Dr Richard Webb

Job Title:            Head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences
Room No:          D2.01g
Telephone No:  + 44 (0) 29 2020 5559
Email Address:  rwebb@cardiffmet.ac.uk




I am active in the design, development, delivery and evaluation of several taught programmes, both solely within the Biomedical Science subject area (MSc Biomedical Sciences, BSc Biomedical Science, BSc Healthcare Science, HNC Biomedical Science, HND Biomedical Science), and also on an interdisciplinary basis (BSc Sports Biomedicine and Nutrition, BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics, BSc Public Health Nutrition, BSc Food Science and Technology). Specifically, I contribute teaching in the areas of Cell Biology, Molecular Biology (including Bioinformatics and Biomolecular techniques) and Biochemistry (including Medical Biochemistry), provide pastoral care/personal tutorship to personal tutees, and act as Teaching Advisor/Mentor for staff studying part-time on Cardiff Met ‘PGCE-THE’ programme. I have held a PGCE qualification since 2005, and am currently a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


My PhD and post-doctoral research involved investigation of intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) homeostasis/signaling mechanisms, particularly functional characterisation of the SERCA family of Ca2+ pump enzymes (Cardiff University 1990-1995; Southampton University, 1996-1999; St George's Hospital Medical School, London, 1999-2001; Bath University, 2001-2003).

Since my arrival in Cardiff Met in 2003, I have integrated my expertise into the 'Diabetes and Metabolic Health' group's research into the inflammatory aspects of diabetes and its cardiovascular complications. My Cardiff Met-based research activities have resulted in numerous publications (see 'publications' section), 7 PhD completions, 2 current externally-funded PhD projects (funded by the Welsh Government/NISCHR and the EU, respectively) and one pending PhD grant application (submitted Sept 2014, in collaboration with Dr N Singh, Swansea University). These research activities may be grouped into 2 main categories:

i)  Investigations of therapeutic interventions/dietary regimes, with specific focus on [Ca2+]i and/or lipid-related signaling events relevant to diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease (ie. continuation of themes pursued earlier in my career).

This has involved investigation of modulations in [Ca2+]i and their involvement in inducing cytotoxicity subsequent to cellular exposure to many materials, including clinical agents such as pharmaceutical products and nanoparticles, and also excess levels of lipids (as seen in obesity),

ii)  Translational Research/Consultancy applying my expertise/experience in cell signalling research to the investigation of cell signalling events triggered by participation in exercise.

This has involved participation in collaboration/consultancy activities with regard to carrying out evaluation of exercise programmes - both in-house within Cardiff Met, and those provided by several community-based/industrial/commercial partners:

  • Valleys Regional Park Ltd (2010-ongoing; contact: Dr David Llewellyn),
  • Wales National Exercise Referral Scheme (2011-ongoing; contact: Mrs Jeannie Wyatt-Williams);
  • Public Health Wales Ltd (2013-ongoing; contact: Dr Malcolm Ward).
  • Sport Wales Ltd (2011-ongoing; contact: Mr B. Davies).

Given that the prevalence of inactivity-related disease is particularly high (and rising) in South Wales, and that the consequences of sedentary lifestyles include socio-economic deprivation, these research activities aim to provide an evidence base cataloguing the benefits accruing from participation in exercise (and hence justifying increased provision of community-based exercise programmes in South Wales).


