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University of East Anglia
UOA 13 - Pharmacy
RA5a: Research environment and esteem
The development of Pharmacy as a new research discipline within the University of East Anglia (UEA) commenced in 2003 via the establishment of the School of Chemical Sciences and Pharmacy, a joint venture built upon the existing School of Chemical Sciences (Grade 5 in RAE 2001). The motivation for establishing Pharmacy was primarily to complement the existing scientific strengths of UEA, particularly in the biomedical and clinical areas which are key features of the university and associated members of the Norwich Research Park (NRP). More specifically, it was envisaged that strong collaboration would be forthcoming with, for example, the School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice (MED) and the School of Biological Sciences (BIO), as well as with the two internationally recognised BBSRC-funded centres within the NRP, the Institute of Food Research (IFR) and the John Innes Centre (JIC). Similarly, the establishment of Pharmacy within a joint school was intended to provide an environment whereby both Pharmacy (PHA) and Chemistry (CHE) would flourish individually but with full advantage being taken of the considerable complementarity between the two areas, both scientifically and in terms of shared facilities. To date the university has invested over £3m in PHA including initial staffing costs, space and infrastructure support and postgraduate studentships. We believe that we have, in a short period of time, established a thriving research environment. We currently have 19 faculty (all returned here), we have a well defined research strategy and management structure, current grant holdings (as PI) stand at over £4.8m, publications include papers in Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci. (IF 9.6), Blood (IF 10.4), Anal.Chem. (IF 5.7), J.Amer.Med.Assoc. (IF 23.2) and Angew.Chem.Int.Ed. (IF 10.2). Our staff have been responsible for the introduction of new instruments (nanothermal analysis, photothermal microspectroscopy) and for influencing national policy on medical care for the elderly, while staff achievements include the GlaxoSmithKline International Achievement Award (2007) and the award as PI of a Wellcome Trust Programme Grant for £1.03m. All of the above has been achieved in parallel with the establishment of a highly regarded MPharm degree course.
2. Research Structure
2a. Research strategy and culture
The underpinning strategy for the development of PHA has been to recognise the following:
- The team should develop a limited number of groups in which to pursue focussed excellence.
- The team should embrace the concept of studying the science underpinning the development of medicines as well as the applications of that science.
- Pharmacy is now a truly multidisciplinary subject in every area; group composition should therefore reflect this.
- A key recognised strength of UEA is the existing collaborative culture; PHA should make every effort to integrate fully into that culture.
- PHA has a unique opportunity to establish a strong internal culture of expectation from the outset regarding grant and publication achievement.
2b. Research groups
There are four groups within PHA; the Drug Delivery and Materials Characterisation Group, the Pharmaceutical Cell Biology Group, the Medicinal Chemistry Group and the Pharmacy Practice Group.
The Drug Delivery and Materials Characterisation Group currently consists of two chairs (Craig, Reading), one senior lecturer (Barker), two lecturers (Qi and Georget) and an RCUK Research Fellow (Round). The key strength of the group lies in the development of novel physical and spectroscopic characterisation techniques for drugs and dosage forms. Craig and Reading have collaborated for over 15 years. Craig joined UEA from Queen's University Belfast in 2003, with interests involving the development of novel approaches for the physico-chemical characterisation of drugs and dosage forms in relation to their performance. His group pioneered the application of modulated temperature DSC (MTDSC) and micro/nano-thermal analysis as novel pharmaceutical tools, particularly involving the study of wholly or partially amorphous systems. Reading joined UEA in 2004 and was previously head of the Advanced Thermal Methods Unit in the Institute of Polymer Technology and Materials Engineering at Loughborough University. He is the inventor of MTDSC and, with collaborators at Lancaster University, microthermal (and very recently nanothermal) analysis, all of which have been commercialised. Along with coworkers he has developed a new form of IR microscopy (photothermal microspectroscopy (PTMS)) that is capable of performing FTIR mapping down to a nanoscale. Barker joined UEA from Queen’s University Belfast in 2003, having a background in both academia and industry. She works firstly on developing spectroscopic techniques including thermally stimulated current spectroscopy, dielectric analysis and muon spectroscopy (with Jayasooriya (CHE)). She is also working with Sanderson to study drug delivery to the eye. Round joined UEA in 2007 as an RCUK Academic Fellow. His previous role was as Core Project postdoctoral researcher for the Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration in Nanotechnology in the Physics Department at the University of Bristol. His work is focussed on developing new tools in single molecule scanning probe microscopy; his current work involves exploiting the properties of polyrotaxane complexes in order to form a sliding contact between molecule and transducer, a technique that is finding applications in the fields of single molecule thermodynamics, epitope mapping and polymer sequencing. Georget was appointed in 2007, having a background in food material science. His interests lie in finding novel pharmaceutical applications for food biopolymers, with particular emphasis on using vibrational spectroscopy to fundamentally understand structural properties in relation to performance. He is extensively collaborating with Barker and Belton (CHE) on the novel use of cereals storage proteins as excipients in dosage forms. Qi was appointed in 2007; her interests lie in solid state characterisation with particular interest in the development of novel lipid delivery systems. As well as working with PHA colleagues she is collaborating with Belton (CHE) on the use of variable temperature FTIR and with Wilde (IFR) on the development of liquid crystalline nanoparticles.
