Lee Borthwick


Dr. Lee Borthwick

Role: Lecturer In Fibrosis Biology  Email: lee.borthwick@newcastle.ac.uk


I completed my PhD at the University of Sheffield and joined Newcastle University in 2005 working as a Research Associate in the Lung Immunobiology Research Group under the supervision of PIs Prof. Derek Mann and Prof. Andrew Fisher. In 2011 I was awarded a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship and spent 2 years working in the laboratory of Dr Thomas Wynn at the National Institute of Health in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases in Bethesda. Upon returning to Newcastle I was appointed to a University Research Fellowship role and provided dedicated laboratory space and support to conduct my research. I was promoted to a Lecturer in Fibrosis Biology in 2017.

My research primarily focuses on understanding the role of fibroblast plasticity in driving/resolving inflammation and fibrosis in the lung. To achieve this goal my laboratory combines in vivo mouse models with the use of precision cut slices (PCS) prepared from human lung tissue and ex-vivo cultures of human epithelial cells and fibroblasts isolated from unused donor lungs or explanted diseased lungs. The use of human tissue and cells is helping us to develop new robust laboratory models to study fibrosis that are more relevant to human disease. My current collaborators include Abbvie, Genentech and GlaxoSmithKline.


  • PhD Studentship - Identification of novel protein complexes associated with CFTR at the plasma membrane of epithelial cells - University of Sheffield (2002-2005).
  • BSc Cell Biology - Collingwood College, Durham University - 1999-2002.

Awards & Prizes

  • 2011 - Keystone Symposia scholarship to attend the Fibrosis: Translation of Basic Research to Human Disease and Novel Therapeutics in Big Sky, Montana.
  • 2009 - Cystic Fibrosis Trust travel grant to attend the European Cystic Fibrosis Society Basic Science Conference in Tavira, Portugal.
  • 2009 - Runner-up in the Philip K. Caves young investigator award for Best Oral Presentation at the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation, Paris.
  • 2009 - Second Prize at the Institute of Cellular Medicine Research Day, Newcastle University.
  • 2008 - EuroCareCF Travel Grant to attend the EuroCareCF Workshop: "Epithelial Cells from Lung: Production,Cultivation and Characterization” in Lisbon.
  • 2008 - European Respiratory Society young investigator award for Best Oral Presentation at the 6th European Respiratory Society Lung Science Conference, Estoril.
  • 2008 - European Respiratory Society travel bursary to attend the 6th ERS Lung Science Conference in Estoril.
  • 2007 - British Lung Foundation / Allen & Hanburys Travel Fellowship to attend the American Thoracic Society International Conference, San Francisco.
  • 2007 - First prize at the Clinical Sciences Research Day, Newcastle University.
  • 2005 - Second Prize at the Graduate Research Presentation Day, Sheffield University.

Conferences, Talks and Presentations

Major publications