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University of Warwick

UOA 14 - Biological Sciences

RA5a: Research environment and esteem

University of Warwick, UOA14, RA5a


Table of Contents


1. Introduction                                                                                                                       2

1.1 Highlights                                                                                                              2

1.2 Context and Overview                                                                                          2


2. Research Fellowships                                                                                                     2


3. Research Income                                                                                                             3


4. Research Infrastructure and Facilities                                                                          4

            4.1 Investment in buildings and equipment                                                                4

            4.2 Investment in core facilities and specialist support                                              4


5. Research Structure, staffing policy and research strategy                                       5

            5.1 Structure                                                                                                               5

                        5.1.1 Research Groups and their main achievements                                  5 Microbiology                                                                           5 Virology                                                                                   6 Ecology and Epidemiology                                                     6 Molecular Cell Biology                                                            7 Structural Biology                                                                   7 Neuroscience                                                                         7 Molecular Physiology                                                             8 Centre for Systems Biology                                                   8

5.1.2 Sustaining a vital research culture                                                        8

5.1.3 Interdisciplinary and collaborative research                                          9 Interdisciplinary research                                                       9 Collaborations within the UK                                                   9 International collaborations                                                     10

5.1.4 Relationships with research users                                                        10 Collaborations with industry and government agencies         10 Spin-outs                                                                                 11 Advice and Knowledge Transfer to research users and

policy-makers                                                                       11 Public communication                                                                        12

5.2 Staffing policy                                                                                                        12

5.2.1 Staff Development and Support                                                            12

5.2.2 Developing new talent                                                                            13

5.2.3 Departure of staff                                                                                   13

5.3 Research Strategy                                                                                                13

5.3.1 Ongoing research with no immediately visible outcomes                     13

5.3.2 Diversity of Research Studentships                                                      13

5.3.3 Forward look: strategic priorities                                                           14


6. Esteem Indicators                                                                                                                        15

1. Introduction

1.1 Highlights

      Creation of the Centre for Systems Biology, building on well-established links with Mathematics.

      Two pioneering EPSRC/BBSRC interdisciplinary doctoral training centres at the ‘Life Science Interface’.

      Significant inputs into public policy in relation to infectious disease, TSEs, security, animal welfare and conservation of biodiversity.

      ~£20m spending on new laboratories, research facilities, major equipment and complete refurbishment of research labs.

      Recruitment of 7 Professors, 13 Early Career Researchers and 9 more senior researchers to establish systems biology and strengthen neuroscience and other research themes.

      World-leading research in the microbiology of bio-geochemical cycles and dynamics of infectious disease transmission.

1.2 Context and Overview

Since 2001 Warwick University has aggressively expanded research in biological and biomedical sciences through the rapid build-up of research in Warwick Medical School (WMS, from 2003), the acquisition of Warwick-HRI (W-HRI, formerly Horticulture Research International: 2004) and the creation of the interdisciplinary Centre for Systems Biology (CSB: 2006).

In this rapidly changing context, the Department has evolved to foster outward links with CSB, WMS, W-HRI as well as the physical sciences and mathematics, exemplified by major contributions to 3 EPSRC/BBSRC Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Centres: Systems Biology, Molecular Organization and Assembly in Cells (MOAC), and Complexity Science. These developments have built on the reputation of Biological Sciences for cutting-edge, inter-disciplinary work. They afford new opportunities to broaden our research particularly in neuroscience, epidemiology and systems biology.

Over the period, our researchers have made internationally leading contributions in fields that reflect our traditional strengths and demonstrate our diversification into new areas. We report high-impact work on: the mechanism of bacterial methane monooxygenases (Dalton); new approaches to protection against viral infection (Dimmock); protein trafficking (Frigerio, Lord, Roberts, Robinson); the role of marine cyanobacteria and other organisms in the principal biogeochemical cycles (Mann, Murrell, Scanlan, Schäfer). In addition, we have made major discoveries in areas developed since RAE2001: the machinery and regulation of mitosis (Arumugam, Millar); gene networks underlying photoperiodism in flowering plants (Carré); epidemiology of major human and veterinary infectious diseases and their control (Courtenay, L. Green, Keeling, Medley, Nokes); the role of ATP as a neurotransmitter (Dale, Frenguelli, Pankratov); developmental origins of the shoulder girdle (Koentges); modelling of gene regulatory networks (Ott, Wild); the role of lipids and membranes in prion conversion (Pinheiro); and the unexpected importance of the selectivity filter in gating of potassium ion channels (Stanfield).

We are reporting 59 members of staff.  We request cross-referrals as follows: 

UoA15:         Bland, Dale, Frenguelli, A. Green, Hodgkin, Moffat, Pankratov, Richardson, Squires, Stanfield, Wall.

UoA16:         L. Green.

UoA18:         Scrivens, Williams.

UoA21:         Keeling.

UoA23:         Ott, Richardson, Wild.

2. Research Fellowships

We have successfully attracted holders of prestigious Fellowships (Bland, Kidney Research UK Fellowship; Fülöp, Keeling, Pinheiro, Scanlan, Royal Society University Research Fellowships; Schäfer NERC Post-doctoral Fellowship 2004-07, Advanced Fellowship 2007-2012; Smith, MRC Career Development Award; Gaze, NERC ‘Discipline-hopping’ Fellowship). Seven of these research fellows have successfully transferred to permanent academic posts of which three (Fülöp, Keeling, Scanlan) have been promoted to Professor.

Our strengths in microbial ecology attracted Purdy to Warwick with his £1m ‘Marie Curie Excellence Grant for Teams’. The University has won two RC-UK Fellowships in Biological Sciences (Ott, Richardson) and has itself invested in long-term Warwick Research Fellowships (Wall). Funding from the Wellcome Trust has facilitated the appointment of VIP Fellows (Bull, White, Williams).

Three colleagues were seconded to long-term externally-funded Fellowships (Robinson, BBSRC Professorial Fellow 2001-06; A.Millar, BBSRC/EPSRC Fellow, 2002-05; Nokes, Wellcome Trust secondment to work at the Trust’s research facility at Kilifi, Kenya 2001-07). 


3. Research Income

We highlight selected grants that are notable either for their magnitude or source. The Department maintains a diverse funding portfolio including Research Councils, government departments, medical charities, the NHS, industry, private donations, and overseas awards notably NIH.




Amount (£k)





Systems Biology Doctoral Training Centre




Doctoral Training Accounts 




Capital funds for Biomedical Research Institute 




SAFE Pre-natal Diagnosis Network programme

NHS Trust



Research Fellowship

Pridgeon family



Endowment for Neuroscience Chair and PhD studentships 




Xenopus stock centre




Programme grants on action of protein toxins




Equipment grant for Cryo-Electron Microscopy Facility




Control of human and avian metapneumoviruses




Bovine TB in restocked herds


J. Millar


Regulation of sister chromatid segregation




Marine phytoplankton genomics




M. bovis: survival and dissemination in the environment.




Marie Curie Team Excellence




Equipment for mass spectrometry of proteins 




The governance of livestock diseases




Epidemiology of bovine TB and the biology of environmental M. bovis

Waters plc



MS instrumentation




RSV transmission in Kenya




Human enteroviruses programme grant




Endemic cattle disease




Post-doctoral and Advanced Fellowships




Systems Biology of S.coelicolor




BOMBBE: Biotechnology of novel methylotrophs 




Biomining research




Interfering virus RNA




Professorial Fellowship




Modelling disease evolution


4. Research Infrastructure and Facilities

4.1 Investment in buildings and equipment  

The Department has expanded and improved its laboratory space. The Biomedical Research Institute (BMRI), funded by the Wolfson Foundation (£2.5m) and local charities (£6m), was completed in 2002. In addition to modern laboratories, the BMRI contains state-of-the-art level 2 and 3 containment facilities. Several teams, including researchers from WMS, are housed within the BMRI to create a critical mass of activity at the biomedical interface.