The activities of the Pharmaceutical Cell Biology group are augmented by strong links to the 5 rated School of Biological Sciences (BIO). The key strength of the group lies in the study of disease aetiology at the cellular level from the complementary viewpoints of receptor biology, gene expression and signalling pharmacology. The group currently consists of two chairs (MacEwan, Evans), one senior lecturer (O’Connell) and two lecturers (Mueller, Sanderson). MacEwan came to UEA in 2005 from the University of Aberdeen. His interests are in receptor signalling mechanisms, particularly that of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and its pleiotropic actions in inflammation and disease. He is responsible for the discovery of the human leukaemia cell life/death ‘switching’ phenomenon, the novel role of the anti-oxidant response element in apoptosis-resistance in leukaemia cells and the creation of ‘in cell’ kinase reporter constructs. Evans arrived at UEA in 2007 from St. Andrews, having previously held a Research Fellowship at Oxford. In addition to pioneering work on the role of nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) and cyclic adenosine diphosphate-ribose (cADPR) as novel calcium mobilising messengers in smooth muscle, he discovered that AMP-activated protein kinase is a primary metabolic sensor and effector in oxygen-sensing organs, coupling cell metabolism to cell-specific calcium signalling mechanisms, a fundamental advance in our understanding of how oxygen supply to the body is regulated. O’Connell joined UEA in 2006 from the MRC Human Nutrition Research Centre in Cambridge, where she was senior research scientist and deputy head of the Micronutrient Status Research Section. Previously having worked at Trinity College Dublin and the Scripps Research Institute in California, she moved to the UK to pursue interests in the regulation by nutraceuticals of inflammatory cell mechanisms in models of sepsis and vascular diseases, including a European Union-based study of the genomic basis behind susceptibility to sepsis. Mueller joined UEA in 2004 with an interest in receptor pharmacology, particularly chemokine receptor activation and regulation. She previously gained experience in the groups of Williams (Imperial College) and Strange (Reading). Her interests combine receptor pharmacology with cell biology, particularly in the regulation of cell surface expression of chemokine receptors. Her work was the first to show that the chemokine receptors can use two different signalling pathways to internalise into cells. Sanderson joined PHA in early 2004 from BIO (UEA) where she held a Royal National Institute for the Blind fellowship in the Norwich Eye Research Group. Her research has focussed on lens physiology and the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cataract formation. Her development of a (notoriously difficult) human lens organ culture model has been of major significance in this field.
