Jonathan Friedland works to develop and enhance the university strategy of pursuing excellent and ambitious research, both responding to major and emerging healthcare challenges and delivering significant societal impact. In addition, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor helps foster a culture of enterprise and innovation involving diverse partners, including St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Professor Jon Friedland is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) at St George’s, University of London having been Hammersmith Campus Director and Head of Infectious Diseases and Immunity at Imperial College London.
His major research interests are in development of host mediated therapies targeting innate immune responses in tuberculosis and in migrant health. He has published over 245 peer reviewed papers, invited editorials and reviews, and edited 3 books.
Jon Friedland was awarded the Royal College of Physicians Weber-Parkes Prize Medal for research in tuberculosis in 2005. He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2008. He was elected President of the British Infection Society (2007-09). He was made Fellow of the Royal College of Physician of Ireland (FRCPI) in 2010.
In 2017, he was awarded an inaugural Fellowship of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and in 2020, was elected to serve on the Society Executive Committee where he is Scientific Affairs Officer.
In 2022, Jon Friedland was appointed as a non-executive member of the Board of the UK Health Security Agency where he chairs the UK HSA Science & Research Committee and serves on the UK HSA People & Culture Committee. In 2022, he stepped down as Vice-Chair on the Commission for Human Medicines (appointed Commissioner 2014) and Chair of the MHRA Expert Advisory Group on Infection. He was also Chair of the Commission of Human Medicines Expert Working Group on Covid-19 Therapeutics throughout the pandemic (2020 - 23).
He has previously served on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (2005-13) where he was Chair of the Pneumococcal Vaccine Subgroup. He was also a member of The Chief Medical Officers National Expert Panel on New and Emerging Infections (2007-12). He has served on many grants committees including for the Medical Research Council (UK) and The Wellcome Trust.
Jon Friedland's research interests are currently in 2 major areas:
1) The innate inflammatory immune response to tuberculosis (TB). There is a particular focus on the enzymes (matrix metalloproteinases) driving tissue destruction in pulmonary and central nervous system tuberculosis. This research was initiated over twenty years ago and current areas of particular focus are:
- developing host-directed therapies for TB
- the influence of patho-physiological changes (such as acidosis and hypoxia) on innate immune responses in TB
- the role of platelets in innate immune, inflammatory responses in TB
- interactions between metabolism and immunity
- prevention of long-term fibrosis in tuberculosis
- how parasitic infection modulates innate immunity in TB
2) Migration and infection. My current interests in migrant health are:
- active and latent tuberculosis in migrants
- barriers to health care for migrants
- neglected tropical diseases in migrants
- the physical determinants of mental health of migrants
Other areas of research interest in recent times include the immunopathology of neurocysticercosis and novel diagnostics for TB (particularly the MODS assay).
My research has always been the results of excellent teamwork involving many talented individuals. The team has continually evolved over the years and has included many outstanding postdocs, Clinical Research Fellows at all levels and PhD students.
I am also indebted to multiple collaborators and friends too numerous to list (some of whom were once members of the group); they now work across 5 continents. There are particularly long-standing collaborations with Professor RH Gilman, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA and at Universidad Cayetano Heredia Peruana in Lima, Peru.
Current members of the Research Team are in alphabetical order:
- Dr Debs Chong, Lecturer in Infection & Immunity
- Ramla Cusman, MRC PhD Student
- Sally Hayward, MRC PhD student.
- Dr Danni Kirwan, TACRI Fellow and former MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow
- Julia Kutschenreuter, PhD student
- Dr Cristina Loader, Infection SpR and former MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow
- Dr Keira Skowlimowska, Wellcome Trust Clinical Tropical Training Fellow