Education and Professional Standing
- PhD Medical Sciences, McMaster University, 1987
- MSc Medical Sciences, McMaster University, 1984
Dr. Richards is one of 14 faculty within the McMaster Immunology Research Centre, housed within state of the art research facilities at the MDCL at McMaster. Richards’ laboratory is investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms of chronic inflammation, with applications to joint disease (Rheumatoid Arthritis), lung disease (asthma and pulmonary fibrosis) and cardiovascular disease (atherosclerosis). Many studies are integrated with other faculty directions within the McMaster Immunology Research Centre and drive projects that focus on certain cytokines (hormone-like molecules), their cell-receptor complexes, and function in tissues/cells relevant for each of these inflammatory conditions. A number of local, national and international collaborations are geared to specific aspects of these projects.
The lab explores cytokine and receptor regulation, cell signal/gene regulation pathways, mesenchymal precursor cell differentiation and regulation of inflammation in vivo, particularly in response to the gp130 class of cytokines. Certain members of this class are emerging as potentially important targets of new/novel therapy for inflammatory conditions. Links with clinical faculty (at the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health) integrate analysis of patients with lung disorders. Adenovirus vector systems are used to over-express cytokines in animal models/tissues in vivo, and to examine inflammation in gene-targetted mutant mice, with the goal of developing effective new approaches to treat conditions in joint, lung and cardiovascular inflammatory diseases.
Dr. Richards’ research is currently funded by CIHR, and he has held CIHR and Arthritis Society Research grants for several years.
He has served within national peer-reviewed granting agencies and in administrative positions within McMaster University. Richards has completed terms for CIHR operating grant panels (Scientific Officer), as a grant panel member for Heart and Stroke Foundation and for The Arthritic Society. He is a member of the Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN), the Canadian Obesity Network (CON), the Spondyloarthritis Research Consortium of Canada (SPARCC) and the International Cytokine Society.
Richards has also served two terms (2001-2009) as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (Health Sciences) at McMaster, and developed the MD/PhD program as well as the BioMedical Engineering graduate programs with colleagues. He continues to instruct in under-graduate and graduate courses in immunology. Dr. Richards is a member of McMaster Senate (2010-2016) and is the current chair of the Senate Committee on Appointments (2013-15).
Visit Dr Richard's McMaster Immunology Research Centre (MIRC) web profile for more information