Ms Claire Martin BSc, MRes

Ms Claire Martin

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
PhD student

Contact details

Claire is a PhD student in Dr Rowan Hardy’s group as part of the Wellcome Trust’s Mechanisms of Inflammatory Disease programme.

Her PhD thesis title is 'Investigating the role of myeloid steroid metabolism in chronic inflammation'.


  • MRes Mechanisms of Inflammatory Disease, University of Birmingham, 2018
  • BSc (Hons) Immunology, University of Glasgow, 2016


Claire completed a BSc in Immunology at the University of Glasgow and worked briefly as a research assistant before moving to Birmingham for the Mechanisms of Inflammatory Disease MRes/PhD programme. She finished the MRes in 2018 and is currently working in Rowan Hardy’s group for her PhD.


Glucocorticoids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs effective in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, their clinical use is limited due to profound systemic side effects, including muscle wasting, osteoporosis and heart disease. To deliver their clinical effects, glucocorticoids depend on the enzyme 11β-HSD1 which locally activates them within target tissues and mediates both the positive anti-inflammatory actions and negative systemic side effects of glucocorticoids.

Claire’s PhD research aims to understand the role of steroid metabolism in macrophages, key immune cells in the initiation, maintenance and resolution of inflammation. She is currently studying the importance of 11β-HSD1 in macrophage inflammatory polarisation and function, and in paracrine signalling with stromal cells such as fibroblasts, with the aim to target glucocorticoids more effectively.


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 and 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.