I initially read for a B.Sc in Genetics at Glasgow University in 1988. 

My first appointment was as a research assistant in the Department of Cancer Studies (now the Birmingham CRUK Institute for Cancer Studies) at Birmingham University, where I had the opportunity to complete my PhD, entitled Esptein Barr virus and Cell Survival. 

I remained at Birmingham on a Wellcome funded post doctoral fellowship until I was appointed as a lecturer at Keele university in 1995. I have supervised or co-supervised 5 PhD students and 1 MPhil student.

Research and scholarship

My main scientific research interest is on the role of viruses in the control of apoptosis and cellular differentiation, although I have side interests in apoptosis in general.  I am a member of ISTM and am currently focusing on the role of proteins encoded by Epstein Barr virus.  My technical expertise lies in molecular and cell biology.  The most successful period of my research career remains my PhD research - 3 of the resulting publications have between them been cited over 2000 times – but there’s still plenty time for me to make that Nobel winning discovery! Since establishing my own independent research programme here at Keele, I have held major grants from the Wellcome Trust and BBSRC and studentships from AICR and LRF, plus 3 Nuffield vacation scholarships.

In the past few years, I have re-focused my research towards pedagogical action research and have developed several projects based around the technological innovations I have made in feedback provision.  My latest pilot project is the production of a student-based blog, aimed at easing the transition between school and university and between levels at university. 

I have recently completed an MA in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and was appointed Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in November 2013.

I am the local ambassador for the Biochemical Society and a member of the American Society for Microbiology and The International EBV Association.


Although my home school is Life Sciences, I also contribute to the teaching on the pharmacy and forensic science course. I am the programme director for Biochemistry.

I am keen to develop the use of new technologies in teaching and feedback and in recent years have explored the use of collaborative wiki pages for group work and pioneered the use of audiovisual feedback using screencasting software.  In 2012 I was awarded Keele’s Teaching Excellence Award. 

Year 1


  • LSC-10030      Case Studies in Medicine
  • LSC-10036      Cells and Organelles
  • LSC-10038      Information and Inheritance (Module Manager)


  • PHA-10014    

Year 2


  •  LSC-20003 Gene and Protein Engineering.

 BMS/Hum Biol/Biol

  • LSC-20050  Human Genetics (Module Manager)

Year 3


  • LSC-30008      Research Project I (Module Manager)
  • LSC-30035      Double Research Project (Module Manager)
  • LSC-30014      Biochemistry research Project (Non-experimental) (Module Manager)
  • LSC-30015      Biology of Disease

Biology/Hum Biol

  • LSC-30007      Dissertation for Biology
  • LSC-30033      Human Biology Dissertation

M.Sc Biomedical Blood Science

  • LSC-40038       Research Methodologies (Module Manager)


School of Life Sciences,
Huxley Building,
Keele University,
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734414