Dr Laurence S Harbige

Dr Laurence S Harbige teaches on Advanced Blood Science, Applied Immunology, Clinical Biochemistry, Advanced Immunology and Integrative Pathology modules.

A portrait of Laurence Harbige

Laurence Harbige

From 1982 to 1991, Dr Laurence S Harbige worked in the Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition Nuffield Laboratories of Comparative Medicine, Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London) on essential fatty acids and related lipids in animal and human biology. At the Nuffield Laboratories, after a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences and postgraduate Medical Biochemistry and Applied Immunology, he began studies on fatty acids in multiple sclerosis and experimental autoimmunity, receiving his PhD from Brunel University.

In 1992 he moved to take up a Research Fellow position in the Department of Immunology, United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, University of London (now King's College London), where he undertook research on autoimmunity and fatty acids and lectured undergraduate medical students. In 1997 he joined the School of Chemical and Life Sciences, University of Greenwich as a Senior Lecturer and was appointed Reader in Nutrition Metabolism and Immunology in 1999. In addition to teaching, with his research group and collaborators he continued work on fatty acids in immune function, inflammation and metabolism including clinical trials in multiple sclerosis and type 2 diabetes.

In 2017 Dr Harbige moved to London Metropolitan University and is currently a visiting lecturer at King’s College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is a Senior Editor for Journal of Inflammation, Guest Editor for Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, peer reviewer for 15 international scientific journals and has over 100 scientific publications and 12 patents. He has acted as an expert adviser and grant reviewer for the MRC South Africa, MRC UK, BBSRC, FSA and UK medical research charities including the Wellcome Trust.

Dr Harbige has served on conference and specialist committees of the British Society for Immunology, Nutrition SocietyInternational Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) and the International Society for Immunonutrition (ISIN). In 2018 he was co-President of the XI ISIN International Conference on Immunonutrition in Health and Disease. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of BiologyHigher Education Academy and the Royal Society of Medicine.

Dr Harbige’s research interests are in fatty acids and related lipids in biology and medicine with a special interest in multiple sclerosis (MS) and type 2 diabetes (DM2). He has also been research active in the immunobiology of probiotic bacteria and intracellular parasites and the role of cytokines in DM2 and MS. He is a staff member of the Lipidomics and Nutrition Research Centre (LNRC), one of the research centres and groups at London Met. Enquiries from students wishing to undertake MSc/PhD training in the above areas of research are welcome.

Dr Harbige teaches on Advanced Blood Science, Applied Immunology, Clinical Biochemistry, Advanced Immunology and Integrative Pathology modules in the Biomedical Sciences BSc (Hons), Bioscience BSc (Hons), Biochemistry BSc (Hons), Biomedical Sciences MSc and Biomedical Studies (Distance Learning) MSc at London Met. Previously he taught on the Biological Sciences BSc (Hons), Human Nutrition BSc (Hons), Biomedical Sciences BSc (Hons) and was module leader for Advanced Human Nutrition, Clinical and Advanced Immunology and Medical Biochemistry at the University of Greenwich. He is a visiting lecturer at the University of Surrey and King’s College London on various BSc/MSc courses and external lecturer on the MSc Clinical Immunology module at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Selected publications

