Prof Moira Whyte OBE, BSc PhD FRCP (London) FMedSci

Sir George Franklin Professor of Medicine
Head, Department of Infection and Immunity
Head, Academic Unit of Respiratory MedicinePicture of Professor Moira Whyte

Academic Unit of Respiratory Medicine
Department of Infection and Immunity
K Floor
The University of Sheffield Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX

Tel: +44 (0)114 271 2355
Fax: +44 (0)114 271 3892
Secretary - Beverley Jepson
Tel: +44 (0)114 271 2830


I am a respiratory physician who trained mainly in London (St Bartholomew´s Hospital Medical College, Hammersmith Hospital, Royal Postgraduate Medical School and Imperial Cancer Research Fund). After MRC and then Wellcome Clinical Fellowships, I moved to Sheffield in 1996 as Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Honorary Consultant in Respiratory and General Medicine.

Research Interests

My research interests have focussed on molecular mechanisms of innate immune cell apoptosis in the context both of chronic inflammatory lung disease and of host defence against bacterial infection. These are areas of major therapeutic challenge with no effective therapies for persistent neutrophilic inflammation and with strategies to manipulate host immune responses to pathogens having exciting potential for treatment of antibiotic-resistance infection. I collaborate with other members of the Academic Unit of Respiratory Medicine (Professor Ian Sabroe, Dr Stephen Renshaw, Dr Sarah Walmsley, D Lynne Prince), with Professor David Dockrell, a key colleague in Infectious Diseases, and with Professor Simon Foster in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. My other role is as the Joint Acting Director of the MRC Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics, which is pioneering the use of non-mammalian disease models, in particular of zebrafish and fruit flies, to understand the pathogenesis of human disease.

Professional Activities

  • Registrar, Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Deputy Chair of the MRC/NIHR Efficacy and Mechanisms Evaluation (EME) Board
  • Member, MRC Population and Systems Medicine Board (PSMB)
  • Editorial Boards: British Medical Bulletin, Hypoxia Signalling, Physiological Reports
  • International Advisory Board: Thorax
  • Member, JRCPTB Specialist Advisory Committee in Respiratory Medicine
  • I am active in both respiratory and general internal medicine. I have specialist clinics in interstitial lung disease and in adolescent respiratory medicine.

