Dr Rowan Hardy PhD, BMedSci, PGCert

Dr Rowan Hardy

School of Biomedical Sciences
Versus Arthritis Career Development Fellow

Contact details

Institute of Clinical Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a Versus Arthritis Fellow with extensive experience in steroid metabolism and in vivo models of chronic inflammation. Patients with chronic inflammatory diseases develop systemic complications such as muscle wasting and bone loss, which contribute to disability and reduced life expectancy. 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. The inter-disciplinary collaboration linking the Institute of Metabolism & Systems Research and Inflammation & Ageing that I have established ensures a fully translational approach to this research, utilising state of the art cell culture, molecular biology and animal husbandry facilities.


PG Cert Associate Programme in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, The University of Birmingham 2011       

PhD in Medicine, University of Birmingham 2008     

BMedSc in Cellular and Molecular Pathology, University of Birmingham 2004


2019 - Present: BMedSci Tutor. Role: Supporting student academic development

2019 - Present: 3SP project supervisor. Role: Design and implementation of lectures for steroid metabolism

2012 - Present: Lecturer on the BMedSci, Endocrinology Module. Role: Design and implementation of lectures for Bone and Calcium Metabolism and Pathogenesis and treatment of osteoporosis (year 3). Coordination of supporting SGT sessions, setting and marking examination questions

2018 - Present: Lecturer on the Inflammation and Aging Masters Programme. Role: Design and implementation of lectures for Anti-inflammatory Mechanisms of Glucocorticoids. Coordination of supporting SGT sessions, Setting and marking examination questions

2017 - Present: Deputy Lead for IMSR Post Graduate Research programme. Role: Support and monitoring of all IMSR PGR students and coordination of annual progress reviews. Coordination, timetabling and chairing of weekly PGR presentations, Coordination of annual PGR away day

2018 - Present: Committee member and Assessor for the Post Graduate Research Assessment Panel: Role: Assessment of annual review reports (GRS3, DNA). PGR student mentor (4 students).

2012 - Present: Delivery of small group teaching for BMedSci, MBChB and MPharm: Delivery of clinical case studies and lecture reviews in bone and calcium metabolism, pathogenesis and treatment of osteoporosis, hormone synthesis and action, reproduction, thyroid hormone synthesis and action and glycolysis

2007 - Present: Final Year Project Supervisor for BMedSci and I&I MRes Programme:  17 Students completed. Role: Design and supervision of three month wet lab project (year 3). Support with implementation and planning of project and final write up. Assessment of technical ability, coordination of internal assessment. External project assessor. Of Note: three student authored publications, supervisor for BMedSci/medical student Arthur Thompson prize winner (2011), Supervisor for BMedSci student best project prize winner (2010)

Postgraduate supervision

PhD: Primary supervisor on 3 active PhD studentships. Predicted completion dates 2020, 2021, 2022. Secondary supervisor on 1 International PhD studentship. Outputs: 2 published manuscripts, 2 manuscripts in review, 4 conference talks.

MRes: Primary supervisor for 1 active MRes studentship. Predicted completion dates 2019. Primary supervisor for 1 completed MRes studentship. Completion date

Other activities

2019 – Present: Editorial Board member for  BMC Endocrine Disorders

2019 - Present: Member of the Midland Neurosciences Teaching and Research fund grant review panel.

2019 - Present: Organisation Committee for the versus arthritis Fellows Training day. Loughborough, UK

2018 - Present: Viva Examiner: Viva examinations conducted; Heather Mackie, University of Glasgow, 2018; Connor Westgate, University of Birmingham, 2019.

2018 - Present: SFE public engagement programme participant; Outreach scientific teaching to 2ndry school students

2016 - Present: SFE Early Career Steering Group committee.

2016 - Present: ARUK, Fellows Steering Committee.

2016 - Present: IMSR Research Committee

2012 - Present: Invited peer manuscript and grant reviewer; Annals of Rheum Dis, Endocrine connections, Stem Cell Research & Therapy, BMC Endocrine Disorders, Pharmacological Research, International Immunology, Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal diseases, Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Oxford Journal of Rheumatology, Scientific Reports, PLOS1 and British Heart Foundation


Recent publications


Fenton, C, Martin, C, Jones, R, Croft, A, Campos, J, Naylor, A, Taylor, A, Chimen, M, Cooper, M, Lavery, G, Raza, K & Hardy, R 2020, 'Local steroid activation is a critical mediator of the anti-inflammatory actions of therapeutic glucocorticoids', Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Fenton, C, Doig, C, Fareed, S, Naylor, A, Morrell, AP, Addison, O, Wehmeyer, C, Buckley, C, Cooper, MS, Lavery, G, Raza, K & Hardy, R 2019, '11β-HSD1 Plays a critical role in trabecular bone loss associated with systemic glucocorticoid therapy', Arthritis Research & Therapy, vol. 21, no. 1, 188. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13075-019-1972-1