The Medicinal Chemistry group currently consists of one reader (Searcey) and three lecturers (Hamilton, Matthews, Wagner). The key strengths of the group lie in the interfacing of synthetic chemistry with direct consideration of the interaction with biological systems at the cellular and isolated protein target level. Searcey joined the group in Sept 2006 from the School of Pharmacy, London; prior to this, he was assistant professor at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California. His research is focussed on the development of therapeutic agents with antitumour activity derived from natural products or synthetic entities. He has recently disclosed the novel mechanism of action of the antitumour antibiotic (azinomycin epoxide), completed the first solid phase synthesis of the bisintercalator TANDEM, described the first synthesis of the chlorofusin peptide and discovered two novel small molecule binding motifs for nucleic acids. Matthews joined UEA in April 2003 from a lectureship at Trinity College, Dublin, having held a Royal Society Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Prague and post-doctoral appointments at the Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Mainz, Germany and the University of Oxford. Her research interests focus on the potential of functionalised macrocycles in drug and gene delivery and as biological tools. Wagner joined UEA in 2004 following postdoctoral studies at the University of Bath (under Professor Potter) on the role of cyclic and linear dinucleotides in calcium signalling, which led to the discovery of the first membrane-permeant cADPR agonist. Wagner's research is concerned with the design, synthesis and biological evaluation of non-natural analogues and mimics of nucleotides and sugar-nucleotides as biological tools and drug candidates. Hamilton was appointed in 2007 from a lectureship in the School of Chemistry, Queen’s University Belfast. His research is focussed on the application of chemical and biosynthetic tools to study microbial pathogens, with particular emphasis on mycothiol biosynthetic pathways. The group have developed novel approaches to study these pathways and have bioengineered mycobacteria to enhance whole cell synthesis of mycothiol.
The Pharmacy Practice group consists of two senior lecturers (Wright, Sach) and two lecturers (Wood, Bhattacharya); one further lecturer (pharmacist) will be in place by early 2008. The strategy and key strength is to bring together expertise in pharmacy practice, medicines management, formulation science, medical statistics and health economics to create a centre of excellence with a particular focus on care for the older person. The group is led from Pharmacy but works in close collaboration with colleagues in MED which includes the Health Economics group. The group is led by Wright, a pharmacist who joined UEA in 2003 from the University of Bradford. His primary research interest is in the care of the older person and in particular the use of medicines in dysphagia. His research into medicines administration practices in care homes received national attention and resulted in his chairing the development of national guidelines for the pharmaceutical care of patients with swallowing difficulties. Research is also ongoing (with Craig) to develop formulations to aid the administration of medicines to patients with dysphagia and the pair have recently (10/07) secured £170k from the National Institute of Health Research for studying medicines administration via enteral feeding tubes. Sach joined UEA in 2007 and is a health economist with experience of designing, conducting and analysing economic evaluations and has a particular interest in the use of contingent valuation methodology and the differences between multi-attribute utility measures. Examples of studies include a DOH NEAT programme into new genetic diagnostic technologies for consanguineous families at risk of recessive genetic disease, an HTA funded study evaluating the use of water softeners on childhood eczema and a DOH grant studying the potential of the family history in risk assessment and primary prevention of coronary heart disease in primary care. Wood is a statistician/mathematician who joined UEA from Novartis in 2005, primarily to provide statistical support within the Practice group but also to collaborate with other PHA staff, particularly Reading and Craig. He is the co-inventor of 'Predictive Array Design', a patented method for library design in combinatorial chemistry. Bhattacharya is a pharmacist who rejoined UEA in 2007 having worked in the Norwich PCT for the previous year. Her expertise lies in adherence research with particular emphasis on the older patient.
2c. Research infrastructure
Laboratory space and facilities
The Pharmacy laboratories are largely located within the School and all staff offices are in close proximity, irrespective of laboratory arrangements. The group has 9 research laboratories, 4 reading rooms and a pharmacy practice suite as well as space in the Biomedical Research Centre (BMRC, outlined below) and BIO where Sanderson has laboratories. A further large laboratory has been allocated to PHA and the space available continues to rise as the group expands, assisted by the availability of laboratories freed as a result of building of the BMRC. PHA received £880,000 in SRIF funding in 2006/7 to upgrade laboratory space and a donation of £30,000 for the establishment of a pharmacy practice suite.
The Drug Delivery and Materials Characterisation Group has four laboratories; these include an AFM (atomic force microscopy) suite which houses our 8 atomic force microscopes, a thermal analysis laboratory which houses our 5 MTDSCs, thermogravimetric analysis, hot stage microscopy and high sensitivity DSC, general equipment laboratories which house thermally-stimulated current spectroscopy, dielectric analysis, oscillatory rheology, dynamic vapour sorption, laser particle size analysis and texture analysis and one manufacturing laboratory.