Strategic use of SRIF funding has allowed extensive refurbishment of existing, and creation of new, laboratories and facilities, to meet the current and future needs of the Department. SRIF1 funding (£3m) provided a new facility for the maintenance and breeding of small mammals and amphibians. Within this facility, two containment level 3 laboratories for rodents provide new capabilities for infectious disease research. SRIF2 funding (£4.2m) allowed complete refurbishment to the highest standards of our oldest laboratory block housing microbiology, molecular cell and structural biology laboratories. SRIF3 funds contributed to the refurbishment of laboratories for new appointments in virology and neuroscience, and development of space in the central campus to accommodate the CSB which acts as an intellectual melting pot for participating biological scientists, modellers, mathematicians and physical scientists.

4.2 Investment in core facilities and specialist support

To provide facilities that support activities in all of the Research Groups, we have established 3 advanced core facilities with equipment funded in part by SRIF2 and SRIF3 plus 6 dedicated support staff:

The Molecular Biology Facility, includes a state-of-the-art central DNA sequencing facility housing two ABI PRISM Genetic Analysers, one of which is available for DNA fragment analysis and genotyping. The facility fully supports the Affymetrix GeneChip system for microarrray and SNP array analyses.  The Facility has recently obtained an Agilent two-colour scanner, which extends the range of arrays that can be used. 

The Proteomics Facility provides a large range of analytical equipment, especially for mass spectrometry with two Q-ToF Ultima machines provided by Waters MS Technologies (£0.8m), two Trio GC-mass spectrometers provided by the ICI Measurement Science Group (£200k), a MALDI MS, a Micromass Quattro II triple quadrupole mass spectrometer and four time-of-flight machines (one located in a containment level 2 laboratory). A DEFRA equipment grant (£919K) led to the development of the Synapt HDMS ion mobility mass spectrometer, the first commercial instrument of its type, located in a containment level 3 laboratory to enable work on prions. The Facility also houses standard 2D gel electrophoresis equipment with associated visualisation equipment, spot cutters for sample preparation etc. This is complemented by a Beckman Coulter ProteomeLab™ PF 2D Protein Fractionation System for analysis of complex protein mixtures, funded through SRIF2. The 2D protein analysis systems are supported by up-to-date software linked to a dedicated bioinformatics computer cluster.

The Imaging Facility comprises equipment for electron microscopy and fluorescent confocal microscopy. The custom-built EM facility, funded by the Wellcome Trust (£1.2m), contains two cryo EMs, and two Jeol field emission gun machines with CCD image capturing systems. These, coupled with X-ray analysis, enable studies of biological molecules at the atomic level and exquisite resolution of sub-cellular structures. The Imaging suite also contains standard scanning and transmission EMs. Two confocal microscopes allow high-resolution subcellular analysis of fluorescently labelled proteins and real time imaging of cellular and subcellular dynamics. 

We continue to sustain the infrastructure and specialist support staff necessary for well-founded biological research: animal house, IT support, workshop, cell culture and containment, fermentation and microbial growth, glass house and plant growth rooms, crystallisation and X-ray diffraction. We have a cadre of long-term high-grade research technicians, mainly funded from external grants but with permanent posts, guaranteeing continuity of technical support. Two dedicated Research Development personnel support identification of funding opportunities and proposal development.

5. Research Structure, staffing policy and research strategy

5.1 Structure

Throughout the period, the Department was organised into 7 Research Groups plus the CSB. To meet new interdisciplinary challenges, the Research Groups have evolved into more flexible Research Interest Groups (see 5.3.3).  These groupings share laboratories, facilities and technical support, and operate a varied seminar programme (a key element for training and mentoring of students and staff). This structure ensures rapid integration of new researchers, and provides the critical mass and support for intellectual endeavour.

5.1.1 Research Groups and their main achievements Microbiology

The Microbiology group study a wide range of microbial processes including metabolism, biochemistry, genetics and ecology. One prominent theme of the group is the role of microbes in planetary bio-geochemical cycles. Murrell has pioneered the technique of stable isotope probing to identify active microorganisms in the environment, and has identified and characterised a range of bacteria that cycle one-carbon compounds. Schäfer's discovery of methyl bromide-utilising bacteria in marine environments is the first evidence for this important ozone-depleting cycle. Purdy's isolation of the first non-extremophile archaeon is a major breakthrough. The group's success is characterised by their integrated approach: a range of functional biochemical and enzymatic studies complement state-of-the-art molecular techniques and unique sequence databases. Murrell and Dalton FRS, for example, have studied in-depth the structure and mechanism of key enzymes that power biogeochemical pathways.

Scanlan and Mann have revolutionised understanding of cyanobacterial ecology. Mann's groundbreaking identification of marine bacteriophages has revealed a massive influence of these viruses among phytoplankton populations, and has made the remarkable discovery that infection involves the expression of virally-encoded photosynthetic genes. The implications for infection mechanisms are fascinating. Scanlan has made significant advances in understanding factors controlling community structure and primary production in the globally important marine picocyanobacteria, and has defined the near minimal gene content for any free-living oxygenic photosynthetic organism. He has also provided new insights into mechanisms of light energy dissipation in cyanobacteria and identified a novel group of marine phytoplankton as a major player in marine CO2 fixation.

Environment and health comprises a further theme. Wellington, Hodgson and Dowson have studied clinically relevant bacteria to characterize bacterial populations within their natural, industrial and clinical environments. Dowson created a global multi-locus sequence typing database for an extensive range of human pathogens, especially those linked to respiratory tract infections in cystic fibrosis patients. His group are world leaders in defining the taxonomy of the Burkholderia cepacia complex and understanding the global epidemiology of these organisms, influencing the thinking and policies of the entire CF microbiology community. Wellington and Gaze have characterised antibiotic resistance among bacterial populations and their work has provided in-depth understanding of how these organisms interact at the population level. Virology

The virology group uses molecular, genetic and epidemiological approaches to understand and exploit key aspects of viral structure, replication and host-pathogen interaction. The recent appointments of Evans and Anderson have strengthened the group to the point where it is now one of the major virology groups in the UK. Notable successes in recent years include Easton's establishment of pneumonia virus of mice as a tractable model system for human respiratory syncytial virus, a significant pathogen of infants. Using a newly-developed reverse genetics system for avian pneumovirus, Easton has identified the first genetic characteristics associated with induction of protection from infection in a vaccine candidate. Dimmock has seen the fruition of 20 years of work in developing a novel prophylactic against influenza virus infections: defective interfering virus. Based on a cloned defective genome segment these offer excellent protection to animals, and are likely to offer powerful protection to humans, against the full range of influenza A-type infections. Working with adenovirus, Leppard has identified the key viral protein, L4/33K, as a splicing factor that controls expression of the major determinants of vector immunogenicity and toxicity. This is now being used to develop a new class of adenovirus gene therapy vectors with reduced toxicity and far broader capabilities. Current adenovirus vectors only infect restricted cell types, but Burgert has developed new Ad subgroup D virus vectors which exhibit broader cell tropism and, most significantly, infect dendritic cells. Evans brings strong bioinformatic tools to the group, and his novel work (with Simmonds) has uncovered a striking conservation of RNA structure, termed genome-scale ordered RNA structure, correlating with persistent infections by these viruses. Evans’ detailed structural analysis of the virus-DAF (decay accelerating factor) complex has also provided striking new insights into the mechanisms of viral cell attachment and entry. Anderson and Easton have described novel aspects of translational regulation with implications for our understanding of cellular processes. Ecology and Epidemiology

