Professor Ed Rainger BSc, PhD

Professor Ed Rainger

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Professor of Chronic Inflammation

Contact details

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Ed Rainger is Professor of Chronic Inflammation in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. He has published over 100 research papers, reviews and book chapters. Although his work is broadly themed on inflammation, he has a particular interest in leukocyte trafficking and is a member of the Leukocyte Trafficking Group. He is interested in the regulation of inflammation in physiological resolving responses and how these become dysregulated in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. He believes that by understanding the ‘normal’ processes that control the inflammatory response we can identify new means of intervening therapeutically when these go wrong in disease. Indeed, Ed holds a number of patents associated with his work and is scientific director on the board of Viatem Ltd, a University of Birmingham Spinout company undertaking a drug discovery programme to develop new anti-inflammatory agents based on his work. 


  • PhD: Comparative Immunology (1992)
  • BSc: in Marine Biology (1989)


Professor Ed Rainger qualified for a BSc in Marine Biology from Newcastle University in 1989. Moving to Swansea, Ed conducted his PhD studies (awarded in 1992) in comparative immunology, specifically looking at the responses to commercially farmed fish species to vaccination. In 1993 Ed moved to Birmingham University where he worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in the department of Physiology investigating the inflammatory response to hypoxia and the role of platelets in recruiting leukocytes.

In 2002 Ed was awarded a prestigious 5 year Basic Sciences Lectureship from the British Heart Foundation. This personal fellowship was renewed for a further 5 years in 2007 at the level of Senior Lecturer. During the 10 years of tenure as a British Heart Foundation Fellow, Ed developed sophisticated co-culture models in which disease environments could be recapitulated in vitro and the cellular pathology of inflammatory diseases investigated.

In 2006 Ed was awarded a Readership at the University of Birmingham in The School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine working closely with collaborators from Birmingham and other national and international institute’s to investigate the cellular pathology of chronic inflammatory diseases.

In 2012 Ed was promoted to Professor of Chronic Inflammation and when the Medical School moved to an Institute based model of organisation he found a natural home in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, although he has associate affiliations with a number of other institutes and colleges across the campus.  


    Biomedical Sciences Degree

2nd Year              

  • Leukocyte Recruitment in Disease

 3rd year                

  • Biology of Ageing
  • Vascular Biology and Pathology
  • Immunity and Inflammatory Disease
  • Science Communication Principals and Practise 

    MBChB (Medical degree)

1st Year                

  • Respiratory Physiology

2nd year               

  • Cardiovascular Physiology 

    MSc Immunotherapy

1st year              

  • Peptides as therapeutics 

    PhD with Integrated Study Physical Sciences for Health

1st year               

  • Cardiovascular Disease

Postgraduate supervision

PhD Supervision:

14 completed; 1 current

Professor Rainger is interested in supervising PhD projects in the areas of

● The regulation of leukocyte trafficking differentiation and function in acute inflammation

● The dysregulation of leukocyte trafficking, differentiation and function in chronic disease

● The role of platelets in inflammation, in particularly atheromatous disease of the arteries

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Ed on the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.


Professor Rainger’s area of research interest is regulation of inflammation, with particular focus on the recruitment and organisation of the leukocytic infiltrate. This is a broad remit because he believes it is essential to characterise physiological resolving inflammation, in order to understand chronic inflammatory disease. To facilitate studies in this area he utilises sophisticated in vitro models of vascular inflammation, including unique co-culture platforms using human cells. In addition his group have developed pre-clinical models of inflammation and inflammatory disease in which to conduct translational work. His group work under 3 major themes:

1) The cellular pathology of Athersclerosis: This theme has drawn long term support from the BHF, including 10 years of Personal Fellowship and 5 years of Programme Grant funding. Our recent work investigates the role of platelets in monocyte recruitment during atherogenesis.     

2) Regulation of the inflammatory response by dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3-PUFAs; AKA fish oils): The affects of n-3 PUFAs on endothelial cell and leukocyte biology is my niche area in this field, and we are using our in vitro modelling skills, to identify new steps in the regulation of leukocyte recruitment, differentiation and function.

3) Regulation of the inflammatory response by a novel peptide derived from the 14.3.3.zeta protein: We have identified an endogenous peptide mediated mechanism by which T cell recruitment is regulated. We believe that this unique pathway may be important in many auto-immune and/or chronic inflammatory diseases in which T cells contribute to the cellular pathology. A University of Birmingham spinout company, Viatem Ltd, is currently translating patents around this area into new anti-inflammatory drugs.  