The Pharmaceutical Cell Biology Group have two laboratories in the School building that contain sterile culture facilities. Crucially, they have a share of the space in the BMRC along with BIO and MED, a circa £20m state-of-the-art research facility which incorporates tissue culture, FACS suite and class 3 tissue handling facilities, as well as brand-new transgenic animal facilities. Our staff also have access to the Henry Wellcome Laboratory for Cell Imaging situated in BIO, and the protein and nucleotide sequencing facilities at the JIC Genome Laboratory and Proteomics service.
The Medicinal Chemistry Group have three SRIF-refurbished laboratories containing 14 new fume hoods; group members also utilise the two adjacent cell biology labs.
The Pharmacy Practice Group have a purpose-built suite of offices comprising workspace for researchers, a room for Teacher Practitioners and a meeting room.
It should be emphasised that in addition to the above we also have access to the facilities built up by Chemistry. This includes 270 and 400MHz NMRs for routine work, 500, 600 and a recently acquired 800 MHz NMR for research purposes, Shimadzu Kratos Analytical LC-MS and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry facilities and an Oxford Instruments Excalibur Diffractometer for small molecule crystallography. There are also SEM and XRD facilities available within the Faculty of Science.
Management, staff development and governance
UEA has recently (2004) moved to a Faculty structure in order to promote inter-school cooperation and to manage resources with increased efficiency, hence the school is now part of the Faculty of Science. The four groups have a leader who acts as an advisor to less experienced staff and as a focal point to represent the views of the group. All faculty members are expected to submit research plans and achievements to the group leader for discussion at the Pharmacy Research Committee on a four monthly basis. In parallel to this, there is a joint chemistry/pharmacy Research Committee which meets approximately monthly to discuss research opportunities and strategy, allocation of postgraduate studentships and allocation of resources. The School has a joint Promotions Committee that is charged with not only decisions regarding promotions but also monitoring of performance and provision of assistance for staff where appropriate. The School has a team of 16 technicians who assist in both teaching and research activities. On a Faculty basis two research officers are provided who take responsibility for financial management of research staff, alerting staff to funding opportunities and assistance in resource determination for grant applications.
All new staff undergo an induction process and have a mentor to assist the successful implementation of research, teaching and administrative objectives. It has been the practice to offer new staff a postgraduate or postdoctoral researcher. Staff are entitled to apply for a sabbatical every six semesters and two have already taken this up to work in international laboratories; we see sabbaticals as being a vital aspect of the group research culture.
There is also extensive support for commercialisation of research, both within the Research and Business Services department within UEA and the "Bioincubator" in the IFR which provides space and support for small science-based businesses across the NRP. There is also a local organisation (ICENI seedcorn fund) which supports patentable ideas to commercialisation. All staff have a range of internal, national and international collaborations (see submitted papers for examples).
There has been a turnover of three FTE staff members since the joint School opened; one is still contributing to the teaching and two are actively collaborating with UEA staff.
The university adheres to a Code of Practice that covers best research practice and research governance and has transparent procedures to deal with complaints or potential breaches of the Code. The school of pharmacy is represented by Wright and Sach on the local NHS research governance group. All research in the practice area is passed through this governance committee or other requisite bodies for peer review purposes and this is in addition to review by one of the NHS ethical committees. The UEA Health Schools ethics committee monitor non-patient oriented research and the Norwich Local Research Ethics Committee deal with patient studies.
2d Impact of research on user groups and knowledge transfer
Over and above direct scientific impact of outputs, the following give some limited examples of end user interactions. Reading is Chief Technical Officer of the company he founded, Anasys Instruments, that markets the technique of micro- and nano-thermal analysis; systems are now established in well over 100 laboratories world wide. The company has been awarded $2M by the Advanced Technology Initiative programme in the USA (2007) to develop photothermal microspectroscopy mapping and a commercial instrument will be available in 2009. Craig and Reading have been awarded the GlaxoSmithKline International Achievement award based on the past and potential influence of their work on the pharmaceutical industry. Craig currently holds over £1.1m in grants from the pharmaceutical industry and is a member of the Unilever Oral Health Care Expert Panel which has direct input into company policy. MacEwan has created the Norfolk leukaemia patient sample tissue bank to assist in top quality research into the causes and potential treatment of all types of leukaemias and lymphomas. Sanderson was consultant to a recent BBC popular science programme (Dr Alice Roberts: Don’t Die Young) concerning eye disease. Searcey’s research on the duocarmycins and prodrug analogues has led to the filing of three patents. Hamilton’s high throughput trypanothione reductase assay (Biochem. J. 2003) has recently been adopted by groups in Dundee and Australia to screen compound libraries (totalling 230,000) in the search for novel anti-trypanosomal agents. Wright chaired the group responsible for the national guidelines for medicines administration in dysphagia which received very high national media coverage and has resulted in him being asked to be a keynote speaker at a national patient conference. His project comparing pharmacy education models internationally received national coverage, was presented to the RPSGB education committee and resulted in him leading a day conference in London with representatives from both government and the NHS. Sach’s work on the economic aspects of paediatric cochlear implantation is informing the related NICE technology appraisal currently underway.
