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Professor Susan Brain BSc, PhD

Head of Vascular Biology and Inflammation Section (Cardiovascular Division)

King’s College London, Waterloo Campus, London, UK

Professor Brain obtained her BSc and PhD in Pharmacology from the University of London. She took up a lectureship in Pharmacology at King’s College in 1989. She was promoted to Reader in 1993 and Professor of Pharmacology in 1998.  She is Head of the Vascular Biology and Inflammation Section, (Cardiovascular Division), and Head of the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Education Department.

She is a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society and a Fellow of the Society of Biology. She was recipient of the BPS Sandoz prize for her scientific contributions to pharmacology (1989), won the Women in Inflammation Science Award presented at the World Inflammation Congress (2003), a King’s Supervisory Award (2008), the BPS AstraZeneca prize for Women (2010) and the international Ariens Award (2016, presented by the Dutch Pharmacology Society).

She has sat on the MRC Industrial studentships panel (2007-2009); BBSRC Animal Sciences Grants Committee, (2010-2014); is Chair of the William Harvey Research Foundation Grants Committee (2010-2016); Member for MRC/BBSRC Healthy Ageing Grant Initiative Committee (2013) and member of the Industrial/BPS Funding Consortium (2004-2015). She was a member of the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) panel for Biological Sciences (2012-2015).  She was a member of the Arthritis Research UK Quality of Life Research Committee (2016) and a member of the Swedish Medical Research Fellowship Committee (2014-17).

Research interests
Professor Brain has published over 200 research publications.  She first became interested in the sensory neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in 1985 (Brain et al., Nature 1985), when she discovered its potent vasodilator activity and was involved in developing a rodent model for its investigating it’s role in migraine. Her studies of the cardiovascular role of CGRP have extended to investigate the role of this and related peptides and mechanisms in cardiovascular diseases.

Recent research into the role of non-selective cation channels transient receptor potential channels TRPV1, TRPA1, TRPC5 and other channels, primarily localised to the sensory nerves, that release CGRP have revealed that these channels are involved in in mediating inflammatory pain (relevant to arthritis); itch (relevant to skin conditions), as well as in cardiovascular regulation. This research links expertise in studying the peripheral microvasculature with sensory nerves and CGRP (Aubdool et al., Nature Communications 2016).

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