  • Valdes-Ramos R, Guadarrama-Lopez A, Marinez-Carrillo B and Harbige L S (2019) n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in type 2 diabetes mellitus. In: Bioactive Food as Dietary Interventions for Diabetes: Bioactive Foods in Chronic Disease States 2nd Edition (R. R. Watson and V. R. Preedy, Editors), Academic Press, pp 193-209.
  • Harbige L S and Calder P C (2018) Introduction to the XI international conference on immunonutrition. Ann Nutr Metab. 73. 184-226.
  • Gorety Jacobo-Cejudo M, Valdes-Ramos R, Guadarrama-Lopez A and Harbige L S (2017) Effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Nutrients. 9. 573. 1-11.
  • Rai R, Dyer P, Richardson S, Harbige L and Getti G (2017) Apoptotic induction induces Leishmania aethiopica and Leishmania mexicana spreading in terminally differentiated THP-1 cells. Parasitology. 144 (14). 1912-1921.
  • Harbige L S, Pinto E, Allgrove J and Thomas L (2016) Immune response of healthy adults to the ingested probiotic Lactobacillus casei Shirota. Scand J Immunol. 84. 353-364.
  • Guadarrama-Lopez A, Valdes-Ramos R, Harbige L S and Marinez-Carrillo B (2015) Relationship between fatty acid habitual intake and early inflammation biomarkers in individuals with and without type 2 diabetes in Mexico. Endocrine, Metabolic and Immune Disorders 15 (3) 234-241.
  • Oghagbon EK, Jimoh KA, Olaosebikan O and Harbige L (2014) Increased central adiposity may not underlie the marked elevation of IL-6 in diabetes mellitus patients in South-West, Nigeria. West Afr J Med. 33 (2) 130-135.
  • Liu W, Xiang M, Ali H and Harbige L S (2013) Ghrelin as a novel peptide hormone in obesity and weight loss. Proc Nutr Soc. 72. E89.
  • Xiao H, Xiang M, Harbige L S and Ali H (2013) Effect of exercise on visfatin and AMP-activated protein kinase expression in obesity. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 72. E90.
  • Xiang M, Wen Y, Ali H and Harbige L S (2013) Relationship between a single bout of exhaustive exercise and endoplasmic reticulum stress in skeletal muscle. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 72. E88.
  • Wen Y, M Xiang, Harbige L S and Ali H (2013) A single bout of exhaustive exercise in relation to endoplasmic reticulum stress in the liver. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 72. E87.
  • Xiang M, Ai-Hassi OH, Knight SC, Harbige L S (2011) Gene expression of delta-6-desaturase in PBMCs, b7+ and b7- lymphocytes in healthy controls and patients with Crohn’s disease. Proc Nutr Soc. 70. E44.
  • Chaidas M and Harbige L S (2011) Relationship between circulating leptin and TNF-a in obese and non-obese human subjects in the UK. Proc Nutr Soc. 70. E30.
  • Harbige L S, Pinto E, Xiang M, Sharief M K (2011) Circulating plasma pro-inflammatory cytokines, zinc, copper, vitamins A and E in multiple sclerosis patients in remission. Proc Nutr Soc. 70. E36.
  • Xiang M, Pinto E, Rahman M, Leach MJ and Harbige L S (2010) Decreased monocyte chemoattractive protein-1 and relationship with 15-deoxy Δ12,15 prostaglandin J2  in gamma-linolenic acid supplemented healthy subjects. Proc Nutr Soc. 69. E325.
  • O’Connel E, Allgrove J, Pollard L, Xiang M and Harbige L S (2010) A pilot study investigating the effects of Yakult fermented milk drink (L. casei Shirota) on salivary IFN-γ, sIgA, IgA1 and IgA2 in healthy volunteers. Proc Nutr Soc. 69. E267.
  • H Xiao, M Xiang, L S Harbige, H Ai (2010) Relation between visfatin as a novel adipokine and AMP-activated protein kinase in obesity. Proc Nutr Soc. 69. E324.
  • Ellis L, Hillier F, Shucksmith J, Crawley H, Harbige L, Shield J, Wiggins A, Summerbell C (2008) A systematic review of the effect of diet on learning and performance of school aged children of relevance to UK schools. Br J Nutr. 100. 927-936.
  • Pinto E and Harbige L S (2008) Effect of borage (Borage officinalis) oil supplementation on expression of monocyte and T cell adhesion molecules in healthy volunteers. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 67. E63.
