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About me

I studied for a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Auckland, New Zealand before completing a Master of Science (Experimental Medicine) at Université Laval, Canada. My doctorate was done here at the University of Westminster where I worked on human and applied physiology, examining myostatin regulation during acute hypoxic insult. 

I teach physiology across undergraduate and graduate programmes, as well as maintaining an active research programme into muscle atrophy, frailty and aging. I  lead the Translational Physiology Research Group, who's remit is translation of in vitro into the human in vivo to better understand human function. I  currently supervise Ms Yvoni Kyriakidou's and Ms Isabella Cooper's doctoral studies. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, full member and society representative with the Physiological Society, and a member of the Society for Endocrinology, the Society on Sarcopenia, Caxhexia and Wasting Disorders, and the British Society for Research on Ageing. 

I also engage in wider scientific communication where possible, writting for print media, providing commentary on news stories, and appearing in documentaries for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. 

Teaching

My primary teaching role is in physiology. I lead the School of Life Sciences largest module (level 4 Human Physiology), as well as contributing to physiology modules across all levels of the undergraduate and post-graduate curriculum. Besides this core area, I contribute to both medical ethics and science communication. I also supervise student research at the graduate and post-graduate level, with my students working in areas that are closely aligned with my research interests (ageing, endocrinology and the regulation of muscle mass). 

Research

My research can be described as translational physiology and examines the effect of atrophic stimuli upon muscle size both in vitro and in vivo, with particular focus on the regulation of cell size and the role of the activin family of hormones in this process. In vitro, I use the C2C12 mouse myoblast line, perturbed with atrophic or hypertrophic stimuli, before examining changes in cell size by microscopy and alterations in cellular signalling pathways by Western blot. In vivo healthy humans are exposed to stimuli such as disuse, feeding, hypoxia or resistance training, with blood and muscle tissue collected for analysis. By understanding the basic science of how muscle is gained and lost when homeostasis is challenged, I aim to uncover the mechanisms underlying atrophy of muscle during disease and aging, and ultimately prevent them.

Publications

For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.