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Prof John Greenwood
Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL
11-43 Bath Street
London
EC1V 9EL
Appointment
  • Davson Professor of Biomedical Research
  • Inst Ophthalmology - Cell Biology
  • Institute of Ophthalmology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
 
 
Biography

Professor John Greenwood is the Hugh Davson Professor of Biomedical Research and Head of the Department of Cell Biology at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London. He obtained his PhD from the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London following a study of transport systems at the blood-brain barrier. After a postdoctoral fellowship at King’s College London, he was awarded the Renee Hock Fellowship at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London in 1990 to study the blood-retinal barrier in retinal inflammatory disease. In 1993 he was made Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Ophthalmology and in 2000 Full Professor. His research staff occupies state-of-the-art laboratories in the Henry Wellcome Building for Translational Eye Research. The vasculature of the brain and retina in health and disease remain a major focus of his research. Work from the Greenwood laboratory has been at the forefront of identifying and characterising novel endothelial cell mechanisms that facilitate the recruitment of leukocytes to the central nervous system, a critical step in the pathogenesis of diseases such as multiple sclerosis and posterior uveitis. In recent years the core focus has been to identify and study novel drivers of vascular pathology in the retina and in particular factors that contribute to the development of pathogenic neovascularisation and vessel remodelling.

Research Summary

Research into the role the vascular endothelium plays in the pathogenesis of brain and retinal disease is a core component of the laboratory. Work from the Greenwood laboratory has been at the forefront of identifying and characterising novel endothelial cell mechanisms that facilitate the recruitment of leukocytes to the brain and retina, a critical step in the pathogenesis of diseases such as multiple sclerosis and posterior uveitis. Our understanding of these cellular mechanisms remains superficial and ongoing research is aimed at identifying key biochemical pathways that can be targeted through pharmacological intervention.

In recent years considerable effort has also been directed towards identifying novel drivers of vascular pathology in the brain and retina and in particular factors that contribute to the development of neovascularisation and vessel remodelling. This work has led to the identification of a number of secreted polypeptides that contribute to angiogenesis/remodelling including one that modifies TGFβ signalling. This work is currently leading to the development and testing of novel inhibitors that may prevent aberrant vascular development in diseases such as neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) where new blood vessel growth is a major cause of vision loss. 

Understanding the role of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells in the development of retinal diseases constitutes the other major focus of the Greenwood laboratory. Recently we have been investigating the ability of RPE cells to trans-differentiate towards a neuronal phenotype, to investigate the role of
RPE in innate immunity and in the development of AMD, and to understand at the molecular level the mechanism of phagocytosis.

Teaching Summary





Academic Background
2000 FRCPath Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists  
1993 MRCPath Member of the Royal College of Pathologists Royal College of Pathologists, UK
1983 PhD Doctor of Philosophy University of London
1977 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science (Honours) University of Reading
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