Dr Andrew Walls
Andrew Walls has long standing research interests in inflammation and tissue remodelling. Appointed Reader in Immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton in 2001, his work has focused on mediators of inflammation and their roles in disease.
Studies with mast cells and basophils and their secreted proteases, have helped to establish their contributions in different forms and categories of allergic and inflammatory conditions. Among these have been mast cell tryptase, chymase, carboxypeptidase A3 and cathepsin C, as well as the unique basophil component we have termed basogranulin.
He has served on bodies devising national and international guidelines, on grant-giving bodies and has acted as a consultant to the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.
As principal investigator he has been awarded grant funding of several million pounds from research councils, major charities and industry; he has been the main supervisor of some 20 PhD students, and responsible for the training of a similar number of post-doctoral research fellows.
Monoclonal antibodies produced in our laboratory have been employed as gold standard methods for immunohistochemical detection of mast cells and basophils and their subpopulations. We have developed assays for mast cell proteases and basogranulin that have been applied to biological fluids and cell supernatants. The new assays have proven useful as investigational tools and in diagnosis.
Investigations of the functions of mast cell proteases have led to appreciation of their key roles as mediators of disease and as potential targets for therapeutic intervention.