Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof David Webb

Christison Chair of Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology

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Phone: 0131 242 9216


I held clinical and research posts in London and Scotland before appointment to the University of Edinburgh’s Christison Chair of Therapeutics & Clinical Pharmacology in 1995. I am a consultant physician and clinical pharmacologist/toxicologist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, running Edinburgh’s European Society for Hypertension Excellence Centre. I also teach and train undergraduate and postgraduate doctors and scientists (>30 PhDs to date). My main clinical interests are in hypertension and cardiovascular risk management, with my research focusing on the pathophysiology of hypertension and renal disease, particularly arterial stiffness and endothelial function.

I established Edinburgh’s Centre for Cardiovascular Science, in which I run the Hypertension and Kidney Theme, and I am a principal investigator in Edinburgh’s British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence (BHF CoRE) at the Queen’s Medical Research Institute. I have run Scottish Translational Medicine and Therapeutics Initiative fundd by the MRC and Wellcome Trust. I have published > 700 peer-reviewed papers, on clinical pharmacology and cardiovascular disease, and 5 books on cardiovascular topics. My articles have received ~35,000 citations (h-index 95). I ran Edinburgh’s University Department of Medicine (1997-2001), Edinburgh‘s Wellcome Trust Cardiovascular Research Initiative (£7M grant; 1998-2001) and Centre for Cardiovascular Science (2000-4).  

I am a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh (1992) and London (1994), Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (1993), American Heart Association (1995), Academy of Medical Sciences (1999; first elected cohort), European Society of Cardiology (2001), British Pharmacological Society (2004; first elected cohort), Royal Society of Edinburgh (2004) and British Hypertension Society (2014; first elected cohort). I am an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine and Fellow (Honoris Causa) of Academia Europaea.

 My main academic body, the British Pharmacological Society (BPS; annual budget around £4M), where I am currently President, having previously held a number of posts (including Vice-President Clinical, Vice-President Meetings and President-Elect), awarded me the biennial Silver Medal for research in 1994, and the Lilly Prize and Gold Medal for contributions to clinical pharmacology in 2003. I am Past-President of the European Society for Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics (EACPT; 2009), Executive Committee member of the International Union of Pharmacology (IUPHAR), and Vice Chair of its Clinical Division. I am President of IUPHAR’s World Congress of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, to be held in Glasgow in 2022.

I am currently a Non-Executive Director of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), an Executive Agency of the Department of Health, and a government trading fund, with a mission to protect and improve the health of millions of people every day through the effective regulation of medicines and devices, underpinned by science and research. Alongside regulation of medicines, medical devices, and the investigation of harmful incidents, MHRA also incorporates the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) and the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), supported by around 1000 staff and an annual budget of around £100M. I currently chair the NIBSC Scientific Advisory Committee.

In Scotland, my main national roles include Chair, Scottish Medicines Consortium (Scotland’s equivalent of NICE) and its New Drugs Committee (2000-08). I have been President of the Scottish Society of Physicians and Vice-President, Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh.

My research in a nutshell

My main clinical interests are in hypertension, chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular risk management and I run a European Society of Hypertension (ESH) Hypertension Excellence Centre in Edinburgh, and coordinate hypertension services in Lothian. My research focuses on the pathophysiology of hypertension and renal disease, particularly arterial stiffness and endothelial function, and includes a large body of work on exploiting the endothelin system for patients with vascular disease. My research spans from studies in animal models of human disease to translational, first-in-human and proof-of-principle studies, and large clinical trials. I am keen to see effective treatments introduced into clinical practice. My publications can be found here.

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