Courtenay, Eames, L. Green, Keeling, Medley, Nokes and White have made world-leading contributions to understanding the transmission dynamics of a range of infectious diseases of livestock and humans. The group employs a large and unique breadth of research techniques from theoretical modelling to original field data collection. This combination has been applied to respiratory syncytial virus (Medley, Nokes, White), bovine TB (L. Green, Medley, Courtenay), PMWS (L. Green, Medley) and leishmaniasis (Courtenay) amongst others. Advanced modelling has produced the most widely accepted framework for understanding the 2001 UK Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak which has informed national and international policy for prevention and control, and is applicable to influenza transmission (Keeling). Keeling & Eames have made significant advances in developing network models of disease. Additionally, L. Green has made significant contributions in the area of livestock welfare.

Price and Sheppard have made internationally recognised contributions to the study of tropical marine environments across the world, including numerous invitations to address policy-makers and global organisation (including UN). Molecular Cell Biology

A number of staff combine to form a coherent and well-funded grouping of international standing with seminal contributions to the study of protein trafficking in cells. Roberts and Lord have exploited protein toxins to identify and characterise novel intracellular protein trafficking pathways and membrane interactions. They have been at the forefront of studies demonstrating the complete reversibility of secretory pathways (retrograde transport and retrotranslocation) and have exploited the novel trafficking of toxins to deliver antigens into the MHC class I processing and presentation pathway, a goal in vaccine development. Robinson has made major advances on studies of the Tat protein transport pathway in bacteria and chloroplasts. His group has purified Tat translocation complexes for the first time, and have developed sensitive assays for real-time imaging of protein export in bacteria. Emeritus Professor Ellis FRS continues to make a substantial contribution with his influential insights into chaperone-assisted self assembly and molecular crowding; achievements recognised through high citations and prestigious awards. Using a combination of biochemistry and innovative live imaging, Frigerio has made significant advances in the study of protein transport in the plant secretory pathway, work which underpins the improvement of crops for human nutrition. Carré has made substantial contributions to the dissection of the regulatory gene network governing the circadian clock.

The strategic recent appointments of Millar and Arumugam have significantly extended the activities of the group into the mechanisms governing the cell cycle and, in particular, the control of sister chromatid segregation during mitosis and meiosis, an important topic in both medicine and cell biology because chromosome mis-segregation plays a significant role in human ailments ranging from miscarriage through to cancers. Utilising fission and budding yeast, they have identified new regulatory factors controlling chromosome movement, a role for actin in controlling mitotic spindle stability, and generated new insights into the role of the cohesin complex. These appointmentsjoin Davey, an expert on GPCR function, to create a powerful centre of yeast research. They also complement the work of Old studying the mechanisms and detection of trisomies during human reproduction. Structural Biology

The structural biology group use a spectrum of approaches to understand the properties of macromolecules. They have achieved notable successes in their own right, but are also key collaborators for others in the Department. Fülöp has obtained the first detailed structural information on a group of oligopeptidases that play a medically important role in the maturation/degradation of peptide hormones. They have co-crystallised substrates with the enzymes (of major interest to drug companies) and have also crystallised several ricin variants in collaboration with Lord and Roberts. Collaborating with Dowson and Bugg (Chemistry), Roper coordinates an interdisciplinary study of bacterial cell wall biosynthesis and the discovery of novel targets for antibiotic development. Roper has generated X-ray crystal structures of key enzymes in the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan and their interaction with a range of inhibitors designed and synthesized by Bugg. They have also solved the structures and mechanisms of a bacterial multi-enzyme system involved in degradation of aromatic compounds important in bioremediation. Pinheiro has used spectroscopic approaches to study prion protein conformation; her group's synthesis of a mimetic membrane-anchored prion protein has led to key insights into the relationship between conformation and prion conversion. Scrivens and Williams are a potent team with world-class expertise in mass spectrometry. They have developed imaginative new approaches (even new instruments) for identifying and characterising biological macromolecules and they actively collaborate with many departmental groups. Their work has real clinical relevance, an example being ante-mortem tests for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (with Pinheiro).  Smith has set up a state-of-the-art cryo electron microscopy unit. As well as supporting her studies on clathrin and other macromolecules, the unit represents an exciting addition to the arsenal of experimental approaches available in the department. Neuroscience

The rapidly-growing Neuroscience group has achieved international recognition for its work in the area of purinergic signalling and its development of unique measuring technologies (Dale Frenguelli, Pankratov and Wall). Key technical advances include the invention of microelectrode biosensors for ATP, adenosine, inosine and hypoxanthine and the invention of a novel enzyme deposition process for microelectrodes (Dale). This has made contributions to our understanding of spinal motor control (Dale); neuroprotection during stroke (Frenguelli); chemosensory control of breathing (Dale); and novel adenosinergic signalling in cerebellum (Wall). In related work, Pankratov has described quantal release of ATP prevalent at cortical synapses. Dale and Jones have discovered that purinergic signalling, via dynamic ATP release and the actions of an ectoenzyme from the E-NTPDase family, triggers expression of a series of transcription factors in the very early frog embryo that coordinate eye-development. Mutations to this E-NTPDase gene in humans cause similar disruption to the development of the eye, suggesting a very general mechanism. Moffat has used an enhancer-detection technique in Drosophila to identify a number of novel neural genes, including slowmo and its homologues, which represent a new family of nuclear encoded mitochondrial proteins. In Drosophila they prevent certain critical cells from entering apoptosis; they may regulate mitochondrial fission/fusion ratios and play a significant role in certain human neuropathies. Molecular Physiology

Bland’s highly cited work shows that conversion of vitamin D from its inactive to its active form is widespread and not limited to the proximal tubule of the kidney as previously thought. The converting enzyme is regulated by the calcium sensing receptor in human vascular smooth muscle. This work underlies physiological studies of the role of vitamin D with implications for diabetes, cancer and other immune diseases. Squires has presented compelling evidence that glucose-evoked Ca2+ oscillations, coupled to pacemaker activity, are synchronised throughout pancreatic islets and pseudoislets formed in vitro, enhancing insulin secretion physiologically and indicating heterogeneity in the sensory, biosynthetic and secretory capabilities of individual β-cells. Stanfield has used site-directed mutagenesis and electrophysiological analysis to establish gating at the selectivity filter as an important gating mechanism in potassium channels of the Kir and tandem pore (KT) families. Jones has established the time points of developmental decisions and the function of both conserved and novel genes in pronephrogenesis using a unique combination of classical and molecular approaches. Centre for Systems Biology (CSB)

Our contribution to the establishment of Systems Biology comes through the appointment of experimentalists led by Koentges and theoreticians led by Wild in an integrated and coherent grouping. Koentges contributed to a major, unexpected, discovery of the role of the TRP2 channel in sex discrimination mediated by the vomero-nasal organ in mice before leading another breakthrough study on the developmental origins of the neck and shoulder girdle. These integrated palaeontological findings have rationalised the basis of several genetic disorders of human development.

