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About me

Having graduated in 1976 from Thames Polytechnic with an upper second class degree in Applied Biology (Cell Biology), I was employed by the MRC Clinical Research Centre in Harrow as a non-clinical scientist in the Dept of Immunochemical Genetics from 1976 until 1983.

I completed my PhD, "Glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of blood group ABO antigens" under the supervision of Prof. W.M.Watkins in 1983 and received the Race and Sanger award of the British Blood Transfusion Society (BBTS) for this work.

I was then funded by the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (1983-1986) as a fellow before returning to the MRC. In 1989 following the closure of the department, I moved to the University of Westminster to lead the new MSc in Medical Molecular Biology. I was a principal lecturer within the Department of Biomedical Sciences for 28 years and had responsibility for my teaching, the organisation and running of the PATS postgraduate tutorial system and my research group. I am a Westfocus Knowledge exchange fellow and a SeIUCCR community champion.

Since retiring in May 2017, I have joined the Centre for Parallel Computing as an Emeritus Fellow.

Teaching

I am a Senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I was, for 28 years,  the Course leader of the MSc Medical Molecular Biology. My main teaching areas were at level 7 (Masters level) where I was leader of the modules Molecular Therapeutics, Molecular Science and Genetics. I also contributed to the bioinformatics and genetics teaching at level 7.

I gave specialist lectures to level 5, 6 and 7 on sexually transmitted diseases, parasitology and blood group antigen biosynthesis. I supervised both BSc and MSc student projects. I have been involved in validation panels within the university and in UAE. I organised the postgraduate tutorial system (PATS) for our level 7 students. These develop the key skills required in the transition from BSc to MSc level. I have authored a textbook "Molecular therapeutics:21st century medicine" (Wiley press).

Research

The focus of the research is microbial and molecular glycobiology, encompassing projects on Trichomonads (protozoa) and anaerobic bacteria.

I am now an Emeritus Fellow in the Centre of Parallel Computing working on a multidisciplinary project that aims to develop modeling and docking tools to enable in silico simulations of molecular processes as a black box technology. The project aims to investigate interactions in vivo, in vitro, on chip and in silico.

I collaborated with Dr. Sharron McEldowney on a project using the computer based tools in the monitoring of environmental pollutants and with Dr. Miriam Dwek on molecular modeling in glycobiology and cancer. I have authored more than 90 papers, organised workshops in proteomics, molecular dynamics and computer modeling. I have been an invited speaker at national and international conferences. I am involved in the SeIUCCR Summer School for PhD students.

I have supervised 19 PhD students to completion and currently supervise 3 PhD students (2 as first supervisor). I have chaired 2 PhD vivas and examined 10 PhD candidates.  I hold membership of the SGM.

Ongoing Projects

  • Development of tools for molecular modelling and docking simulations.
  • Data mining the trichomonad genome and production and characterisation of novel enzymes.
  • The molecular biology and glycobiology of Fusobacteria.
  • Role of anaerobes in diabetic foot ulcers.

Grants

  • JISC project with CPC (2009)
  • BBSRC Workshop (2009)
  • UK NGS Workshop (2009)
  • SGM studentship (2008 and 2010)
  • SGM International development award- research link with Mauritius (2007)

Publications

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