Webster, J, Fenton, C, Langen, R & Hardy, R 2019, 'Exploring the interface between inflammatory and therapeutic glucocorticoid induced bone and muscle loss', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 20, no. 22, 5768. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225768

Sagmeister, M, Taylor, A, Fenton, A, Wall, N, Chanouzas, D, Nightingale, P, Ferro, CJ, Arlt, W, Cockwell, P, Hardy, R & Harper, L 2019, 'Glucocorticoid activation by 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase enzymes in relation to inflammation and glycaemic control in chronic kidney disease: A cross-sectional study', Clinical Endocrinology, vol. 90, no. 1, pp. 241-249. https://doi.org/10.1111/cen.13889

Fenton, C, Webster, J, Martin, C, Fareed, S, Wehmeyer, C, Mackie, H, Jones, R, Seabright, A, Lewis, J, Lai, Y-C, Goodyear, CS, Jones, S, Cooper, MS, Lavery, G, Langen, R, Raza, K & Hardy, R 2019, 'Therapeutic glucocorticoids prevent bone loss but drive muscle wasting when administered in chronic polyarthritis', Arthritis Research & Therapy, vol. 21, no. 1, 182. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13075-019-1962-3

Hardy, R, Fenton, C, Croft, A, Naylor, A, Begum, R, Desanti, G, Buckley, C, Lavery, G, Cooper, MS & Raza, K 2018, '11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 regulates synovitis, joint destruction, and systemic bone loss in chronic polyarthritis', Journal of Autoimmunity, vol. 92, pp. 104-113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2018.05.010, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2018.05.010

Hardy, R, Zhou, H, Seibel, MJ & Cooper, MS 2018, 'Glucocorticoids and bone: consequences of endogenous and exogenous excess and replacement therapy', Endocrine Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1210/er.2018-00097

Hardy, R & Cooper, MS 2018, 'Unravelling how glucocorticoids work in rheumatoid arthritis', Nature Reviews Rheumatology, pp. 1759-4804. https://doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-212762

Rokad, F, Moseley, R, Hardy, R, Chukkapalli, S, Crean, S, Kesavalu, L & Singhrao, S 2017, 'Cerebral Oxidative Stress and Microvasculature Defects in TNF-α Expressing Transgenic and Porphyromonas gingivalis-Infected ApoE-/- Mice', Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 359-369. https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-170304

Naylor, A, Desanti, G, Saghir, A & Hardy, R 2017, 'TNFα depleting therapy improves fertility and animal welfare in TNFα-driven transgenic models of polyarthritis when administered in their routine breeding', Laboratory Animals. https://doi.org/10.1177/0023677217707985

Hardy, RS, Doig, CL, Hussain, Z, O'Leary, M, Morgan, SA, Pearson, MJ, Naylor, A, Jones, S, Filer, A, Stewart, PM, Buckley, CD, Lavery, GG, Cooper, MS & Raza, K 2016, '11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 within muscle protects against the adverse effects of local inflammation', Journal of Pathology, vol. 240, no. 4, pp. 472-483. https://doi.org/10.1002/path.4806, https://doi.org/10.1002/path.4806

Juarez, M, McGettrick, HM, Scheel-Toellner, D, Yeo, L, Spengler, J, de Paz, B, Hardy, R, Cooper, M, Raza, K, Buckley, CD & Filer, A 2016, 'DKK1 expression by synovial fibroblasts in very early rheumatoid arthritis associates with lymphocyte adhesion in an in vitro flow co-culture system', Arthritis Research & Therapy, vol. 18, no. 1, 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13075-016-0915-3

Review article

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 2020, '11βHSD1 inhibition with AZD4017 improves lipid profiles and lean muscle mass in Idiopathic intracranial hypertension', Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa766

Webster, J, Kempen, L, Hardy, R & Langen, R 2020, 'Inflammation and skeletal muscle wasting during cachexia', Frontiers in Physiology.

Raza, K, Hardy, R & Cooper, MS 2020, 'Therapeutic glucocorticoids mechanisms of actions in rheumatic diseases', Nature Reviews Rheumatology, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 133-144. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41584-020-0371-y, https://doi.org/https://www.nature.com/articles/s41584-020-0371-y#article-info

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