Ott has made important theoretical contributions to computational methods for finding optimal gene networks, while Wild has applied Bayesian methods in the area of genetic regulatory networks and in the prediction of protein secondary structure and contact maps. Bretschneider has been the major theoretical contributor to key advances in understanding the biophysics of actin and VASP and their roles in cell motility.

5.1.2 Sustaining a vital research culture

PhD students represent the research life-blood of the Department. Components of PhD training permeate all aspects of research activity. Thus, the MOAC and Systems Biology DTCs hold weekly seminars with speakers from a wide range of disciplines. The annual 3-day Postgraduate Research Symposium, organised by the students themselves showcases the breadth of research. Final year students give talks, while second year students present posters. The symposium is run as those of learned societies and fulfils important roles in training and Departmental cohesion.

Every PhD student has an advisory committee (3 members of staff, independent of the supervisor) who consider and comment on detailed reports in all three years. These advisory committees help to disseminate scientific knowledge and best practice across disciplines within the Department.

The Department hosts a varied programme of seminars covering all areas of scientific interest as both a weekly Department-wide series (mainly external speakers) and as individual seminar programmes within the Research Groups and CSB. The University provides several additional opportunities for more formal scientific meetings, such as MiR@W (Mathematics Interdisciplinary Research), IPCR (Interdisciplinary Programme in Cellular Recognition) and MiMi (Mathematics in Medicine Initiative). These programmes have enabled hosting of high-quality themed Symposia, with research leaders from Warwick, other UK universities and overseas. Many staff have either participated in these or organised them, examples include: “Prions: Properties, Propagation and Pathology”; “Mathematical Neurosciences: Network Analysis”; “Modelling Biological Rhythms in Cells and Gene Circuits”; “Phylogenetics”; and “Bubonic Plague”.

Annual Retreats, for all academics are held off-site, providing opportunities for discussion of wider strategy and organisation.

Members of the Department, at all career levels, are encouraged to participate in external scientific meetings, with a budget allocation to facilitate this.

5.1.3 Interdisciplinary and collaborative research Interdisciplinary research

We have been a driving force in major interdisciplinary initiatives within the University. The Department was a founding sponsor of CSB. This initiative built on an extensive history of links between Biology and Mathematics e.g. Carré’s work with Rand on the photoperiodic regulation of flowering, Khan’s work with Epstein on the analysis of complex immuno-microscopy data, Robinson/Frigerio with Kirkilionis on intracellular protein movements, Wellington with Burroughs on cell-cell interactions and modelling bacterial population structure and dynamics.

CSB is now an independent centre co-directed by Rand (Mathematics) and Koentges. Several Biology staff are heavily involved including Wellington, who has attained grant-funding success with a major programme on the systems biology of global metabolic switching in S. coelicolor, funded by the EC’s SYSMO initiative (£1.6m to Warwick, supporting Wellington, Hodgson and Wild with Rand, Burroughs and Challis). 

High quality PhD students are vital to realise the goals of interdisciplinary research. To address this, the Department had the foresight to be major participants in two EPSRC/BBSRC doctoral training centres. The first, MOAC, supports 50 PhD studentships over 5 years and offers training via an inter-disciplinary MSc year (focussed on Mathematical Biology and Biophysical Chemistry) followed by a 3-year inter-disciplinary research project with co-supervisors from different Departments. Robinson was a co-applicant and an associate director of the DTC while numerous colleagues contribute through taught course modules or PhD co-supervision. Other co-supervisors are based in Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics. We helped to formulate the application for MOAC2, which has been funded for five intakes of students (8 years), and which has evolved to integrate cutting-edge analytical sciences into life sciences research.

Recently, Robinson led a successful bid to EPSRC/BBRSC for a Systems Biology DTC (£3.4M grant funding ~10 studentships p.a.) with the first student intake in October 2006. These DTCs have transformed interdisciplinary research training at Warwick, and had a wider impact on the training of our other PhD students, acting as a powerful driver and enabler for novel discipline-crossing research. Collaborations within the UK

More than 20 staff have joint grants with colleagues in other UK universities. Particularly notable is the participation of Mann, Murrell and Scanlan in the multi-centre project ‘Aquatic Microbial Metagenomics and Biogeochemical Cycles’ which links 10 UK HEIs as part of NERC’s thematic programme on post-genomics and proteomics; Scanlan also holds 2 joint grants with the Southampton National Oceanographic Centre. Another highlight is the initiative led by Jones to establish a national Xenopus stock centre with a £1.5m Wellcome Trust grant. Dale has very productive collaborations, producing high profile publications, with Mobbs and Spyer at UCL, where he holds an Honorary Chair and has joint grants with Spyer for work in the UK and Belarus. Hodgson is a participant in an EPSRC-funded ‘Molecular and Cellular Computing Cluster’ including colleagues at Aberystwyth, Exeter, KCL and Manchester. Roper and Dowson hold one of the first MRC Collaboration grants that coordinates a network of researchers pursuing interdisciplinary research in the development of novel antimicrobials. International collaborations

Members of the Department have a wide range of collaborations with leading research groups in Europe, the USA and elsewhere across the world. We highlight some notable examples.

Easton co-ordinated a major 6-partner EC-funded collaboration during the period (Human and animal metapneumovirus molecular and clinical studies, 2002-05) and was a member of another 5-partner collaboration (Respiratory syncytial virus vaccines, 2000-03); these have provided almost €1m to Warwick. He also has had long-standing collaborations in the USA with Rosenberg (NIH) and Domachowske (SUNY) that have led, in the assessment period, to 8 joint papers plus 3 reviews. 

Freedmanco-ordinated an 8-member EC-funded consortium with leading researchers in protein folding/chaperones. He continues to collaborate and publish with Rudolph and Buchner (Germany) and Kivirikko (Finland). He holds a BBSRC China Partnering award supporting exchanges between his group and that of Prof. C-C. Wang, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing.

Fülöp was PI of an HFSP-funded collaboration with groups in Brazil, Hungary and the USA which led to 6 publications on serine oligopeptidases.

Keeling has published with US collaborators including Grenfell (Penn. State) and Rohani (U. Georgia); he currently has NIH/MIDAS funding to collaborate with Smith (U. Penn.) on livestock disease control and EC funding for pan-European collaborations on control of human epidemics.

Lord and Roberts hold a programme grant from NIH (>$700k, 2005-2010) and have more than a dozen publications over the period with overseas collaborators including Ceriotti (Milan), Hodge (Atlanta), Johannes (Paris), Lencer (Harvard) and Olsnes (Oslo).

Medley has Wellcome Trust-funded collaborations on Theileria annulata with France, Switzerland, Tunisia and Turkey and on Haemonchus contortus with Kenya and South Africa; he was the Robert and Virginia Rausch Visiting Professor at U. Saskatchewan.

Scanlan co-ordinated a 7-partner EC consortium with a budget of >€2m. He is co-ordinating a new European consortium working with the Venter Institute to sequence 6 marine Synechococcus genomes with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (USA) and has collaborations with colleagues in Chile and Canada.

