I am a Professor in Pathophysiology whose home department is the Department of Veterinary Medicine. In Clare, I look after preclinical vets and also physiologists.
My main research interest is cellular ion and water homeostasis, particularly in red cells. I work on a number of different problems in both animals and humans, as many permeability pathways are shared across different species. Currently, I am investigating predominantly how red cells from patients with sickle cell disease lose solutes and shrink much more rapidly than those from normal individuals. This is central to pathogenesis as shrunken red cells with raised haemoglobin concentrations are very much more likely to show polymerisation, sickling and all the multiple complications of the disease. How a mutation in haemoglobin causes these changes has revealed important ways in which membrane transporters are regulated. My earlier work over three decades ago on fish and horse red cells turns out to be particularly relevant to these sickle cells, for understanding the disease process and also suggesting novel ways to ameliorate the condition.
I also teach across all six years of the veterinary course. Over the first two years, this is mainly physiology to vets but also medics and natural scientists. At the vet school I specialise in ruminant breeding.