3. Staffing strategy
The first FTE appointments (Barker, Craig, Matthews, Wright) were all pharmacists and thus able to make a broad input into the teaching needs; these individuals also cover pharmaceutics and practice, the two areas most difficult to recruit in within pharmacy. At the same time we received considerable help from colleagues in CHE and BIO in delivering essential components of the course, thereby giving us the freedom to make suitable research-led appointments without undue pressure to meet teaching commitments. On this basis we were able to make appointments on a highly selective basis (all Chair appointment panels chaired by VC, all others chaired by Dean of Faculty). We have used the close relationship with other Schools to appoint individuals with expertise (e.g. health economics, cell biology) who would otherwise not normally be attracted to a more stand-alone pharmacy school due to the lack of access to colleagues with similar expertise. Similarly, we have deliberately attempted to keep a strong basic science or practice element in each of our groups, exemplified by the strong steer towards analytical chemistry in the drug delivery group and the presence of health economics in the practice group.
4. Research income and postgraduate students
4a Research income
The research income of PHA shows a clear upward trajectory since 2003 and current (11/07) grant holdings as PI stand at £4.86m. However the achievements of the group become more apparent when one considers the following:
- The number of PHA staff has been increasing on a continuous basis; the number of faculty staff between 2003 to 2007 was (by academic year end) 6, 9, 11, 13 and 19.
- PHA was founded from a standing start in 2003, hence spend figures must be considered in terms of there being very little pre-2003 funds and there also being limited time for long-term grants to accumulate spend.
- The PHA staff have developed an undergraduate course de novo that resulted in top status in the 2007 National Student Survey; this is mentioned not as an extenuating circumstance but because the approach to the completion of writing the new course has resulted in a sharp upturn in grant income which we fully believe will continue.
- PHA contains a high proportion of early career researchers (6 could be classified in this manner) and hence it is unlikely for them to achieve significant income in their first year, although there is a clear expectation (which has been realised) for grant income to commence subsequent to that.
Given the above it is helpful to consider grant income per year. Grant awards within UEA in the corresponding calendar years (2003-2007) were £468k, £424k, £488k, £1.53m, £1.30m (note RA4 figures refer to spend not awards). Sources of funding include research councils (28%), charities (30%), industry (33%), overseas (4%), other sources (4%). The income figures rise further when one considers grants on which PHA staff are PI but not all the money is being routed through UEA; for example Evans is PI on a further £1.2m which is being routed through Dundee and Leeds Universities. If one then includes non-UEA grants for which the PHA staff are not PI but are co-applicants or consultants then the figure rises again by a further £5.6m.
We are constantly responding successfully to national and international initiatives; these include the Royal Society call for developing collaborations with China (Craig), the EPSRC call for high throughput proposals (Reading, Craig and Belton (CHE)), Research for Patient Benefit NHS Scheme (Wright, Wood, Sach, Bhattacharya; under consideration) and many others.
In addition to the above, we have developed a teaching collaboration with the University of Bergen Norway which has provided income which in turn feeds directly and indirectly into our research activities. This contract was worth £477,050 in 2006/7 and a new 5 year contract for £1.4m is in the final stages of negotiation.