5.1.4 Relationships with research users Collaborations with industry and government agencies 

Scrivens’ collaboration with Waters Instruments (Micromass) has provided instrumentation valued in excess of £1m as gifts-in-kind, to investigate mobility separation of peptide and protein ions, and applications for the detection of haemoglobinopathies. Scrivens was the major adviser on the development of Waters’ new instrument, which uses a gas diffusion cell to distinguish ions of identical mass on the basis of conformation. His collaboration with ICI has produced publications on new analytical methods for flavours, fragrances and synthetic polymers. Norris’ expertise in mineral microbiology and thermophiles underpins a long-term and substantial collaboration with Billiton Inc., who fund research and development work in his laboratory and exploit strains developed there in their large-scale commercial biomining processes for metal extraction in Chile and Australia. L. Green’s work on farm animal health and welfare is supported by the Meat and Livestock Commission and the English Beef and Lamb Executive, and L. Green, Courtenay and Easton collaborate with Pfizer in the field of veterinary medicine and veterinary vaccines. Freedman’s patent with Tuite (Kent) and Merck, Sharp and Dohme on the over-expression of PDI in S.cerevisiae to improve it as a host for production of high-value human proteins has been licensed to Novozymes (Delta) who exploit it in the production of recombinant human serum albumin and transferrin. This work was highlighted in a recent external consultants’ survey of the economic impact of BBSRC-funded research.

Research collaborations with government agencies include work with the Health Protection Agency on MRSA (Medley), respiratory syncytial virus (Medley, Nokes, White) and bio-terrorist threats (Keeling). There is also joint work with the Central Science Laboratories (Courtenay), Food Standards Agency (Pinheiro, Scrivens) and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (Courtenay/Wellington, L. Green, Medley) and the Institute for Animal Health (Easton, Pinheiro). Spin-outs

Our work has led to the establishment of a number of spin-out companies. Sarissa Biomedical is based on several of Dale’s patents on novel biosensor technologies in the construction of ultra-high resolution microsensors for neurotransmitters. These have been exploited in basic research published in high-profile outputs and are now being manufactured and marketed on a commercial scale worldwide. Septegen was established in 2000 and has used proprietary yeast technology based on patents developed by Davey, to assist major pharmaceutical companies in identifying and developing drug leads active against GPCRs. Septegen has worked with big pharma (AstraZeneca, Aventis, GSK, Hoffman La-Roche, Pfizer) and a range of small biotech companies. Novolytics was established by Mann and Hodgson to develop phage-based antibacterial therapies. ViraBiotech has been established by Dimmock to exploit a novel antiviral therapy. Both ViraBiotech and Novolytics have secured early-stage venture capital funding.

Wellcome Trust Translation Awards have been won by Dale and by Frigerio to develop further their technologies respectively for diagnostic applications of purine biosensors and plant expression systems for antibodies. Advice and Knowledge Transfer to research users and policy-makers: impact on policy

Dalton (knighted in the 2007 New Year’s Honours) was appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to DEFRA from 2002-2007. Lord advised both UK and US governments on biological security issues. 

Price and Sheppard provided policy advice on marine conservation and biodiversity issues on a worldwide scale. Price was Principal Scientist to the UN Compensation Commission (UNCC) assessing environmental damage and $multi-billion claims arising from the massive oil spills resulting from the 1991 Gulf War; he has also been contracted by UN agencies, governments and NGOs to provide environmental assessments, analyses and advice relating to Bermuda, Eritrea, Maldives, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the UAE. Sheppard is Special Environmental Adviser to the Commissioner for the British Indian Ocean Territories (BIOT) within the FCO. This involves interactions with foreign governments and military leaders managing military bases on BIOT. In Australia, he serves on an advisory and monitoring panel on offshore gas extraction and also advised the Kuwait government on its 2004 prize for marine science and Gulf War damages compensation claims.

Price’s work on hierarchies within taxonomic classifications has been applied (surprisingly) in forensic psychology for improving the detection of serial sexual offences through analysis derived from his marine ecology work.

Dimmockchaired the DEFRA Independent Review of Avian Quarantine (2005). Medley was a member of the vCJD panel of NICE providing NHS guidelines on prevention of transmission of vCJD via surgical instruments, and is currently a member of SEAC and chairs its Epidemiology sub-committee. Keeling served on UK government advisory groups on foot-and-mouth disease (2001-05), avian influenza (2003-06), an ongoing DEFRA epidemic modelling consortium, and the Home Office’s Foresight Review on detection and control of disease (2004-05); he also contributed to the G8 scientific advisory meeting on smallpox modelling (2002). Courtenay and Wellington have advised DEFRA on the issue of badgers and bovine TB. L. Green serves on the BBSRC Sustainable Agriculture panel, the RELU strategy panel and the DEFRA Science Advisory Council, whileEaston was co-opted to the Council’s sub-committee on ‘Emerging Diseases’. Public communication

Research with significant public interest is communicated world-wide via Associated Press Television News through a campus-based initiative, Warwick Research TV, which makes video news releases. In the past 3 years, stories on purine sensors for fetal hypoxia (Dale), on approaches to combating MRSA (Dowson) and on interfering virus protection against influenza (Dimmock) have had extensive international coverage arising from these video releases. 

More conventionally, Dimmock, Easton, Mann and Wellington have given numerous media interviews on national radio (e.g. ‘Today’, ‘The Material World’, ‘Farming Today’) regarding their research on novel vaccines, anti-bacterial strategies and environmental sources of bovine TB. Most of those named above in relation to government policy advice have also given interviews in the popular media in relation to reports published by their committees or panels. L. Green has contributed many articles on veterinary issues in the farming press.

Numerous members of the Department (e.g. Bland, Dimmock, Fülöp, Hodgkin, Hodgson, Jones, Purdy, Squires) have given talks about research issues in schools and to lay audiences. Some of these have formed part of the National Science Week programme. Purdy has spoken at the Association for Science Education (2005 and 2006) while Price has published a feature article in ‘Popular Science’ on the concept of robustness and its application to ecosystems. Sheppard has given numerous interviews to the BBC World Service on his marine environmental research in the Gulf and Western Indian Ocean.

5.2 Staffing policy

5.2.1 Staff Development and Support

In response to the ‘Roberts’ training agenda, Post-doctoral research staff (PDRAs) have established an active committee that has proposed several imaginative activities to support their career needs. In 2007, these included a ‘Strengthsfinder’ workshop in which PDRAs worked with career development professionals to review their careers and to identify generic strengths and capabilities, independent of specific scientific expertise. A ‘Homecomer Day’ was held allowing former Warwick bioscience PDRAs to disseminate their experiences in careers such as publishing, administration and clinical research support. These local ‘Roberts’ activities, supported and encouraged by the Department, supplement more generic University provision and give research staff an opportunity to shape the agenda to meet their needs.

Academic staffundergo annual appraisal of their achievements for the prior year and plans for the future year. This includes plans for submission of publications and research grant proposals as well as cases for Research Leave. The University provides generous Research Leave allowance (1 year in 8) that is important in enabling established staff to develop or re-orientate their research skills and interests, and embark on new scientific collaborations. This can be particularly valuable where staff have given substantial time to teaching or external non-research activities.