  • Xiang M, Pinto E, Rahman MA, Leach M J, Harbige L S (2008) Borage (Borago officinalis) oil supplementation in relation to monocyte chemoattractive protein-1 expression in healthy subjects. Proc Nutr Soc. 67. E44.
  • Xiang X, Harbige L S, Zetterström R (2008) Breast-milk levels of long-chain PUFA in Kazakhstan and Sweden. Proc Nutr Soc. 67. E79.
  • Li B, Xiang M, Harbige L S, Li X, Ai H (2008) Effect of different doses of creatine supplementation on endogenous creatine synthesis. Proc Nutr Soc. 67. E48.
  • Harbige L S, Pinto E, Xiang M, Leach M, M K Sharief (2008) PUFA in the pathogenesis and treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis. Proc Nutr Soc. 67. E21.
  • Harbige L S and Sharief M K (2007) Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the pathogenesis and treatment of multiple sclerosis. Br J Nutr. 98. S46-S53.
  • Xiang M, Harbige L S, Zetterstrom R (2007) Breast milk levels of zinc and ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and growth of healthy Chinese infants. Acta Paediatr. 96. 387-390.
  • Xiang M, Rahman M A, Ai H, Li X, Harbige L S (2006) Diet and gene expression: delta-5 and delta-6 desaturases in healthy Chinese and European subjects. Ann Nutr Metab. 50. 492-498.
  • Xiang M, Harbige L S, Zetterstrom R (2005) Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in Chinese and Swedish mothers: diet, breast milk and infant growth. Acta Paediatr. 94. 1543-1549.
  • Harbige L S and Gershwin M E (2004): Antioxidant Nutrition and Immunity. In: Handbook of Nutrition and Immunity (M. E. Gershwin, C.L. Keen and P. Nestel, Editors), Humana Press, Totowa, New Jersey, pp 187-211.
  • Hollifield R D, Harbige L S, Pham-Dinh D and Sharief M K (2003) Evidence for cytokine dysregulation in multiple sclerosis: peripheral blood mononuclear cell production of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines during relapse and remission. Autoimmunity. 36. (3). 133-141.
  • Harbige L S (2003) Fatty acids, the immune response, and autoimmunity:  a question of n-6 essentiality and the balance between n-6 and n-3. Lipids. 38. 323-341.
  • Harbige L S and Fisher B A C (2001) Dietary fatty acid modulation of mucosally-induced tolerogenic Immune responses. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 60. 4. 449-456.
  • Harbige L S, Layward L, Morris-Downes M M, Dumonde D C, Amor S (2000) The protective effect of omega-6 fatty acids in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in relation to TGF-b1 upregulation and PGE2 production. Clin. Exp. Immunol. 122. 445-452.
  • Ghebremeskel K, Burns L, Costeloe K, Burden T J, Harbige L, Thomas B, Temple E (1999) Plasma vitamin A and E in preterm babies fed on breast milk or formula milk with or without long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Internat. J. Vit. Nutr. Res. 69. (2). 83-91.
  • Harbige L S (1998) Dietary omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in immunity and autoimmune disease. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 57.  555-562.
  • Harbige L S, Layward L, Morris M, Amor S (1997) Protective mechanisms by omega-6 lipids in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis are associated with cytokines and eicosanoids. Trans. Biochem. Soc. 25. 345.
  • Morris M, Dyson H, Baker D, Harbige L S, Fazakerley J K, Amor S (1997) Cellular and cytokine response in the central nervous system following Semliki forest virus infection. J. Neuroimmunol. 74. 185-197.
  • Harbige L S, Layward L, Morris M and Amor S (1997) Cytokine secretion by human T cell clones is differentially regulated by eicosanoids. Trans. Biochem. Soc. 25. 347.
  • Fisher B A C and Harbige L S (1997) Effect of omega-6 fatty acid-rich borage oil feeding on immune function in healthy volunteers. Trans. Biochem. Soc. 25. 343.
  • Harbige L S (1996) Nutrition and immunity with emphasis on infection and autoimmune disease.  Nutr. Health. 10. 285-312.