Key Publications

  1. Loynes CA, Martin JS, Robertson A, Trushell DM, Ingham PW, Whyte MKB, Renshaw SA. 2010. Pivotal Advance: Pharmacological manipulation of inflammation resolution during spontaneously resolving tissue neutrophilia in the zebrafish. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 87:203-212
  2. Daigneault M, Preston JA, Marriott HM, Whyte MKB, Dockrell DH. 2010. The identification of markers of macrophage differentiation in PMA-stimulated THP-1 cells and monocyte-derived macrophages. PLoS One 13:e8668
  3. Webster SJ, Daigneault M, Bewley MA, Preston JA, Marriott HM, Walmsley SR, Read RC, Whyte MKB, Dockrell DH. 2010. Distinct cell death programs in monocytes regulate innate responses following challenge with common causes of invasive bacterial disease. Journal of Immunology 185:2968-2979
  4. Bewley MA, Marriott HM, Tulone C, Francis SE, Mitchell TJ, Read RC, Chain B, Kroemer G, Whyte MKB, Dockrell DH. 2011. A cardinal role for cathepsin D in co-ordinating the host-mediated apoptosis of macrophages and killing of pneumococci. PLoS Pathogens. 7:e1001262.
  5. Walmsley SR, Chilvers ER, Thompson AA, Vaughan KR, Marriott HM, Parker LC, Shaw G, Parmar S, Schneider M, Sabroe I, Dockrell DH, Milo M, Talyor CT, Johnson RS, Pugh CW, Ratcliffe PJ, Maxwell PH, Carmeliet P, Whyte MKB. 2011. Prolyl hydroxylase PHD3 is essential for hypoxic regulation of neutrophilic inflammation in humans and mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation 121:1053-1063
  6. Elks P, van Eeden FJ, Dixon G, Wang X, Reyes-Aldasoro CC, Ingham PW, Whyte MKB, Walmsley SR, Renshaw SA. 2011. Activation of Hif-1alpha delays inflammation resolution by reducing neutrophil apoptosis and reverse migration in a zebrafish inflammation model. Blood 118:712-722 (with accompanying editorial)
  7. McGrath EE, Marriott HM, Lawrie A, Francis SE, Sabroe I, Renshaw SA, Dockrell DH, Whyte MKB. 2011. TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) regulates inflammatory neutrophil apoptosis and enhances resolution of inflammation. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 90:855-865
  8. Marriott HM, Gascoyne KA, Gowda R, Geary I, Nicklin MJ, Iannelli F, Pozzi G, Mitchell TJ, Whyte MKB, Sabroe I, Dockrell DH. 2012. Interleukin-1β regulates CXCL8 release and influences disease outcome in response to Streptococcus pneumoniae, defining intercellular cooperation between pulmonary epithelial cells and macrophages. Infection and Immunity 80:1140-1149
  9. Prince LR, Graham KJ, Connolly J, Anwar S, Ridley R, Sabroe I, Foster SJ, Whyte MKB. 2012. Staphylococcus aureus induces eosinophil cell death mediated by α-hemolysin. PLoS One 7:e31506
  10. McGrath EE, Lawrie A, Marriott HM, Mercer PF, Cross SS, Arnold N, Singleton V, Thompson AAR, Walmsley SR, Renshaw SA, Sabroe I, Chambers RC, Dockrell DH, Whyte MKB. 2012. TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) exacerbates lung injury and fibrosis. Thorax 67:796-803
  11. Bennett JA, Prince LR, Parker LC, Stokes CA, de Bruin HG, van den Berge M, Heijink IH, Whyte MKB, Sabroe I. 2012. Pellino-1 selectively regulates epithelial cell responses to rhinovirus. Journal of Virology 86:6595-6604
  12. Daigneault M, de Silva TI, Bewley MA, Preston JA, Marriott HM, Mitchell AM, Mitchell TJ, Read RC, Whyte MKB, Dockrell DH. 2012. Monocytes regulate the mechanism of T-cell death by inducing Fas-mediated apoptosis during bacterial infection. PLoS Pathogens 8:e1002814
  13. Marriott HM, Daigneault M, Thompson AAR, Walmsley SR, Gill SK, Witcher DR, Wroblewski VJ, Hellewell PG, Whyte MKB, Dockrell DH. 2012. A Decoy Receptor 3 analogue reduces localized defects in phagocyte function in pneumococcal pneumonia. Thorax 67:985-992
  14. Tannahill GM, Curtis AM, Adamik J, Palsson-McDermott EM, McGettrick AF, Goel G, Frezza C, Bernard NJ, Kelly B, Foley NH, Zheng L, Gardet A, Tong Z, Jany SS, Corr SC, Haneklaus M, Caffery BE, Pierce K, Walmsley S, Beasley FC, Cummins E, Nizet V, Whyte M, Taylor CT, Lin H, Masters SL, Gottlieb E, Kelly V, Clish C, Auron PE, Xavier RJ, O’Neill LAJ. 2013. Succinate is a danger signal that induces IL-1β via HIF-1α. Nature 496:238-242
  15. O'Dwyer DN, Armstrong ME, Trujillo G, Cooke G, Keane MP, Fallon PG, Simpson AJ, Millar AB, McGrath EE, Whyte MKB, Hirani N, Hogaboam CM, Donnelly SC. 2013. The Toll-like Receptor 3 L412F Polymorphism and Disease Progression in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 188:1442-1450
  16. Thompson AAR, Elks PM, Marriott HM, Eamsamarng S, Higgins KR, Lewis A, Williams L, Parmar S, Shaw G, McGrath EE, Formenti F, Van Eeden FJ, Kinnula VL, Pugh CW, Sabroe I, Dockrell DH, Chilvers ER, Robbins PA, Simon MC, Johnson RS, Renshaw SA, Whyte MKB and Walmsley SR (Joint senior authors). 2013. Hypoxia-inducible factor 2α regulates key neutrophil functions in humans, mice and zebrafish. Blood 123:366-376 (with accompanying editorial).
  17. Burgon J, Robertson AL, Sadiku P, Wang X, Hooper-Greenhill E, Prince LR, Walker P, Hoggett EE, Ward JR, Farrow SN, Zuercher WJ, Jeffrey P, Savage CO, Ingham PW, Hurlstone AF, Whyte MKB, Renshaw SA. 2014. Serum and Glucocorticoid Regulated Kinase 1 (SGK1) regulates neutrophil clearance during inflammation resolution. Journal of Immunology 192:1796-1805.
  18. Robertson AL, Holmes GR, Bojarczuk AN, Burgon J, Loynes CA, Chimen M, Sawtell AK, Hamza B, Willson J, Walmsley SR, Anderson SR, Coles MC, Farrow SN, Solari R, Jones S, Prince LR, Irimia D, Rainger E, Kadirkamanathan V, Whyte MKB, Renshaw SA. 2014. Modulation of reverse migration as an anti-inflammatory mechanism identified by an in vivo zebrafish inflammation screen. Science Translational Medicine 6:225ra29 (with accompanying editorial).

Review Articles

  1. Sabroe I, Parker LC, Dockrell DH, Davies DE, Dower SK, Whyte MKB. 2007. Pulmonary Perspective: targeting the networks that underpin contiguous immunity in asthma and COPD. American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine 175:306-311.
  2. Sabroe I, Dockrell DH, Vogel SN, Renshaw SA, Whyte MKB, Dower SK. 2007. Identifying and hurdling obstacles to translational research. Nature Reviews Immunology 7:77-82
  3. Sabroe I, Whyte MKB. 2007. Incapacitating the immune system in cystic fibrosis (News and Views). Nature Medicine 13:1417-1418.