Profile of Dr Simon Pitchford
Dr Simon Pitchford is a Reader in Immunopharmacology within the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science at King’s College London (KCL). Simon obtained his PhD at KCL and was then awarded a European Respiratory Society Research Fellowship to undertake post-doctoral studies at the University of Perugia, Italy. Simon then extended his post-doctoral studies at Imperial College London in 2005 before returning to KCL in 2010. Simon is interested in understanding the character and functions of platelets during host defence and inflammatory diseases. These actions of platelets are dissociated from their well-characterized involvement in haemostasis and thrombosis, and suggest a dichotomy in platelet activation and function exists that is dependent on the nature of the insult to the body. Simon’s research contributions have revealed that platelet activation is often critical for inflammation to progress. Simon is currently exploiting knowledge of these platelet activation pathways to assess how these might lead to the development of new therapies either to ‘boost’ host defence to combat infection, or conversely to ‘dampen’ inflammation in the case of inflammatory disorders such as asthma, and COPD. This might offer numerous opportunities for future drug intervention that are currently lacking with established anti-platelet drugs that have been developed for inhibiting platelet aggregation.