John Young


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Personal profile

Academic Biography

My research aims to improve the lives of patients living with chronic conditions; and, by extension, the lives of their carers and reduce the demand on overstretched healthcare providers. Our activities have three strands:

  1. Diagnosis. Early detection of acute and chronic pathologies, and acute adverse events - which is accurate, inexpensive and accessible - to be used by healthcare providers, patients and carers, regardless of setting.
  2. Therapeutics. Elucidate targets for effective treatment, very early in disease development. Informed by biomarker-based diagnosis of early disease.
  3. Education. Change behaviours, remove barriers to patients seeking help and achieve patient-centred care.

The primary focus for these efforts has been in urological pathologies, due to the high prevalence of conditions and associated impact - to patients, carers and the NHS.


Past projects

Discovery projects:

  • Novel therapeutic targets for overactive bladder.
  • A cheap, non-invasive alternative to bladder biopsies, using cells naturally shed from the bladder’s lining into urine, from where they can be separated and analysed.
  • Chemicals within urine that are specific to early stage overactive bladder.

Implementation projects:

  • Early warning alert for Acute Kidney Injury based on a biomarker ‘signature’ and associated algorithm. Implemented in hospitals across the South of England.
  • Biomarkers for heat acclimation. Implemented to prevent heat-related illness and fatalities.

Clinical validation projects: multiple contract research projects with large pharmaceutical companies to evaluate new drugs for urological pathologies.


Current projects

  • Developing a diagnostic test for overactive bladder for the point-of-care setting (GP, pharmacies, care homes) and for use by patients/carers.
  • eLearning: addressing the skills’ gap in continence care within care homes by providing an eLearning package. Related to this are other projects to address barriers to patient care: (1) Commissioned by Health Education England to produce an eLearning package, mandated for all NHS England staff, around continence care in patients with frailty; (2) long-term collaboration with a continence product manufacturer to provide patient-centred information on their websites; (3) aiming to reach individuals with limited access to computers, designed a leaflet with similar aims as previous. Currently coordinating additional dissemination.  
  • Evaluating wearable devices for the non-invasive monitoring of biomarkers.
  • The novel approach we developed for the discovery of biomarkers for overactive bladder is being used in collaborations to discover biomarkers for other pathologies inc. Alzheimer’s and non-freezing cold injury.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jul 2004

External positions

Visiting Professor, University of Portsmouth

10 Jun 2021 → …


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