Ian Beales


  • 2.06A Medical School

Personal profile

Key Research Interests

Research Interests

  • Biology of gastrointestinal peptide hormones
  • Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma
  • Regulation of gastrointestinal mucosal inflammation and the relationship to cancer
  • Peptic ulcer disease and Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Signal transduction in the gastrointestinal epithelium
  • Gastrointestinal pharmacology, including the clinical trials of novel agents for inflammatory bowel diseases, anaemia and dyspepsia
  • Aetiology and management of acute and chronic gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Aetiology and treatment of Microscopic colitis
  • Management of anaemia of gastrointestinal origin
  • Management of Clostridium difficile infection
  • Management of systemic diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract

Research Keywords

  • Receptor biology
  • Hormones
  • Therapeutics
  • JAK/STAT pathway
  • Cancer biology
  • Aetiology and prognosis of disease

Postgraduate Research Student Supervision

  • Clinical gastroenterology
  • Signal transduction
  • Therapeutics
  • Education and training
  • Endoscopy
  • Inflammation
  • Cell Biology 

Enterprise and Engagement Activities

  • Medical Advisor to Norfolk and Suffolk Crohns and Colitis group (2009)
  • Member of National Advisory group for Crohn’s and Colitis UK (2009)
  • Member of the Organising Committee for the World Organization for Specialized Studies on Diseases of the Oesophagus (2012)
  • Advisory board member and consultant to several pharmaceutical and research organisations, including AstraZeneca, Proctor and Gamble, Shire, Ferring, Amgen, Pfizer, Almirall (2005)

Teaching Interests

Current teaching activity is encompasses a wide range of under- and post-graduate teaching. This includes undergraduate teaching for the MB BS medical degree, postgraduate teaching for gastroenterology and endoscopy and post-qualification nursing courses.

I teach in all 5 years of the MB BS programme, in lecture, seminar, workshop and ward-based teaching situations. In addition to clinical gastroenterology/medicine, I teach physiology, pharmacology, cell biology and pathology.

I am very involved in teaching gastrointestinal endoscopy nationally and nationally. I chair the JAG quality assurance for endoscopy training working group and I am co-director the Norwich endoscopy training centre. I am member of both the British Society of Gastroenterology Training Committee and the National Endoscopy Training Centres Committee.

I am a member of the National Gastroenterology Specialty Examination Question writing group.

I have designed and provided the Integration and Revision courses for both the 3rd,4th and 5th year MB BS students.

I supervise 3rd, 4th and 5th year student undertaking clinical and laboratory-based research projects.

I examine in the MB BS course in the written papers, OSCEs, SSS presentations, Research Project review committees and Research Project marking.

I teach on the Endoscopy for Nurses, Nutrition for Nurses and Critical Care Nursing courses.

Academic Background

Professional Qualifications and Professional Memberships

  • BSc (Biochemistry) – 1st Class Honours – 1986 
  • MB BS (Distinctions in Medicine, Surgery, Clinical Pharmacology, Pathology) – 1989 
  • MD – 1997 
  • MRCP (UK) – 1992 
  • FRCP – 2007 
  • FHEA – 2001
  • FEBG - 2009
  • MAcadMedEd - 2012
  • Member of the British Society of Gastroenterology, American Physiological Society, British Pharmacological Society

Administrative Posts

  • Deputy Director of MB BS course - Head of MB BS curriculum
  • Module 8 Lead (Digestion and Nutrition)
  • Head of Timetabling for MB BS course
  • Member of MB BS assessment group
  • Member of Year 3 examination board
  • Member of the Curriculum Design and Implementation Committee (CDD) in the MB BS
  • Lead for integrative teaching in MB BS years 3, 4 and 5.
  • Co-director of the Norwich Endoscopy Training Centre
  • Chair of Norfolk and Suffolk Gastroenterology Research Network


After initial clinical training in London, I completed my gastrointestinal clinical and research training in Cambridge and Norwich, with a period as a research fellow at the University of Michigan. I came to the UEA as one of the original core team responsible for the planning and set up of the Medical School. Currently, I combine clinical work as a consultant gastroenterologist with both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research and at UEA I have built up a portfolio of clinical and laboratory studies examining a wide range of topics in gastroenterology. I have a wide interest and involvement in all aspects of undergraduate and postgraduate education. I was awarded the University’s Excellence in Teaching award in 2008 and elected to the Membership of the Academy of Medical Educators in 2012.
I was previously Head of Specialty Training and Training Programme Director for Gastroenterology in East of England (2006-12) and a member of the National Speciality Advisory Committee in Gastroenterology (2008-12).
I am the principle investigator in multiple clinical and commercial trials currently ongoing in the Norfolk and Suffolk area.

Highlighted Publications

Adiponectin stimulates proliferation and cytokine secretion in colonic epithelial cells.
Ogunwobi O and Beales ILP
Regul Pep (2006) 134, 105-13

Glycine-extended gastrin inhibits apoptosis in colon cancer cells via separate activation of Akt and JNK pathways.
Beales ILP and Ogunwobi O 
Mol Cell Endocrinol (2006) 247, 140-9

Leptin stimulates proliferation and inhibits apoptosis in Barrett’s esophageal adenocarcinoma cells by COX-2 dependent, PGE-2 mediated transactivation of the EGF receptor and JNK activation.
Ogunwobi O, Mutungi G and Beales ILP
Endocrinology (2006) 147, 4505-4516

Leptin synergistically enhances the anti-apoptotic and growth-promoting effects of acid in OE33 oesophageal adenocarcinoma cells in culture.
Beales ILP & Ogunwobi OO (2007)
Mol Cell Endocrinol (2007) 274, 60-68
Activation of Akt is increased in the dysplasia-carcinoma sequence in Barrett's oesophagus and contributes to increased proliferation and inhibition of apoptosis: a functional and immunohistochemical study.
Beales ILP, Ogunwobi OO, Cameron E, El-Amin K, Mutungi G, Wilkinson M
BMC Cancer (2007) 7, 97

Cyclo-oxygenase-independent inhibition of apoptosis and stimulation of proliferation by leptin in human colon cancer cells.
Ogunwobi OO and Beales ILP
Dig Dis Sci. (2007) 52,1934-45.

Clinical trial: oral prednisolone metasulfobenzoate (predocol) versus oral prednisolone for active ulcerative colitis.
Rhodes JM, Robinson R, Beales I, Pugh S, Dickinson R, Dronfield M, CJ, Wilkinson P, Wilkinson SP.
Aliment Pharm Therap (2008) 27, 228-40

Globular adiponectin, acting via adiponectin receptor-1, inhibits leptin-stimulated oesophageal adenocarcinoma cell proliferation.
Ogunwobi OO and Beales ILP
Mol Cell Endocrinol (2008) 285, 43-59 

Statins inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis in Barrett’s esophageal adenocarcinoma cells.
Ogunwobi OO and Beales ILP
Am J Gastroenterol (2008) 103, 825-37 
Glycine-extended gastrin stimulates proliferation via JAK2- and Akt-
dependent NF-kappaB activation in Barrett's oesophageal adenocarcinoma cells.
Ogunwobi OO and Beales ILP
Mol Cell Endocrinol (2008) 296, 94-102
Glycine-extended gastrin inhibits apoptosis in Barrett’s oesophageal and adenocarcinoma cells through JAK2/STAT3 activation
J Mol Endocrinol (2009) doi:10.1677/JME-08-0096

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being