Professor Janet M Lord FMedSci, CBE

Professor Janet Lord

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Emeritus Professor of Immune Cell Biology

Contact details

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
University of Birmingham Research Labs
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Mindelsohn Way
B15 2WB

Janet Lord is Emeritus Professor of Immune Cell Biology and was the founding Director of the MRC-Versus Arthritis Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research.

Her research focusses on the dysregulation of immunity in old age, in particular the decline in neutrophil function and how this compromises the response to infection and tissue injury. She aims to understand the mechanisms involved and to develop novel therapies to improve immunity in older adults.

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  • Emeritus Professor of Immune Cell Biology
  • Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences 2015
  • PhD Biological Sciences 1983
  • BSc (Hons) Human Biology 1979


Janet Lord is Emeritus Professor of Immune Cell Biology at the University of Birmingham. She was the founding Director of the MRC-Versus Arthritis Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research until 2021.

Her primary research focus is on the effect of ageing upon immune function and how this limits the ability of older adults to resolve inflammation occurring in response to infectious challenge or injury. This has led her to research neutrophil function in healthy elders and also after hip fracture and during infections such as pneumonia. She also researches the link between chronic systemic inflammation and physical frailty in old age and has published papers showing that much of the increased systemic inflammation and sarcopenia associated with ageing can be prevented by high levels of physical activity in adulthood.

Professor Lord has a particular interest in the role played by stress (physical and psychological) and the altered HPA axis in modulating immunity and frailty in old age and following an injury such as hip fracture. She has published several papers showing that a heightened HPA axis (increased cortisol:DHEAS ratio) is associated with poor outcomes after hip fracture.

More recently she has carried out research into the impact of critical injury on the rate of biological ageing and how ageing processes influence outcomes such as sepsis and scarring after trauma and burn injury. She aims to develop new therapies to improve outcomes after injury. In this context, she has also worked on the factors driving scarring after burn injury, bringing in her experience from the fields of inflammation and cell senescence.

In 2013 she was awarded the Lord Cohen of Birkenhead medal for her outstanding research in human ageing by the British Society for Research on Ageing. She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015 and was awarded a CBE in the New Years Honours list in 2023.


Research Interests

  • The effect of ageing on immunity
  • Mechanisms underlying musculoskeletal ageing, sarcopaenia and frailty
  • The inflammatory response after major trauma and influence on patient outcomes
  • Factors influencing scarring after burn injury
  • The role of immune ageing in rheumatoid arthritis pathogenesis

Current Projects

  • Mechanisms underlying musculoskeletal ageing, sarcopaenia and frailty in chronic inflammatory disease
  • The role of biological ageing processes in multimorbidity
  • The effect of lifelong physical activity on musculoskeletal and immune ageing
  • The impact of major trauma on biological age

Other activities

  • Member of the MRC Major Investment Board
  • Member of the Management board of the UKRI Ageing Network CARINA
  • Member of the British Society for Immunology
  • Member of the British Society for Research on Ageing


Recent publications


McGee, KC, Sullivan, J, Hazeldine, J, Schmunk, LJ, Martin-Herranz, DE, Jackson, T & Lord, JM 2024, 'A combination nutritional supplement reduces DNA methylation age only in older adults with a raised epigenetic age', GeroScience.

PHOSP-COVID study collaborative group & ISARIC4C Investigators 2024, 'Accelerated immune ageing is associated with COVID-19 disease severity', Immunity & Ageing, vol. 21, no. 1, 6.

Sharma-Oates, A, Sullivan, J, Pestana, D, dos Santos, C, Binnie, A & Lord, J 2024, 'Association of Epigenetic Age and Outcome in Critically Ill Patients', Critical Care Explorations, vol. 6, no. 2, e1044.

Williams, FR, Quinlan, J, Freer, A, Morrison, B, Sitch, A, Hockey, F, Klas, N, Towey, J, Perera, TPR, Rajoriya, N, Lord, JM & Armstrong, MJ 2024, 'Duke Activity Status Index and Liver Frailty Index predict mortality in ambulatory patients with advanced chronic liver disease: A prospective, observational study', Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, vol. 59, no. 4, pp. 547-557.

