Photo of Dr Ian Copple

Dr Ian Copple BSc (Hons), PhD

Senior Lecturer Pharmacology & Therapeutics


    Personal Statement

    After undertaking post-doctoral research in Liverpool and at Leiden Universitiet (Netherlands) and Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), I was appointed as a Tenure Track Fellow in the Department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology in 2013, as a Lecturer in 2016, and as a Senior Lecturer in 2019.

    The different cell types within our bodies are constantly exposed to stresses including ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, environmental pollutants, some food ingredients and reactive oxygen species produced by mitochondria. Cells are protected against the damaging effects of these stresses by the action of a protein called NRF2, which controls the expression of genes that help to remove toxic chemicals from the body and limit the damage that they can cause. Emerging evidence indicates that when NRF2 activity is abnormal, there is an increased risk of developing certain diseases, including cancer and neurodegeneration, and of being susceptible to the toxic effects of some environmental agents and medicines. Hence, there is an increasing interest in the potential of NRF2 as a novel therapeutic target in some diseases.

    My research focuses on better understanding the types of stress that NRF2 protects against, how it does this, and whether measuring this response can help us to predict the toxic side effects associated with existing and new medicines. I am also interested in the potential of NRF2 as a new therapeutic target in several diseases.

    See here for a more detailed description of my research.

    Prizes or Honours

    • BTS Early Career Investigator Award (British Toxicology Society, 2018)
    • Finalist, SET for Britain Awards (2011)
    • Oral presentation prize winner (2007)
    • Poster presentation prize winner (2006)
    • Institute of Biology Top Bioscience Student (2004)
    • Syngenta Pharmacology Prize (2004)
    • Margaret Bryce Smith Scholarship (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)