Photobiology Unit

The Photobiology Unit was established in 1973 to meet the clinical needs of patients with suspected or confirmed photosensitivity in Scotland.  The National Photodiagnostic Service is accessed by consultant dermatologists from all Health Boards in Scotland and is the only such service available in Scotland. 

The aim of the Unit is to offer a comprehensive diagnostic, therapeutic and management service for Scottish patients with photosensitivity.  Two hundred and forty five patients are assessed through the service each year.  We are also the support centre for the Xeroderma Pigmentosum Service based in London. 

The Unit additionally provides the National Cutaneous Porphyria Service, offering laboratory investigations and advice for patents with this group of diseases.  In addition, we offer an extensive range of phototherapeutic options and the Managed Clinical Network for Phototherapy in Scotland (Photonet) was developed here.  The Unit comprises a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, scientists, nurses, technologists, post doctoral researchers, PhD and MSc students.

Extensive research, teaching and training programmes are also in place.  We have a regular stream of visiting national and international professionals and an important function of the Unit is education and training. This is offered at undergraduate level, where we play a key role in undergraduate teaching and curriculum development, with emphasis on innovative teaching methods.  We additionally have a major role in post graduate teaching, including offering a biennial Photodermatology course and  regular formal training attachments for the Edinburgh dermatology trainees. 

Our research programme is all directly related to optimising patient care, with major overlap between clinical activity, physics and biology.  As such we have several activities within the Unit providing added value.

The people who work in the Photobiology Unit

Professor Sally Ibbotson
Professor of Photodermatology/Honorary Consultant Dermatologist
Clinical Director of Scottish Photodynamic Therapy Centre
Contact details:; Tel: 01382 383272

Dr Robert Dawe
Consultant Dermatologist/Honorary Reader in Dermatology
Lead Clinician for Phototherapy (Photonet) & Porphyria Services
Contact details:; Tel: 01382 660111 ext. 33501

Dr Ewan Eadie, PhD
Clinical Scientist
Head of Scientific Services for Photobiology and Optical Radiation
Contact details:; Tel: 01382 740074 ext. 32726

Dr Vicky McGuire, PhD
Principal Scientist
Scottish Cutaneous Porphyria Service & Photobiology Laboratory
Contact details:; Tel: 01382 740074 ext.34409

Mrs. Lynn Fullerton
Senior Technologist
Contact details:; Tel: 01382 632267

Mrs. Susan Yule
Photodiagnostics Specialist Nurse
Contact details: Tel: 01382 496422

Mrs. Sally Reddy
Charge Nurse
Phototherapy Treatment Area
Contact details:; Tel: 01382 632679

plus the medical, nursing, technical and scientific members of the team