Anderson, A, Alfahad, N, Wimalachandra, D, Bouzinab, K, Rudzinska, P, Wood, H, Fazey, I, Xu, H, Lyons, TJ, Barnes, NM, Narendran, P, Lord, JM, Rauz, S, Ganley, IG, Curtis, TM, Wallace, GR & Hombrebueno, JR 2024, 'Relaxation of mitochondrial hyperfusion in the diabetic retina via N6-furfuryladenosine confers neuroprotection regardless of glycaemic status', Nature Communications, vol. 15, no. 1, 1124.

Quinlan, JI, Dhaliwal, A, Williams, FR, Allen, SL, Choudhary, S, Rowlands, A, Breen, L, Lavery, GG, Lord, JM, Elsharkawy, AM, Armstrong, MJ & Greig, CA 2023, 'Impaired lower limb muscle mass, quality and function in end stage liver disease: A cross‐sectional study', Experimental Physiology, vol. 108, no. 8, 1066-1079.

Syed, U, Subramanian, A, Wraith, D, Lord, J, McGee, K, Gokhale, K, Nirantharakumar, K & Haroon, S 2023, 'Incidence of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases following COVID-19: a matched cohort study in UK primary care', BMC Medicine, vol. 21, no. 1, 363.

West, CE, Karim, M, Falaguera, MJ, Speidel, L, Green, CJ, Logie, L, Schwartzentruber, J, Ochoa, D, Lord, JM, Ferguson, MAJ, Bountra, C, Wilkinson, GF, Vaughan, B, Leach, AR, Dunham, I & Marsden, BD 2023, 'Integrative GWAS and co-localisation analysis suggests novel genes associated with age-related multimorbidity', Scientific Data, vol. 10, no. 1, 655.

STRESS-L Collaborators 2023, 'Landiolol and Organ Failure in Patients With Septic Shock: The STRESS-L Randomized Clinical Trial', JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 330, no. 17, pp. 1641-1652.

Freidin, MB, Cheetham, N, Duncan, EL, Steves, CJ, Doores, KJ, Malim, MH, Rossi, N, Lord, JM, Franks, PW, Borsini, A, Granville Smith, I, Falchi, M, Pariante, C & Williams, FMK 2023, 'Long-COVID fatigue is not predicted by pre-pandemic plasma IL-6 levels in mild COVID-19', Inflammation Research, vol. 72, no. 5, pp. 947-953.


PHOSP-COVID Collaborative Group 2023 'Cohort Profile: Post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study (PHOSP-COVID)' medRxiv.

Review article

Ma, Y, Barnes, SP, Chen, Y-Y, Moiemen, N, Lord, J & Veiga Sardeli, A 2024, 'Influence of scar age, laser type and laser treatment intervals on paediatric burn scars: A systematic review and meta-analysis', Burns & Trauma, vol. 12, tkad046.

Aiyegbusi, OL, McMullan, C, Hughes, SE, Turner, GM, Subramanian, A, Hotham, R, Davies, EH, Frost, C, Alder, Y, Agyen, L, Buckland, L, Camaradou, J, Chong, A, Jeyes, F, Kumar, S, Matthews, KL, Moore, P, Ormerod, J, Price, G, Saint-Cricq, M, Stanton, D, Walker, A, Haroon, S, Denniston, AK, Calvert, MJ, Brown, K, Singh Chandan, J, Gkoutos, GV, Jackson, LJ, Lord, JM, Marshall, T, Marwaha, S, Myles, P, Nirantharakumar, K, Rivera, SC, Sapey, E, Simms-Williams, N, Williams, T & Wraith, DC 2023, 'Considerations for patient and public involvement and engagement in health research', Nature Medicine, vol. 29, no. 8, pp. 1922-1929.

Doody, P, Lord, JM, Greig, CA & Whittaker, AC 2023, 'Frailty: Pathophysiology, Theoretical and Operational Definition(s), Impact, Prevalence, Management and Prevention, in an Increasingly Economically Developed and Ageing World', Gerontology, vol. 69, no. 8, pp. 927-945.

Ma, Y, Barnes, SP, Chen, Y-Y, Moiemen, NS, Lord, JM & Sardeli, AV 2023, 'Influence of scar age, laser type and laser treatment intervals on adult burn scars: A systematic review and meta-analysis', PLoS ONE, vol. 18, no. 9, e0292097.

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