potential therapy for Alzheimer’s disease’, graduated 2017.

    Dr Shayda Maleki-Toyserkani, ‘ Eicosanoid response to infection in sepsis’, graduated 2019.

    Dr Adam Brelsford, ‘Depression and dementia: The effect of Aβ pathology and therapeutic interventions on affective and cognitive processes in mice’, graduated 2020.

    Dr Thomas Freeman, ‘Elucidating the role of amyloid precursor protein in normal memory’, graduated 2020.