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 in healthy humans, as a model of chronic disorders. During the course of my doctorate I have also had the chance to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching & Learning, and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
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 am currently supervising Ms Yvoni Kyriakidou's doctoral studies.
I also engage in wider scientific communication where possible, appearing on documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and in print media. In 2016 I provided technical assistance in the production of the Royal Institution's Christmas Lecture
My primary teaching role is in physiology. I lead the Faculty's 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 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 (aging, hypoxia and the regulation of muscle size).
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 myostatin signalling 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, 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.
I also have a secondary research focus on the integration of modern digital tools (tablets, wearables and smartphones) into physiology teaching and research.
For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.