Peer-Reviewed Publications:
1.  Davies, N.A., Watkeys, L., Butcher, L., Potter, S., Hughes, M.G.1, Moir, H.2, Morris, K., Thomas, A.W. and Webb, R. “The Roles of Oxidative Stress, Oxidised Lipoproteins and AMPK in Exercise-Associated PPAR Signalling within Human Monocytic Cells” Free Radical Research (in press).
2.  Cullen, T. Thomas, A.W. Webb, R. Hughes, M.G. “The relationship between interleukin-6 in saliva, venous and capillary plasma, at rest and in response to exercise” Cytokine (in press).
3.  Thompson JES, Webb R, Hewlett P, Llewellyn D, McDonnell BJ. “Matrix metalloproteinase-9 and augmentation index are reduced with an 8-week green-exercise walking programme” J Hypertension (2013) 2 (4): p. 127-33.
4.  Thomas AW, Davies NA, Moir H, Watkeys L, Ruffino JS, Isa SA, Butcher LR, Hughes MG, Morris K, Webb R. “Exercise-associated generation of PPARγ ligands activates PPARγ signalling events and upregulates genes related to lipid metabolism.” J Appl Physiol. 2012 Mar; 112(5):806-15.
5.  Isa SA, Ruffino JS, Ahluwalia M, Thomas AW, Morris K, Webb R. “M2 macrophages exhibit higher sensitivity to oxLDL-induced lipotoxicity than other monocyte/macrophage subtypes.” Lipids Health Dis. 2011 Dec 6;10(1):229.
6.  Caddy, J., Isa, S., Mainwaring, LS., Adam, E., Roberts, AW., Lang, D., Morris, KR., Thomas, AW., Webb, R. (2010) “Rosiglitazone induces the unfolded protein response, but has no significant effect on cell viability, in monocytic and vascular smooth muscle cells” Biochem Biophys Res Comm 400: p. 689-695.
7.  Yakeu, G. Butcher, L. Isa, S. Webb, R. Roberts, A. Thomas, AW, Backx, K., James, P,E Morris, K. (2010) “Low-intensity exercise triggers monocyte polarisation into the M2 anti-inflammatory phenotype” Atherosclerosis 212: 668–673.
8.  Moir, H., Hughes, M.G., Potter, S., Sims, C., Butcher, L.R., Davies, N.A.,Verheggen, K, Jones, K.P., Thomas, A.W., and Webb, R. (2010) “Exercise-induced Immuno-suppression: The Roles of Reactive Oxygen Species and AMPK Dephosphorylation within Immune Cells” J Applied Physiol 108 (5):1284-92.
9.  Isa, S.A., Mainwaring, L.S., Webb. R. and Thomas, A.W. (2009): “The Non-Genomic Effects of High Doses of Rosiglitazone on Cell Growth and Apoptosis in Cultured Monocytic Cells” Bayero Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences 2(2): pp.1-8.
10. Butcher, L., Backx, K., Roberts, A., Thomas, A., Webb, R., and Morris, K. (2008): “Low-intensity exercise exerts beneficial effects on plasma lipids via PPAR” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 40 (7), pp. 1–7.
11. Atkin, L. and Webb, R. (2008): “Rosiglitazone-Induced SERCA2b Inhibition: Implications for Monocyte Cytoskeletal Remodeling and Diabetic Microangiopathy” Bioscience Horizons 1, pp.1-8.
12. Caddy, J., Singh, N., Atkin, L., Ahluwalia, M., Roberts, A.W., Lang, D., Thomas, A.W. and Webb, R. (2008): "Rosiglitazone Transiently Disturbs Calcium Homeostasis in Monocytic Cells" Biochemical Biophysical Research Communications 366, p.149-155.
13. Moir, H., Butcher, L., Jones, K.P., Hughes, M.G., Neale, H., Jia, H., Al-Ismaily, Z., and Webb, R. (2008): "AMPK Inactivation in Mononuclear Cells: A Potential Intracellular Mechanism For Exercise-Induced Immunosuppression." Applied Physiol Nut Metab 33, p. 75-85
14. Singh, N., Webb, R., Adams, R., Evans, S-A., Al-Mosawi, A., Evans, M., Roberts, A.W., Thomas, A.W. (2005) – “The PPAR activator, Rosiglitazone, inhibits actin polymerisation in monocytes: involvement of Akt and intracellular Ca2+” Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 33, p.455-462.
15. Eckstein-Ludwig, U., Webb, R.J., Van Goethem, I.D.A., East, J.M., Lee, A.G., Kimura, M., O’Neill, P.M., Bray, P.G., Ward, S.A. & Krishna, S. (2003) - “Artemisinins target the SERCA of Plasmodium falciparum” Nature 424, pp. 957 – 961.
16. Krishna, S. Woodrow, C.J., Webb, R., Penny, J., Takeyasu, K., Kimura, M. & East, J.M. (2001) – “Expression and Functional Characterization of a Plasmodium falciparum Ca2+-ATPase (PfATP4) Belonging to a Subclass Unique to Apicomplexan Organisms” J. Biol. Chem. 276, pp. 10782-7.
17. Webb, R., Khan, Y.M., East, J.M. & Lee, A.G. (2000) – “The Importance of Carboxyl Groups on the Lumenal Side of the Membrane for the Function of the Ca2+-ATPase of Sarcoplasmic Reticulum” J. Biol. Chem. 275, pp. 977-82.
18. Webb RJ, Lee AG, Sharma RP, East JM. (1998) “Transmembrane alpha-helices in phospholipid bilayers” Biochem Soc Trans. 26(3):S309.
19. Webb, R., East, J.M., Sharma, R.P. & Lee, A.G. (1998) – “Hydrophobic Mismatch and Incorporation of Peptides into Lipid Bilayers: a Mechanism for Retention in the Golgi?” Biochem 37, pp. 673-9.
20. Webb, R. & Dormer, R.L. (1995) – “Photoaffinity Labelling of the ATP-binding Sites of 2 Ca2+,Mg-ATPase Isoforms in Pancreatic Endoplasmic Reticulum” Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1233, pp.1-5.
21. Dormer, R.l., Capurro, D.E., Morris, M.R. & Webb, R.J. (1993) – “Demonstration of 2 Isoforms of the SERCA2b-type Ca2+,Mg-ATPase in Pancreatic Endoplasmic Reticulum” Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1152, pp. 225-30.