Other activities

  • Director Graduate Studies, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (2015-2017) 
  • Member of the British Heart Foundation Project Grants Committee (2014-2017)
  • Postdoctoral / Early Researcher, Career Development and Training (PERCAT) Committee (2012-)
  • Committee for the College Research Development Fund (2012-)
  • Member, The Postgraduate Graduate Quality Assurance Committee of the College of Medicine and Dentistry (2010-2012)
  • Member, Expert committee of the Agence d'Evaluation de la Recherche et des établissements d'Enseignement Supérieur (AERES). (2010-)
  • Deputy Director of Graduate Studies, School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (2009-2015)
  • Member of the FP7-Expert Evaluator pool (2009-2013)   
  • Chairman of the UK Adhesion Society (2007-2014)
  • Medical Research Council Biomarkers Review Panel (2008; Convened once only for special call)
  • Member of the Birmingham University Biomedical Ethical Review Sub-committee (2008-2016)


Chimen M, Yates CM, McGettrick HM, Ward LSC, Harrison MJ, Apta B, Dib LH, Imhof BA, Harrison P, Nash GB and Rainger GE. Monocyte subsets co-regulate inflammatory responses by integrated signalling through TNF-alpha and IL-6 at the endothelial cell interface. Journal of Immunology. 2017 Apr 1;198(7):2834-2843

Weber C, Shantsila E, Hristov M, Caligiuri G, Guzik T, Heine GH, Hoefer IE, Monaco C, Peter K, Rainger GE, Siegbahn A, Steffens S, Wojta J and Lip GYH. (2016). Role and analysis of monocyte subsets in cardiovascular disease (Joint consensus document of the ESC WG on Atherosclerosis & Vascular Biology and the ESC WG on Thrombosis) Thrombosis and Haemostasis; 116(4):626-37.

Chimen M, McGettrick HM, Apta B, Kuravi  SJ, Yates CM, Kennedy A, Odedra A, Alassiri M, Harrison M, Martin A, Barone F,  Nayar S, Hitchcock JR, Cunningham AF, Raza K, Filer A, Copland DA, Dick AD, Robinson J, Kalia N, Walker LSK, Buckley CD, Nash GB, Narendran P, Rainger GE (2015). Homeostatic regulation of T cell trafficking by a B cell–derived peptide is impaired in autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disease. Nature  Medicine. 21; 467–475[10.1038/nm.3842].

Harrison M, Smith E, Ross E, Krams R, Segers D, Buckley CD, Nash GB, Rainger GE. (2013). The role of platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 in atheroma formation varies depending on the site-specific hemodynamic environment. Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and vascular Biology. 33(4):694-701

Ahmed SR, McGettrick HM, Buckley CD, Ratcliffe MJ, Nash GB, Rainger GE. (2011). Prostaglandin-D2 regulates CD4+ memory T cell trafficking across blood vascular endothelium and primes these cells for clearance across lymphatic endothelium. Journal of Immunology. 187(3): 1432-1439

Woodfin A, Voisin M-B, Beyrau M,Colom B, Caille D,  Diapouli FM, Nash GB, Chavakis T, Albelda SM, Rainger GE, Meda P, Imhof BA, Nourshargh S. (2011). Junctional adhesion molecule-C (JAM-C) is a key regulator of polarized neutrophil transendothelial cell migration in vivo. Nature Immunology.  12: 761-769.

Tull SP, Yates CM, Maskrey BH, O’Donnell VB, Madden J, Grimble RF, Calder PC, Nash GB and Rainger GE. (2009). Ω-3 fatty acids and Inflammation: novel interactions reveal a new step in neutrophil recruitment. PLoS Biol 7(8): e1000177. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000177

Recent Reviews

Yates CM, Calder PC and Rainger GE. (2014) Pharmacology and therapeutics of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in chronic inflammatory disease. Pharmacology and Therapeutics; 141(3):272-82.

Rainger GE, Chimen M,  Harrison MJ, Yates CM.  Harrison P, Watson SP, M Lordkipanidzé, Nash GB (2015). The role of platelets in the recruitment of leukocytes during vascular disease. Platelets ;26 (6): 507-20.

Recent book chapters and books

Rainger GE and McGettrick HM. Methods in Molecular Biology-T cell trafficking (Second Edition) Edited; Springer. ISBN9781607614609.