We highlight examples that demonstrate the value of Research Leave to selected staff: This provided Woodland time in 2005 to work at the CNRS Developmental Biology Unit, Villefranche-sur-Mer and at the University of Miami, on the application of novel techniques to study the development of germ cells and organization of oocyte germ plasm. L. Green was able to sustain a long-term collaboration with veterinary researchers in Chile, and to consult for the Australian government. Jones’ Research Leave (2003-04) enabled a step change in research after long-term commitments to teaching quality assurance and to a BBSRC programme panel. 

Overall workloads are monitored to balance time commitments for: PhD student supervision; grant-funded research; administrative tasks; and undergraduate teaching. Teaching is adjusted to reflect research and administrative commitments. Nevertheless we firmly recognize the bidirectional synergy between teaching and research: research-active staff are important and valued contributors to teaching.

5.2.2 Developing new talent

The Department offers a highly attractive environment for early career researchers with many holders of competitive Research Fellowships bringing them to Warwick (see section 2). Newly-appointed staff have an induction and probationary period (recently extended to 5 years) with reduced teaching loads. New academic staff average a 50% load throughout probation and do minimal teaching in their first 2 years. 

In addition to annual review by trained appraisers, a mentor is appointed to help support and develop the careers of newly-appointed staff. This mentoring support takes a variety of forms, from reading and commenting on papers and grant applications to active collaborations and joint applications for funding. Furthermore, established and successful members of staff, particularly those with experience on funding panels, make their experience available to all staff by reading and commenting on applications for funding.

5.2.3 Departure of staff

There has been a healthy level of staff turnover indicating our ability to recognize and appoint high quality researchers. While regretting the loss of productive staff, it is an opportunity to bring in new talented researchers. In every case losses have been offset by strategic growth, most dramatically in Neuroscience and Systems Biology where there has been significant new investment and 12 new appointments. There have also been 11 new appointments (including Fellows) in Microbiology and Virology and 7 in Molecular Cell Biology.

5.3 Research Strategy

5.3.1 Ongoing research with no immediately visible outcomes

Building on their internationally-leading expertise in the transmission dynamics of infectious disease, Medley and L. Green, with £1.8m funding from DEFRA and BBSRC, have embarked on a rigorous program of sample collection from the national cattle herd to study the transmission of six pathogens. This promises to revolutionize the management and prevention of economically important veterinary diseases.

5.3.2 Diversity of Research Studentships

The Department receives PhD studentships from several sources, including the Research Councils, charities and the University. The quality of student is paramount in determining the successful candidates/supervisors. We use studentships to drive forward aspects of our research strategy, for example to support novel interdisciplinary collaborations and help newly appointed staff gain critical mass in their research groups. We highlight aspects of our efforts to maintain PhD studentships that form part of our forward strategy.

Research Council Studentships

Current sources of studentships from a BBSRC DTA, NERC and three inter-disciplinary EPSRC/BBSRC DTCs will be supplemented from 2008 by a recently awarded DTC from the MRC (joint with WMS) as part of their strategic relationship with biomedical sciences at Warwick. Our participation in the framing and application of MOAC2 is an important component in our forward strategy to develop multidisciplinary research.

Myrtle Pridgeon Studentship

A kind gift from Dr Myrtle Pridgeon has established a prestigious financially-enhanced triannual studentship, specifically aimed at attracting top PhD students. We shall continue to reserve this studentship for the most promising candidates.

Charity Studentships

Complementing funding such as a Wellcome Trust Prize studentship to Roberts and Lord (2002-2005), new appointments have now placed the Department in a position to win funding from a wider range of medically oriented charities than hitherto. For example, Frenguelli has won studentships from the Epilepsy Research UK, the Alzheimer’s Research Trust and Research into Aging.

5.3.3 Forward look: strategic priorities

The Department’s research excellence derives from being housed in a single location, enabling productive scientific interactions across a broad range of topics. We shall maintain existing internationally recognised areas, such as protein trafficking and environmental microbiology, with the introduction of new directions, which exploit the increased understanding of complex systems, and advances in technology to enable research of international quality. To foster multidisciplinary collaborative research, the Department has recently introduced Research Interest Groups (RIGs) to replace the previous research groupings. While broadly similar (in that they reflect existing areas under study), RIGs are non-exclusive and outward looking: multiple membership within the Department and active participation from cognate departments such as CSB, WMS, Chemistry and HRI are strongly encouraged. The RIGs anticipate our major strategic plans as outlined below.

Increasing interactions with the CSB is central to the future development of the Department, underpinning strategic developments, consolidating strengths in cell and molecular biology, and modelling complex biological systems. Vertebrate molecular development represents a key area for future expansion. Following recent appointments, the Department will expand critical mass in research that utilizes yeast as a model system, particularly in cell cycle and chromosome biology, many aspects of which interdigitate with molecular development. Neuroscience has already expanded, generating an internationally renowned centre of excellence in purine signalling; this will continue to grow.  Future growth in Neuroscience will be focused on developmental neurobiology, complementing the proposed expansion in vertebrate molecular development and the developmental biology expertise present in CSB. Developmental neurobiology is critically poised to study aspects of intercellular signalling in early neural development and Warwick is uniquely placed to make major contributions in this area. The development of novel biosensor technology in combination with existing physiology expertise focused in the area of cell signalling and Ca2+ homeostasis, will ensure advances in whole animal systems. Physiology represents a key area for translational research with significant opportunities through collaborations with clinical partners in WMS to link basic and clinical medicine.  

Warwick is recognised as an international centre for excellence in the field of animal disease epidemiology.  We shall build on this excellence by increasing emphasis on human diseases, applying epidemiological tools in the evolutionary biology and ecology of infectious diseases.  Such studies will be key to efficient prediction and prevention strategies urgently required to combat emerging diseases.  The required modelling and mathematical analysis will link strongly to work in the CSB. Warwick has unique research strengths in the study of infectious agents, both bacteria and viruses. A focus for future work with bacteria is the application of protein structure analysis, including X-ray crystallography, of enzymes in key biosynthetic pathways e.g. bacterial cell walls.  This comprehensive approach will provide the capacity to rationally design future potential antibiotic molecules, which will be essential in the era of reducing efficacy of current therapies. One of the largest national groupings for virology research is a considerable departmental strength.  Future expansion will spread into more clinically focused areas seeking to translate basic laboratory research into the clinic by collaboration with the WMS.  Warwick will play an important UK and international role for the foreseeable future through its existing strengths in microbiology. Systems biology approaches, which are currently being applied in the study of soil microorganisms will be a fertile area for future pursuit.  Warwick is recognised as a world leader in analysis of the contribution of marine bacterial populations to planetary bio-geochemical cycles.  The continued study of environmental disturbances, which may affect these populations, such as bacteriophage infection, is vital to the understanding of ecological regulation and stability.  Work in this field will be expanded to include further ecological niches such as estuarine ecosystems.  Structural Biology research will be developed in collaboration with the strong Chemistry Department to provide key capabilities that will underpin biological research across campus.

In summary, Warwick embraces the challenge of multidisciplinary integrated approaches to both extracellular, cellular and whole organism systems, building from an existing platform of internationally respected research.


6. Esteem Indicators (*early career staff)




Translation UK (2007).

Society for General Microbiology retrovirus workshop (2006).

UK Young Virologists meeting (2007).

Poster: Translational Control, Cold Spring Harbor. (2002).