Invited Review Publications:
1.  Krishna, S., Eckstein-Ludwig, U., Joet, T., Uhlemann, A-C., Morin, C. Webb, R., Woodrow, C.J., Kun, J.F.J. & Kremsner, P.G. (2002) – “Transport Processes in Plasmodium falciparum-infected Erythrocytes: Potential as New Drug Targets.” Int. J. Parasitol. 32, pp.1567-73.
2.  Krishna, S., Woodrow, C.J. & Webb, R. (2002) – “Transport Proteins of Plasmodium falciparum: the Start and Finish of Metabolism” Int. J. Parasitol. 31, pp. 1331-42.

Conference Proceedings (last 3 years only):
Richard Webb, Steve Potter, Steve Evans1, Shareen H. Doak1, Neenu Singh1 “Fe2O3-USPION nanoparticles induce only transient effects on monocyte [Ca2+]I homeostasis, and these do not appear to be sufficient to impact upon actin cytoskeletal integrity” Poster presented at Biochemistry Society “Calcium Signalling: the next generation” Conference (Charles Darwin House, London, October 2014).
Webb, R., Thompson, J.E.S., Hewlett, P., Llewellyn, D., McDonnell, B.J.  “The Effect of an 8-week Green-Exercise Programme on Markers of Cardiovascular Risk”. Poster presented at The Welsh Environment as a National Health Resource national conference (Snowdonia National Park Conference centre, April 2014).
Thompson, J.E.S., Webb, R., Hewlett, P., Llewellyn, D., McDonnell, B.J.  “The Effect of an 8-week Moderate-Intensity, Green-Exercise Intervention on MMP-9 and Vascular Haemodynamics”. Seminar presented at 23rd European Meeting on Hypertension and Cardiovascular Protection; European Society of Hypertension (Milan, June 2013).
Thompson, J.E.S., Webb, R., Llewellyn, D., Hewlett, P., McDonnell, B.J.  “The Effect of an 8-week Green Exercise Programme on Markers of Mental and Vascular Health”.  Poster presented at 18th Annual Meeting of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS) (Barcelona, June 2013).
CULLEN, T., THOMAS, A., WEBB, R., HUGHES, M. “CYTOKINE RELEASE FOLLOWING CONTINUOUS AND INTERVAL EXERCISE OF CONTRASTING VOLUME” Poster presented at 18th Annual Meeting of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS) (Barcelona, June 2013).
CULLEN, T., CORBETT, L., PHILLIPS, T., THOMAS, A.W., WEBB, R., HUGHES, M.G. “PLASMA AND SALIVARY INTERLEUKIN-6 RESPONSES TO EXERCISE ARE NOT CORRELATED”. Poster presented at 18th Annual Meeting of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS) (Barcelona, June 2013).
J.S. Ruffino*, R. Webb, N.A. Davies, K. Morris, A.W. Thomas. “Participation in a Low Intensity Exercise Programme Promotes M2 Polarisation and Improves Insulin Sensitivity”. 5th International Congress on Prediabetes/Metabolic Syndrome, Vienna, Austria, April 18-20, 2013.
Thompson, J.E.S., McDonnell, B.J., Hewlett, P., Webb, R.  “Translating Exercise-Derived Health Benefits from the Laboratory into the Community”.  Seminar presented at 8th Annual Symposium of Health Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA) Europe, The World Health Organisation (Cardiff, September 2012). 
Richard Webb, Suleiman Isa, Keith Morris, Andrew Thomas. “Oxidised LDL-mediated disruption of ER membrane properties and differential sensitivity to lipotoxicity in diverse monocyte/macrophage sub-types: a novel mechanism to underpin the link between obesity and chronic inflammation?” Annual Biochem Soc Symposium - Recent advances in membrane biochemistry 5—7 January 2011 Robinson College, Cambridge, UK.
A. Thomas, A., Yakeu, G., Jones, P., Webb, R., Morris, K.  “Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) enhances markers of M2 Polarisation in human monocytic cells” J. Diabetes 3 (s1): p. 27. Seminar presented at 4th International ‘Pre-Diabetes’ Congress, Madrid, 2011.
Davies, N., Watkeys, L., Thompson, J., Morris, K., Thomas, AW., Webb, R. (2011) “PPARγ activation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells due to transient increases in reactive oxygen species during exercise: a molecular rationale for prescribing exercise to patients?” J. Diabetes 3 (s1): p. 248. Poster presented at 4th International ‘Pre-Diabetes’ Congress, Madrid.
Webb, R., Isa, S., Morris, K., Thomas, AW. (2011) “Enhanced sensitivity to oxidised LDL-mediated lipotoxicity in M2-polarised macrophages: a novel mechanism to underpin the link between obesity and chronic inflammation” J. Diabetes 3 (s1): p. 234. Poster presented at 4th International ‘Pre-Diabetes’ Congress, Madrid.                      

External links

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2007 - ongoing).
Member of British Society of Cell Biology (2010 – ongoing).
Member of Welsh Cardiovascular Interdisciplinary Research Group (2004–ongoing).
Member of Welsh Diabetes Research Network (2004-ongoing).
Member of Valleys Regional Park ‘Health and Wellbeing’ Working Group (2010-present)
Member of South-East Wales Applied Health Science Partnership (SEWAHSP; 2012-present)