Photo of Professor Ian Copple

Professor Ian Copple BSc (Hons), PhD, FBPhS, FHEA

Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology Pharmacology & Therapeutics


    Personal Statement

    After undertaking post-doctoral research at Leiden Universitiet (Netherlands) and Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), I was appointed as a Tenure Track Fellow in Liverpool in 2013, as a Lecturer in 2016, as a Senior Lecturer in 2019 and as a Professor in 2023. I am a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society and Higher Education Academy.

    Below is a simple explanation of my group's research interests, but for a more detailed description of our work on Nrf2, drug toxicity and human liver models see here. I am also academic lead for the Liverpool Human Liver Research Facility - see here for more details.

    The different cell types within our bodies are protected against the damaging effects of daily stresses (e.g. ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, environmental pollutants) by proteins that help to remove toxic chemicals from the body and boost antioxidant levels. In fact, stimulation of these protective processes is one of the ways fruits and vegetables improve our health, by enhancing the 'stress tolerance' of our cells.

    Evidence indicates that when the stress tolerance of our cells is hindered, there is an increased risk of developing certain diseases and of being sensitive to the toxic effects of some environmental agents. This can also influence susceptibility to the harmful side effects of some medicines. Hence, many pharmaceutical companies are now developing medicines that can boost our natural cell defences in order to treat certain diseases.

    My research group focuses on: (1) understanding exactly how our cells sense and respond to different types of stress, (2) how this influences the adverse effects of medicines, (3) whether we can treat diseases by targeting stress response processes therapeutically, and (4) how to measure cell stress responses in patients.


    Prizes or Honours

    • ASPET Division of Toxicology Early Career Award (American Society of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, 2023)
    • BPS Rang Prize (British Pharmacological Society, 2022)
    • Learning & Teaching Fellowship (University of Liverpool, 2020)
    • BTS Early Career Investigator Award (British Toxicology Society, 2018)
    • Finalist, SET for Britain Awards (2011)
    • Oral presentation prize winner (British Toxicology Society, 2007)
    • Institute of Biology Top Bioscience Student (University of Liverpool, 2004)
    • Syngenta Pharmacology Prize (University of Liverpool, 2004)
    • Margaret Bryce Smith Scholarship (University of Liverpool, 2003)

    Funded Fellowships

    • Gordon Gibson Memorial Travelling Fellowship (British Toxicology Society, 2013)
    • Short-term Fellowship (EMBO, 2013)
    • Norman Aldridge International Travelling Fellowship (British Toxicology Society, 2011)
    • International Travel Fellowship (Royal Society, 2011)