Yeast Chromosome Structure, Replication and Segregation conference, California. (2006).

Institute of Molecular Biotechnology Spring conference, Vienna. (2005).

German Genetics society Epigenetics Conference, Kassel. (2004).


Invited Speaker:

XII Fat-Soluble Vitamins group meeting, Italy. (2003).

European Renal Association and European Dialysis and Transplant Association meeting, Copenhagen. (2002.)

Society for Endocrinology Young Endocrinologist Basic Science Review Lecture Award (2001)

Editorial Board, Journal of Endocrinology (2003- present).


Schloessmann-Fellowship for “Mathematical models in Biology, Chemistry and Physics” from Max-Planck-Society. (2001-2003).

Workshop presentation, Gordon Research Conference, Ventura, California. (2005).

External PhD examiner, CNRS, Grenoble, France.



            British Ecological Society Winter meeting, Manchester. (2003).

Marine Monitoring Workshop, Aberystwyth. (2004).

            Congress of Entomology, Brisbane. (2004).

Seminar:  NERC course ‘Advances in Ecology’, Silwood Park. (2003).


Plenary speaker, 8th International Adenovirus Meeting, Zurich (2006).

Invited Chair, workshops of the German Societies for Virology and Immunology. (2002).

Review panel member, European Commission. (2004-2007).

Invited reviews: Curr. Top. Microbiol. Immunol. 269, pp274-319 (2002) and 273, pp 29-85 (2004).


Invited speaker:

14th International Congress of Comparative Endocrinology, Sorrento, Italy. (2001).

EMBO workshop on the Molecular Basis of the Floral Transition, Norwich. (2001).

Invited reviews:

J. Biol. Rhythms, 16, 415-423 (2001).

In, Endogenous plant rhythms, A. Hall, H. McWatters (ed.), Blackwell, pp167-190. (2005).


Invited speaker:

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 53rd Annual Meeting, Miami. (2004).

WORLDLEISH II Conference, Crete, (2001).

            Anglo-Israeli Scientific Workshop on the Ecology of Zoonoses, Israel. (2005).

Member, IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group. (2006-Present).


MRC Milstein Award. (2006).

Invited speaker:

Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego (2001).

Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego (2004).

Visiting Professor of Physiology, UCL, 2003-2006.


Chief Scientific Adviser to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. (2002–2007: Knighted in 2007).

Member, NERC and BBSRC Councils. (2002–2010).

Funders Forum (Chair), and representing Secretary of State in inter-governmental negotiations on climate change and GM technology.

Three lectures to Foundation for Science and Technology (Royal Society) on ‘GM science’, ‘Sustainable Consumption and Production’ and ‘The future of biofuels’.


invited speaker:

and Session Chair, 8th European IBC meeting: ‘GPCRs and drug discovery’. London. (2005).

Swiss NCCR Biology Meeting on Biological Membranes, Monte Verita. (2006).

Keystone Symposium, ‘GPCRs: evolving concepts and drug discovery’ Taos, USA. (2004).

Editor in Chief, Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology. (2001-Present)


Chair, Government’s Independent Review of Avian Quarantine. (2006).

Invited speaker:

            Pandemic Influenza conference, Japan. (2006).

            David Tyrell Memorial Symposium, Royal Society. (2006).

            8th Drug Discovery Leaders Summit, Berlin. (2007).


Invited speaker:

FASEB Meeting, Arizona. (2006).

3rd International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases, Alaska. (2002).


NICE guidelines development group for Surgical Site Infections (2004-2006).

Editorial Board Microbial Drug Resistance. (2000-Present).


                                                                                                                                                    Invited speaker:

EuroSciCon Meeting ‘Applications of Reverse Genetics’ London. (2005).

Business Forums International Ltd ‘Avian Influenza virus’ meeting, London. (2006).


DEFRA Science Advisory Council sub committee on Emerging Diseases. (2005, 2006).

MRC College of Experts (2004-present)


Gairdner International Award for 'fundamental discoveries in chaperone-assisted protein folding and its relevance to neurodegeneration’. (2004).

4th Cell Stress Society International Medal. (2007).

Co-organiser, EMBO Workshop on Biological Implications of Macromolecular Crowding, Spain. (2003).

Invited lecture: 63rd Harden Conference, Ambleside, UK. (2007).


Plenary speaker, European Picornavirus Study Group meeting, Netherlands (2005).

Editor, Journal of General Virology (2004-Present)
Member, Virus Group Committee, Society for General Microbiology. (1999-2004).

Panel member, German Science Foundation committees on 'Centres of Excellence in immunology and infection biology' (2006) and 'Graduate schools' (2005, 2006).


Member, BBSRC Council. (2002-08).

Plenary speaker, 5th Tsinghua International Conference of Protein Science, Beijing. (2005).

Chair:  International panel reviewing Life Sciences and Agronomy Faculties of the Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium (2004).

International review of the Roslin Institute, Roslin, Midlothian (2005).


Executive Editor Neuropharmacology. (2006–Present).

Contributor: IUPHAR receptor database on adenosine receptors. (2006-Present).

Committee Member, British Neuroscience Association. (2007–2010).

Expert Member, Competition Commission Investigation of Zeiss-Biorad merger. (2004).


Co-ordinator of Workpackage 4 within the EU Pharma-Planta 13 laboratory consortium ( (2004-2009).

Sole academic External Assessor for the EU Framework V TMR ‘Protein Interactions’ Network

Invited Speaker:

EuroSciCon Meeting, London. (2006).

International Conference on Agricultural Biotechnology, Cuba. (2005).


Invited Speaker:

First Latin American Protein Society Meeting, Brazil. (2004).

21st European Crystallographic Meeting, South Africa. (2003).

            30th FEBS Congress, Hungary. (2005)

Member, Diamond Synchrotron Life Sciences Peer Review Panel.


Elected Secretary of the British section of the Society of Protozoologists. (2005).

NERC “Discipline-hopping” Fellowship in clinical microbiology. (2006).

Invited review:  ‘Antibiotic resistance in the environment’, Advances in Applied Microbiology (2007).


Invited speaker, Biochemical Society Focused Meeting on Calcium Oscillations. (2003).

Invited contributor to the “Calcium Signalling” series of Henry Stewart Talks. 

Honorary Fellow, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Liverpool. (2002-present).


Plenary speaker:

European Society of Veterinary Virology, Belfast. (2005).

Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Finland. (2007).


Rural Economy and Land Use Scientific Advisory Panel.

BBSRC Sustainable Farming Scientific Advisory Panel.


Local ambassador for Biochemical Society

Honorary Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Birmingham.


Plenary lectures:

NanoComputing – Technology Trends, ICNC2001. SASTRA, India. (2001).

Annual Meeting of the Society for Actinomycetes, Tokyo. (2003).

Member, BBSRC Plants and Microbial Sciences Committee. (2001-2003).

BBSRC representative member of Streptomyces Steering Group of the “Investigating Gene Function (IGF)” Initiative of BBSRC Genes and Developmental Biology Committee (2000-2006).


Member and then Chair, BBSRC Genes and Development Committee. (2002-Present).

Member, RAE2008, Panel D14.

Editorial Board, Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology. (2003-2005) 

Invited speaker and Chair, International Xenopus Meeting, Tokyo. (2006)


Zoological Society of London, Scientific Medal. (2007).

Philip Leverhulme Prize in Mathematics. (2005).