  • Harbige L S, Yeatman N, Amor S and Crawford M A (1995) Prevention of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in Lewis rats by a novel fungal source of gamma-linolenic acid.  Br. J. Nutr. 74. 701-715.
  • Phylactos A C, Harbige L S, Crawford M A (1994) Essential fatty acids alter the activity of manganese-superoxide dismutase in rat heart. Lipids. 29. 111-115.
  • Phylactos A, Costeloe K, Leaf A, Harbige L S and Crawford M (1994) Polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants in early development possible prevention of oxygen-induced disorders. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 48. 2. 17-23.
  • Ghebremeskel K, Burns L, Harbige L S, Burden T, Costeloe K and Crawford M A (1994) Vitamins A and related essential nutrients in cord blood: relationships with anthropometric measurements at birth.  Early. Hum. Dev. 39. 177-188.
  • Cunnane S, Harbige L S, Crawford M A (1993) The Importance of energy and nutrient supply in human brain evolution. Nutr. Health. 9. 219-235.
  • Harbige L S, Ghebremeskel K, Williams G and Crawford M A (1992) Hepatic fatty acids in wild rockhopper (Eudyptes crestatus) and magellanic (Spheniscus magellanicus) penguins before and after moulting.  Zoological Science. 9. 315-320.
  • Ghebremeskel K, Williams G, Brett R, Burek, R and Harbige L S (1991) Nutrient composition of plants most favoured by black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) in the Wild.  Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 98A. 3/4 529-534.
  • Ghebremeskel K, Harbige L S, Williams G, Crawford M A and Hawkey C (1991) The effect of dietary change on in vitro erythrocyte haemolysis, skin lesions and alopecia in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 100A. 4. 891-896.
  • Murrell T, Harbige L S, Robinson I (1991) A review of the aetiology of multiple sclerosis: An ecological approach. Annals of Human Biology. 18. 2. 95-112.
  • Harbige L S, Ghebremeskel K, Williams G and Summers P (1990) N-3 and N-6 phosphoglyceride fatty acids in relation to hydrogen peroxide induced in vitro erythrocyte haemolysis in captive marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 97B. 1. 167-170.
  • Ghebremeskel K, Williams G, Harbige L S, Spadetta M and Summers P (1990) Plasma vitamin A, E and Hydrogen peroxide-induced in vitro haemolysis in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). Vet. Rec. 126. 429-431.
  • Harbige L S, Jones R, Jenkins R, Fitzgerald G, Forti A and Budowski P (1990) Nutritional management in multiple sclerosis with reference to experimental models.  Upsala. J. Med. Sci, Suppl 48. 189-207.
  • Crawford M A, Doyle W, Drury P, Ghebremeskel K, Harbige L, Leyton J and Williams G (1989) The food chain for N-6 and N-3 fatty acids with special reference to animal products.  In Dietary N-3 and N-6 Fatty Acids Biological Effects and Nutritional Essentiality. (Galli C & Simopoulos A. P, Editors) NATO ASI Series, Plenum Press pp 5-19.
  • Crawford M A and Harbige L S (1988) N-3 fatty acids and the evolution of the brain. Clin. Biol. Res. 282. 335-354.
  • Ghebremeskel K, Williams G, Harbige L, Forti A (1988) Plasma retinol and alpha-tocopherol concentrations in supplemented and unsupplemented multiple sclerosis patients. J Clin. Biochem. Nutr. 5. 81-85.
  • Ghebremeskel K, Williams G, Harbige L S (1988) Serum lipids, cholesterol, alpha-tocopherol and retinol in multiple sclerosis patients before and after hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  J. Clin. Biochem. Nutr. 5. 87-91.
  • Fitzgerald G, Harbige L S, Forti A and Crawford M A (1987) The effect of nutritional counselling on diet and plasma EFA status in multiple sclerosis patients over three years.  Hum. Nutr. Appl. Nutr. 41 (5). 297-310.
  • Harbige L S, Crawford M A, Jones J, Preece A W and Forti A (1986) Dietary intervention studies on the phosphoglyceride fatty acids and electrophoretic mobility of erythrocytes in multiple sclerosis.  Prog. Lipid. Res. 25. 243-248.