4b Research students and staff
Given the specific circumstances of the new School, we believe it is useful to present the total research student numbers to give a supplementary view of the numbers of students and staff. From 2003 to 2007 we have had 7, 7, 15, 22 and 22 postgraduate students registered (total headcount of research MSc and PhD, including those writing up), of which 7, 7, 15, 20 and 20 have been at PhD level; the slight tail off reflects the end of UEA-funded pump-priming studentships which is compensated for by an increase in externally funded studentships as the group income develops. We also have 15 postdoctoral researchers as of 11/07. The source of funding for postgraduates varies from UEA support including competitive scholarships such as NRP awards (38%), research councils (17%), partial or complete industrial sponsorship (20%), charities (7%), other sources (6%), self-funding (11%). We have a current EPSRC DTA of £88,500 and anticipate this will increase as the number of EPSRC-oriented staff increases. We will also be using funds from the teaching contract from Bergen University, an existing and a planned new MSc course to support studentships, particularly for new staff and for novel collaborations or research initiatives. All PhD students have thus far graduated within four years of commencing their studies.
5. Research strategy
Our intention is to grow to circa 25 academic staff but also to become thoroughly embedded into much larger structures and groupings within the University. In this manner we will remain well focussed and financially highly stable without having to increase our undergraduate numbers (100/year), while by collaborating with colleagues we will also have the advantages of critical mass and scientific flexibility that come with greater size. This embedding will occur in two guises. Firstly, as a result of the Follett Review of the Governance of BBSRC Institutes, UEA will enter into a closer association with the JIC and IFR that will substantially strengthen strategic planning across the Norwich Research Park. UEA has committed an initial investment of >£3m to support the establishment of a number of internationally leading joint research ventures. This will open major opportunities for PHA to interact via, for example, the nascent Centre for Delivery of Bioactive Materials and the recently established Centre for Preventative Medicine (outlined below). Secondly, the development of the Faculty structure since 2003 has encouraged groupings to form that are based on scientific interests rather than school affiliation. Taken together, we are seeing the growth of focussed centres throughout the NRP in which PHA will either be central or will play a highly active role. These include the recently established Centre for Preventative Medicine, an initiative that crosses between the Faculties of Medicine and Science, the JIC and the IFR and involves a combination of basic bioscience, nutrition, clinical and compliance studies, all of which hold possibilities for PHA. Similarly, the Centre for the Delivery of Bioactive Molecules primarily consists of colleagues from PHA and CHE and members of the Structuring Food for Health Programme, Imaging Partnership and Gut Model Exploitation platform at the IFR. The Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Cell Biology groups will form the therapeutic focus for the Centre for Molecular and Structural Biochemistry; this involves colleagues from across the Norwich Research Park (CHE, BIO, IFR, JIC) with interests in molecular recognition in biological systems. The Centre for Medicines Management is already becoming established and consists of colleagues from PHA and MED and will involve a wide range of health services research techniques including systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials (e.g. HOMER and HeartMed), before and after evaluations (NorMed) and qualitative research. We also intend to set up an MSc in Clinical Pharmacology as well as continuing our relationship with Bergen University; both of these will provide funds for postgraduate studentships.
6. Esteem indicators (limited highlights only)
- Awarded the 2003 Controlled Release Society Young Investigator Award (2003).
- Science chairman of the British Pharmaceutical Conference (2005), 30 invited lectures since 2001.
- Co-editor of J.Pharm.Pharmacol. (2000-2004), co-editor of Thermochim.Acta (2000-2003), editorial board member of Thermochim.Acta (2003-), Int.J.Pharm. (2000-), J.Pharm.Sci. (2001-).
- Awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship (1996-2000) and a Non-Clinical Lectureship (2000-2002).
- Group received the Heymans-De Castro-Neil Medal at the XVIth conference of the International Society for Arterial Chemoreception in Sendai-Zao, Japan.
- Numerous invited lectures including the Novartis Foundation symposium on “Signalling pathways in acute oxygen-sensing” (2005) and American Physiology Society symposium on “Novel partners and mechanisms in oxygen-sensing” at the Experimental Biology Conference in San Francisco (2006).
- Co-editor of Brit.J.Pharmacol. and an Editorial Advisor for Biochem.J. and Biochem.Pharmacol..
- Keynote lecture at a National Signal Transduction Symposium (Glasgow, 2006), Special Guest Lecture at conference of the Royal Academy of Medicine (Dublin, 2005).
- Since 2001 has written five invited reviews for journals including Brit.J.Pharmacol., Cellular Signalling and Cell Cycle.
- Fellow of the North American Thermal Analysis Society (2007); awarded only to those considered to have made a very significant and lasting contribution to thermal analysis.
