Prof. Alastair Watson

Research Leader

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I studied medicine at the Universities of Cambridge (Corpus Christi College) and London (St Thomas’ Hospital). In 1989 obtained a Medical Doctorate (Cambridge) on the absorption of short chain fatty acids. I became a post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins Medical School (1988-90). In 1990 I won a Senior Research Fellow Award from the American Gastroenterology Association and an award for outstanding accomplishment in Postdoctoral Research from the American Physiological Society. Returned to the University of Manchester in 1991 to work with Lord Turnberg on apoptosis in the GI epithelium. In 1992 I was awarded The Sir Francis Avery Jones British Society of Gastroenterology Research Medal. Was appointed Professor of Medicine at the University of Liverpool in 1998. In 2010 I was appointed the University of East Anglia as its first Professor of Translational Medicine.

I was an Associate Editor of GUT (2003 – 04) then its Deputy Editor (2005 – 2007). I have served twice as an member of the BSG council elected by the membership.

Key Publications

Ralf Kiesslich, Martin Goetz, Elizabeth M. Angus, Qiuping Hu, Yanfang Guan, Chris Potten, Terry Allen, Markus F. Neurath, Noah F. Shroyer,  Marshall H. Montrose, Alastair J.M. Watson. Identification of epithelial gaps in human small and large intestine by confocal endomicroscopy. Gastroenterology 2007;133:1769-78

Marchiando, Shen L, Graham WV, Edelblum KL, Duckworth CA, Guan Y, Montrose MH, Turner JR, Watson A.J.M. The epithelial barrier is maintained by in vivo tight junction expansion during pathologic intestinal epithelial shedding. Gastroenterology 2011 Apr;140(4):1208-1218

R. Kiesslich, CA Duckworth, D Moussata, A Gloeckner, LG Lim, M Goetz, DM Pritchard, PR Galle, MF Neurath, A.J.M. Watson. Local Barrier Dysfunction Identified By Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy Predicts Relapse In Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Gut 2012;61 1146-1153

Huels DJ, Ridgway RA, Radulescu S, Leushacke M, Campbell AD, Biswas S, Leedham S, Serra S, Chetty R, Moreaux G, Parry L, Matthews J, Song F, Hedley A, Kalna G, Ceteci F, Reed KR, Meniel VS, Maguire A, Doyle B, Söderberg O, Barker N, Watson AJM, Larue L, Clarke AR, Sansom OJ. E-cadherin can limit the transforming properties of activating β-catenin mutations. EMBO J 2015;34(18):2321-33

K.R.Hughes, C.Alcon-Giner, L.C.Harnisch, C.J. Wright, S.Mitraa, J Ketskemety, D. van Sinderen, A.J.M Watson and L.J.Hall. Bifidobacterium breve reduces small intestinal apoptotic epithelial cell shedding in vivo in an exopolysaccharide and MyD88-dependent manner Open Biology 2017 Jan;7(1). pii: 160155. d

Parker A., Maclaren O., Fletcher A. G., Muraro D., Kreuzaler P. A., Byrne H. M., Maini P. K., Watson A. J. M., Pin C.. (2017)

Cell proliferation within small intestinal crypts is the principal driving force for cell migration on villi

The FASEB Journal, 31, 636-649

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Hughes K. R., Harnisch L. C., Alcon C., Mitra S., Wright C. J., Ketskemety J., van Sinderen D., Watson A. J., Hall L. J.. (2017)

Bifidobacterium breve reduces apoptotic epithelial cell shedding in an exopolysaccharide and MyD88-dependent manner.

Open biology, 7, 160155

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Maclaren O. J., Parker A., Pin C., Carding S. R., Watson A. J. M., Fletcher A. G., Byrne H., Maini P. K.. (2017)

A hierarchical Bayesian model for understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of the intestinal epithelium.

PLoS Computational Biology, 13, e1005688

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Brooks J., Watson A., Korcsmaros T.. (2017)

Omics Approaches to Identify Potential Biomarkers of Inflammatory Diseases in the Focal Adhesion Complex.

Genomics, proteomics & bioinformatics, 15, 101-109

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Pin C., Watson A., Carding S.. (2012)

Modelling the spatio-temporal cell dynamics reveals novel insights on cell differentiation and proliferation in the small intestinal crypt

PLoS ONE, 7, e37115.

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