We are grateful to these senior experts in their fields who contribute their time to DEBRA UK so that our funds can be most wisely spent on only the best research projects.

DEBRA UK Scientific Grants Advisory Panel members are required to adhere to the panel’s Terms of Reference and Conflict of Interest policy.

The research advisory panel is chaired by Prof Edel O’Toole and consists of experts in various fields relevant to the symptoms of EB who will consider applications, reviews and applicant responses/improvements in making their recommendations to DEBRA UK.

Prof Edel O’Toole, MB, PhD, FRCP, is Professor of Molecular Dermatology/honorary consultant dermatologist and co-director of the Wellcome-funded HARP clinical PhD programme at Queen Mary University of London. She was Centre Lead of the Centre for Cell Biology and Cutaneous Research from 2015 to 2022.
Dr Marieke Bolling, MD, PhD, is a dermatologist specialising in EB and other inherited skin diseases and is the medical coordinator for the multidisciplinary EB team at the Centre for Blistering Diseases at the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG), Netherlands.

Dr Fiona Browne is a dermatologist specialising in paediatric care. She leads the National Epidermolysis Bullosa service at Children’s Health Ireland and runs the National EB Patient Registry and EB tissue biobank in collaboration with the Charles Institute of Dermatology, University College Dublin.

Dr Kevin Hamill, is a senior lecturer in eye and vision sciences at the University of Liverpool, UK with a research focus on laminin proteins in wound repair and squamous cell carcinoma.

Prof Dr Dimitra Kiritsi, MB, PhD, is Professor of Dermatology, working both as a consultant dermatologist and research group leader. She has specialized in EB and other skin fragility disorders and was the Lead of the Fragile Skin Clinical Trial Unit of the Department of Dermatology, Medical Center-University of Freiburg.

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Dr Patricia Martin is a Principal Investigator within the School of Health and Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). Her specific area of research is the role of connexins in chronic non-healing wounds, psoriasis and other skin disorders. She is manager of the GCU skin research tissue bank that can provide human skin biopsies of specified dermatological conditions for use in research. 

Dr Anna Martinez, MBBS, MRCP, FRCPCH, is clinical lead of paediatric dermatology at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH), honorary senior lecturer at the Institute of Child Health, University College London and leads the nationally commissioned service for EB, an ultraspecialist multidisciplinary team, at GOSH, UK.
Prof Neil Rajan, MD, PhD, is a senior lecturer and honorary consultant dermatologist at Newcastle University International Centre for Life, UK, where his focus is on bringing genetic technology into clinical dermatology within the NHS, using genetics for diagnostics, new treatments and understanding of rare skin diseases.

Prof Tom van Agtmael, PhD, is Professor of Matrix Biology and Disease at the School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health, University of Glasgow, UK. His research investigates how mutations in collagen proteins cause disease with the aim of developing highly effective treatments.

With thanks to our former panel members:


Prof Val Brunton, PhD, is 2023 Chair of Cancer Therapeutics at Edinburgh University, UK, and principal investigator into regulation of cancer growth and metastasis.