Dr Rowan Hardy PhD

Dr Rowan Hardy

School of Biomedical Sciences
Associate Professor in Steroid Metabolism and Signalling
School of Biomedical Sciences Post Graduate Research Lead
School of Biomedical Sciences Research Themes Lead

Contact details

Institute of Clinical Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

As an Associate Professor in Steroid Metabolism and Signalling I have expanded upon a successful Versus Arthritis Early Career Development fellowship to become a leader in the field of steroid metabolism and inflammation and in vivo models of chronic inflammation. My research group is examining the roles of myeloid and mesenchymal steroid metabolism and signalling in mediating inflammatory disease pathophysiology and systemic complications in muscle and bone, identifying novel strategies to improve the safety profile of therapeutic glucocorticoids. This research involves world leading national and international collaboration across multiple centres of excellence at the UoB, including the MRC/Versus Arthritis Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research (CMAR), and the Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). My ambitions are to continue to build a fully interdisciplinary research programme that will re-define the fundamental physiological role that GCs and steroid metabolism play in human health.


  • Beacon Professional Recognition scheme: University of Birmingham, UK.  Fellowship status of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). 2020
  • The Associate Programme in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PG Cert): University of Birmingham, UK.  Awarded Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) 2011
  • PhD in Medicine: Stromal steroid metabolism in inflammation. Division of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Birmingham, UK. 2008
  • BMedSc (Hons) Medical Science (Cellular and Molecular Pathology): University of Birmingham, UK. 2004


  • 2020 - Present: Deputy-Lead for the BMedSci Intercalating Clinical Sciences Endocrinology and Metabolism Module.
  • 2020 - Present: Institute of Clinical Sciences PGR Committee.
  • 2020 - Present: Intercalating Clinical Sciences Curriculum Development Committee member.
  • 2021 - Present: Lecturer on BSc Y3 Molecular and Integrative Pharmacology, From Molecules to Man.
  • 2020 - Present: Lecturer on BSc Y3 Immunity and inflammatory disease module.
  • 2020- Present: Lecturer on MPharm Health, Disease and Therapeutics
  • 2019 - Present: Lecturer on MSc Immunology and Immunotherapy: Inflammation and Cell Migration module.
  • 2019 - Present: Tutor for BSc Year 1 Personal and Academic Development modules 1 & 2:
  • 2019 - Present: Coordinator of BSc Y2 - Student Selected Science Project: Targeting inflammatory steroid metabolism in chronic inflammatory disease.
  • 2018 - Present: Lecturer on BMedSci Intercalating Clinical Sciences program, Endocrinology and Metabolism & Rheumatology & Orthopaedics modules.
  • 2018 - Present: Lecturer on MSc Immunology and Immunotherapy, Inflammation and Cell Migration module.
  • 2015 - Present: Lecturer on BSc Y3 Molecular Medicine module.
  • 2015 - Present: Lecturer on BSc Y2 Neuroscience, Endocrinology and Reproduction.
  • 2012 - Present: Tutor delivering 27 hours of contact time for Small Group Teaching Delivery for BMedSci, MBChB and MPharm

Other activities

2021 - Present: Member of the Heberden BRS Committee (Translational Science Lead): Lead on the development of the translational science program for the British Society for Rheumatology annual meeting. Contribute to final program agenda and delivery. Chair sessions and review and judge abstracts and proposed conference sessions.

2021 - Present: Associate Editor for Frontiers in Immunology: Triage, review coordination and final publication decision of manuscripts submitted under the speciality of cytokines, inflammatory disease and bone metabolism

2021 - Present: Associate Editor for Biomedicines: Triage, review coordination and final publication decision of manuscripts submitted under the speciality of inflammatory disease and in vivo models

2019 - Present: Trustee of the Midland Neurosciences Teaching and Research fund: Support with setting the charity research priorities, funding strategy and running. Member of the MNTRF funding committee, collectively assessing and scoring submitted research proposals to award funding. 

2019 - Present: Associate Editor for BMC Endocrine Disorders: Triage, review coordination and final publication decision of manuscripts submitted under the speciality of musculoskeletal and inflammatory disease

2018 - Present: External Invited Viva Examination: Three Viva’s completed: Amadeo Garcia (2020, University of Maastricht), Andrea Lovdel (2020, University of Edinburgh), (Heather Mackie (2019, University of Glasgow)

2017 - Present: Invited grant Review: BBSRC Project grant (2021), German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Centre of Excellence in Pathomechanisms (2021), British Heart Foundation Intermediate Fellowship and Project review (2020, 2017, 2016), MRC project grant (2017)

2016 - Present: Invited peer manuscript review: Annals of Rheum Dis, Endocrine connections, Stem Cell Research & Therapy, BMC Endocrine Disorders, Pharmacological Research, International Immunology, Int Journal of Molecular Sciences, Biomedicines, Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Oxford Journal of Rheumatology, Scientific Reports, PLOS1

2016 - 2020: Society for Endocrinology Early Career Steering Group committee: Coordinated early career training and support events. Contribution to annual conference program. Facilitate cross society collaboration and outreach

2016 - 2020: Versus Arthritis, Fellows Steering Committee: Coordinating outreach and engagement amongst early career research fellows. Coordinating early career training events and advertising at the annual meeting.