- Awarded GlaxoSmithKline International Achievement Award (2007) with Craig.
- Invention of nanothermal analysis (2006) led to R&D100 award (US awards for innovation).
- Fellow of the RSC, committee member of the Society for Medicines Research, Royal Society of Chemistry Nucleic Acids Group and Royal Society of Chemistry Grants Committee.
- Member of Editorial Advisory Board of Medicinal Chemistry and Anti Cancer Agents Medicinal Chemistry.
- Member of Faculty of 1000 Biology.
- Invited lectures include Australasian Pharmaceutical Scientists Association Conference, Sydney (2003) and the British Crystallographic Association Industrial Group meeting, London (2003).
- Won AAPS "Meritorious Work" Award in 2002 (PDD meeting, Arlington); ocular work won best poster awards at the BPC in 2006 and 2007 and has been featured in the national press (Daily Express).
- Expert panel member for the ‘Education in genetics for health professionals’ project, organised by the Department of Health/ Wellcome Trust.
- Expert panel member of the Hohenheim Consensus (organised by WHO/Wellcome/DoH) defining policy on micronutrient deficiencies.
- Awarded the 2007 ISSLS Prize in Clinical Science and a Young Investigator award at the Tenth National Osteoporosis Society Conference, 2004.
- Currently a member of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s Public Health Interventions Advisory Committee.
- Awarded a Pharmaceutical Care Award by the RPSGB (2003) and a UKCPA/Pfizer Pharmacoeconomics Award in 2001 for Innovation in Hospital Pharmacy Service Development.
- Chaired the Guidelines Development Committee for Medicines Management of Adults with Swallowing Difficulties, leading to considerable media interest.
RCUK Research fellow:
- Invited presentations include the Building Futures: British Council UK-India Nanotechnology Initiative, Kolkata, India, 2006; UK-Korea Nanotechnology Forum, Seoul, Rep. Korea, 2004; Horizons Seminar, Cambridge, April 2003.
- Organiser and editor of proceedings of annual Scanning Probe Microscopy meeting (Oxfordshire, 2003; proceedings published in Ultramicroscopy).
- Commissioned by DOH to write report on use of compliance aids which was subsequently used to inform NHS Pharmacy Contract.
- Invited by Norwich PCT to design and implement NIMHE funded study examining effectiveness of pharmacist-led epilepsy clinics.
- Won a best poster award at the XXVII European Congress on Molecular Spectroscopy, Krakow, Poland.
- Invited to chair a session at the 8th International Conference of Eco-Materials, Brunel University (2007).
- Invited lectures include RSC Organocatalysis Symposium (Dublin 2006), the Sweden/South Africa Workshop on Chemistry and Biochemistry of Tuberculosis (2006), 32nd South African Association of Botany conference (2006); commissioned to write three review articles for Natural Product Reports since 2003.
- Invited by the Society for Chemistry and Industry (SCI) to design and coordinate a two-day workshop entitled Biology for Chemists (Loughborough 2006; Nottingham 2008).
- 11 invited lectures including XI International Symposium on Inclusion Compounds, Kiev, the 15th European Conference of the Medical Chemistry Group of the Atlantic Arc and the RSC Macrocycles & Supramolecular Chemistry meeting; 3 invited reviews/book chapters.
- Visiting researcher at the Ecole Européenne de Chimie, Polymères et Matériaux de Strasbourg (Sep-Dec 2007).
- Invited lectures at the University of the Saar, Germany and Chemokine Receptor meeting (Spain).
- Invited commentary in the Brit J Pharmacol.
- Invited to give a New Scientists lecture at BPC 2005.
- Won best poster awards at BPC 2005 and 2006.
- Invited seminars include Association for Visual/Eye Research (EVER) symposium in Slovenia, invited review in Experimental Eye Research.
- Association for Research into Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) committee member (2007-; leading international group for vision research).
- Invited presentations include the National Academy of Sciences, Prague (2006) and at the CERC3 meeting on Modern Carbohydrate and Glycoconjugate Chemistry in Dublin, Ireland.
- Invited to contribute reviews to Current Drug Targets, Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry and Medicinal Research Reviews.
- Invited seminar to the Biometrics Society Meeting, Basel (2002).
- Patented method for designing compound libraries was one of the two core technologies of biotech company BioFocus plc.