Reader in Leukocyte Biology
James Pease is a Reader in Leukocyte Biology within the Inflammation, Repair and Development Section of the National Heart and Lung Institute of Imperial College and is a principal investigator within the Medical Research Council/Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma and the British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence. James completed his BSc in Biochemistry at the University of Manchester before moving to the University of Sheffield where he studied for a PhD in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. His PhD thesis concerned the characterization of the cell surface receptor for the complement fragment C5a and lead to a keen interest in the role of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) involved in immunity. After completing a 4-year post-doctoral stint within the same department at the University of Sheffield, James moved to the laboratory of Dr Philip Murphy at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where he commenced studies on the recently discovered family of chemokine receptors. There he developed methodologies to examine the structure/function relationships of the receptors, identifying key domains of the proteins which were involved in binding both chemokine ligands and also HIV-1 envelope proteins. James moved back to the UK in 1997 to the newly formed Leukocyte Biology Section within the NHLI Division of Imperial College London. There his interests included the identification of binding sites of prototypic small molecule antagonists of chemokine receptors with obvious therapeutic potential in a wide range of diseases. Current research interests of the group include other aspects of chemokine biology including regulation and trafficking of receptors, their role in disease and also the efforts of microbes to circumvent the chemokine system. Funding for the research comes from Arthritis UK, BBSRC, British Heart Foundation, MRC, Wellcome Trust and collaborations with pharmaceutical companies both in the UK and abroad. James makes a significant contribution to undergraduate teaching within the Faculty of Medicine and was awarded his Certificate in Advanced Studies in Learning and Teaching by the college in 2002. He is currently module leader of the Principles of Medicine module. part of the Phase I programme for year 1 MBBS teaching. He also leads a module in the BSc in Infection and Immunity in year 4 of the MBBS programme . James also sits on the editorial board of the publication Journal of Innate Immunity.