Recent publications


Webster, JM, Waaijenberg, K, van de Worp, WRPH, Kelders, MCJM, Lambrichts, S, Martin, C, Verhaegen, F, Van der Heyden, B, Smith, C, Lavery, GG, Schols, AMWJ, Hardy, RS & Langen, RCJ 2023, '11β-HSD1 determines the extent of muscle atrophy in a model of acute exacerbation of COPD', American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology, vol. 324, no. 4, pp. L400-L412. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajplung.00009.2022

O’Neil, JD, Bolimowska, OO, Clayton, SA, Tang, T, Daley, KK, Lara-Reyna, S, Warner, J, Martin, CS, Mahida, RY, Hardy, RS, Arthur, JSC & Clark, AR 2023, 'Dexamethasone impairs the expression of antimicrobial mediators in lipopolysaccharide-activated primary macrophages by inhibiting both expression and function of interferon β', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 14, 1190261. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2023.1190261

Hansen, MS, Søe, K, Christensen, LL, Fernandez-Guerra, P, Hansen, NW, Wyatt, RA, Martin, C, Hardy, RS, Andersen, TL, Olesen, JB, Hartmann, B, Rosenkilde, MM, Kassem, M, Rauch, A, Gorvin, C & Frost, M 2023, 'GIP reduces osteoclast activity and improves osteoblast survival in primary human bone cells', European Journal of Endocrinology , vol. 188, no. 1, lvac004. https://doi.org/10.1093/ejendo/lvac004

Mahida, RY, Lax, S, Bassford, CR, Scott, A, Parekh, D, Hardy, RS, Naidu, B, Matthay, MA, Stewart, PM, Cooper, MC, Perkins, GD & Thickett, DR 2023, 'Impaired alveolar macrophage 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 reductase activity contributes to increased pulmonary inflammation and mortality in sepsis-related ARDS', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 14, 1159831. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2023.1159831

Favero, V, Prete, A, Mangone, A, Elhassan, Y, Pucino, V, Asia, M, Hardy, R, Chiodini, I & Ronchi, C 2023, 'Inflammation-based Scores In Benign Adrenocortical Tumours Are Linked To The Degree Of Cortisol Excess: a retrospective single centre study', European Journal of Endocrinology, vol. 183, lvad151, pp. 517-526. https://doi.org/10.1093/ejendo/lvad151

Merk, VM, Phan, TS, Wiedmann, A, Hardy, RS, Lavery, GG & Brunner, T 2023, 'Local glucocorticoid synthesis regulates house dust mite-induced airway hypersensitivity in mice', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 14, 1252874. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2023.1252874

Fenton, CG, Crastin, A, Martin, CS, Suresh, S, Montagna, I, Hussain, B, Naylor, AJ, Jones, SW, Hansen, MS, Gorvin, CM, Price, M, Filer, A, Cooper, MS, Lavery, GG, Raza, K & Hardy, RS 2022, '11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 within osteoclasts mediates the bone protective properties of therapeutic corticosteroids in chronic inflammation', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 23, no. 13, 7334, pp. 7334. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23137334

Siddiqa, A, Tajammal, A, Irfan, A, Azam, M, Munawar, MA, Hardy, RS & Asim Raza Basra, M 2022, 'Synthesis, molecular docking, bio-evaluation and quantitative structure activity relationship of new chalcone derivatives as antioxidants', Journal of Molecular Structure. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molstruc.2022.134814

Mahida, RY, Scott, A, Parekh, D, Lugg, ST, Hardy, RS, Lavery, GG, Matthay, MA, Naidu, B, Perkins, GD & Thickett, DR 2021, 'Acute respiratory distress syndrome is associated with impaired alveolar macrophage efferocytosis', The European respiratory journal, vol. 58, no. 3, 2100829. https://doi.org/10.1183/13993003.00829-2021

Mahida, RY, Scott, A, Parekh, D, Lugg, ST, Belchamber, KBR, Hardy, RS, Matthay, MA, Naidu, B & Thickett, DR 2021, 'Assessment of Alveolar Macrophage Dysfunction Using an in vitro Model of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome', Frontiers in Medicine, vol. 8, 737859. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.737859

Review article

Chidomere, CI, Wahid, M, Kemble, S, Chadwick, C, Thomas, R, Hardy, RS, Mcgettrick, HM & Naylor, AJ 2023, 'Bench to Bedside: Modelling Inflammatory Arthritis', Discovery Immunology, vol. 2, no. 1, kyac010. https://doi.org/10.1093/discim/kyac010

Sagmeister, M, Harper, L & Hardy, R 2023, 'Cortisol excess in chronic kidney disease: – a review of changes and impact on mortality', Frontiers in Endocrinology, vol. 13, 1075809. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2022.1075809

Nicholson, TA, Sagmeister, M, Wijesinghe, SN, Farah, H, Hardy, RS & Jones, SW 2023, 'Oligonucleotide Therapeutics for Age-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders: Successes and Challenges', Pharmaceutics, vol. 15, no. 1, 237. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15010237

Hardy, R, Botfield, H, Markey, K, Mitchell, J, Alimajstorovic, Z, Westgate, C, Sagmeister, M, Fairclough, R, Ottridge, R, Yiangou, A, Storbeck, K-H, Taylor, A, Gilligan, L, Arlt, W, Stewart, P, Tomlinson, J, Mollan, S, Lavery, G & Sinclair, A 2021, '11βHSD1 inhibition with AZD4017 improves lipid profiles and lean muscle mass in Idiopathic intracranial hypertension', Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 106, no. 1, pp. 174-187. https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa766

Martin, CS, Cooper, MS & Hardy, RS 2021, 'Endogenous Glucocorticoid Metabolism in Bone: Friend or Foe', Frontiers in Endocrinology, vol. 12, 733611. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2021.733611

View all publications in research portal