Plenary speaker, Alcalá International Conference on Mathematical Ecology. (2003).

Major Editor, Theoretical Population Biology (2003-Present)


Invited Speaker, American Association of Cancer Research Annual meeting. Anaheim (2005).

Elected Fellow of Royal College of Physicians (2003).

National Bronze Award for Clinical Excellence (2006).

Member, EC Framework 6 'Life Sciences for Health' panel (2003).


Plenary lecturer, international conferences on Developmental Biology, Evolution and Development, International Regulome Consortium (2003)

Invited lecturer, Harvard, New York and Uppsala Universities, Paris (Institut Monod). (2001-2006)

Awarded HFSP programme grant, ranked 7th/780 international applications based on track record and proposed project. (2007).


Plenary speaker:

Society for General Microbiology annual meeting, Manchester. (2007).

SGM symposium on Virus Replication and Cellular Architechture, Warwick.(2002).

Elected member, Society for General Microbiology Virus Group Committee. (2000–2003).

Invited member, Cancer Research UK Quinquennial review panel, Birmingham. (2005).


Member, NIH Ricin Toxin Experts Panel, Bethesda, USA, 

Consultant for UK Government on ricin potential terrorist threat.

Editorial Advisor, Biochemical Journal.

Member, NIAID Special Emphasis Panel, Bethesda, USA.


Invited speaker, EMBO conference on Molecular Microbiology. (2006)


Council of Society for General Microbiology (2003-2007).

NERC Peer Review College (2003-2006), steering committee of the NERC Marine and Freshwater Microbial Biodiversity programme and moderating review panel for the £100M NERC ‘Oceans 2025’ research program.

Editorial Board, Environmental Microbiology.


Member, SEAC and chair of the Epidemiology sub-group (2004-2010).

Editorial Board, Mathematical Biosciences. (2006-Present).

Invited speaker, Rutgers University. (2006).

Robert and Virginia Rausch Visiting Professorship, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. (2002-2003).


Invited speaker:

Gordon Research Conference, Connecticut, USA. (2001)

2nd International Fission Yeast Meeting, Japan. (2002).

Invited review: Trends Cell Biol. 16, 285-292. (2006).

Member, Faculty of 1000: Cell Biology section.


Invited speaker:

Drosophila Neurogenetics Meeting, Switzerland. (2004).

PsyNeuro Society, Leicester. (2007.)

Invited review, In, Drosophila as a model organism to study human neurodegenerative disease. Eds A. Mudher and T. Newman. pp 9-24. Garland Science Publishing. ISBN 978 0 415 411 851 (In Press).

Subject editor, The Reinvention: An E-Journal of Undergraduate Research. (2007-present).


Chair, Gordon Conference 'The Molecular Basis of Microbial One Carbon Metabolism', Connecticut. (2002).

Plenary speaker, International Symposium on Microbial Ecology, Vienna. (2006).

Invited speaker, Gordon Conference, Mount Holyoake, USA. (2004). 

Senior Editor, Microbiology. (2000-2005).


Keynote speaker, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa. (2004).

Member, Steering Committee, Epidemiology and Field Research, World Health Organisation (2001-2005).

Technical advisor, WHO Steering Committee on Research Related to Measles Vaccines and Vaccination. (2003).

Invited review: Perspectives in Medical Virology 14, 183-231. (2007).


Plenary speaker, 14th International Biohydrometallurgy Symposium, Brazil. (2001).

Organizing Committee and Session Chair, International Biohydrometallurgy Symposia (Brazil, 2001; Greece, 2003; South Africa, 2005)

Consultant to BHPBilliton, the world’s largest diversified mining company. 

Editorial Board, Extremophiles. (1997-Present).


Invited speaker:

UK Xenopus Group Conference. London. (2002).

UK Xenopus Group Conference, Nottingham. (2003).

PI for EU SAFE Network of Excellence Programme (50 partner groups).


Inaugural lecture, Edinburgh Centre for Bioinformatics. (2004).

Monbusho scholarship of the Japanese government. (2000-2004).


Invited speaker:

University of Sheffield. (2002).

University of Dundee. (2005).

Queen Mary University of London. (2007).


Invited speaker:

2nd European Conference on Chemistry for Life Sciences, Poland, 4-8 Sep (2007). 

Keystone Symposium on ‘Molecular Aspects of Prion Diseases’. (2003).

Invited review: Nature 416, 483-484. (2002).

Editorial Board, Biochemical Journal. (2006-Present).


Elected Fellow, Linnean Society. (2003).

Editor of a major text book: Khan, M.Y., Munawar, M., Price, A.R.G. (eds) 2002.  The Gulf Ecosystem: Health and Sustainability. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, 509 pp. 

Principal scientist, UN Compensation Commission and Industrial Economics Inc. (USA) assessing environmental damage and multi-billion dollar compensation claims arising from the massive 1991 Gulf War oil spill.

Editorial board, Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management.


Awarded Marie Curie Excellence Team Fellowship during Framework Program 6. 

Member, Microbial Observatories Programme Grant Panel for the National Science Foundation, USA. (2007).

Member, NERC Grant Panels: Antarctic Funding Initiative 7 (2005) and Standard Grant Round Panel E (2006).

Member, NERC Peer Review College. (2004-2007).


Invited speaker:

CNS 2004, Baltimore. (2004).

workshop: Mathematical Neuroscience, Montreal. (2007).

Invited lecturer, postgraduate course: The cerebral cortex: Organisation and dynamics Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. (2007).

Invited review: Chaos 16, art-no 026106. (2006).


Plenary speaker: Italian Biochemical Society Meeting, L’Aquila. (2002).

Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Twinstrand Therapeutics Inc, Vancouver. (2000-2006).

Member, Molecules, Genes and Cells Funding Committee of the Wellcome Trust (2004-2008).

Member, UK PubMed Central Advisory Board. (2007-2009).


BBSRC Professorial Fellowship. (2001-2006).

Member, Biochemistry and Cell Biology panel, BBSRC. (2002-2005).

Chair and Organiser, European Science Foundation conference on Protein Transport, Maratea. (2001).

Session Chair and speaker, Gordon Conference on 'Protein translocation across membranes'. Italy. (2007).


Plenary speaker, French Microbiological Society, Paris. (2001).

PI and Director, UK Bacterial Cell Wall Assembly Network. (2006-2008).

Co-organiser of invited Wellcome Trust and Royal Society of Chemistry Interdisciplinary Regional Meeting: Chemistry at the Biological Interface. (2004).

PhD examiner Universite Joeseph Fourier, Grenoble, France. (2006).


Plenary speaker:

XIth International Symposium on Phototrophic Prokaryotes, Tokyo. (2003).

Gordon Research Conference, Roscoff. (2004).

Co-Organiser, International Symposium on the Genomics of Marine Phytoplankton, Roscoff, France. (2005).

Associate Editor, Microbiology. (2000-Present).


                                                                                                                                                    Competitively Awarded NERC Postdoctoral Fellowship. (2004-2007), Advanced Fellowship (2007-1012).

                                                                                                                                                    Invited speaker, Gordon Research Conference, Oxford. (2006).

                     Invited Review, Schäfer, H., Miller, L., Oremland, R., and J. C. Murrell. Bacterial cycling of methyl halides. In, Advances in Applied Microbiology, 61,  Eds. Laskin, A.I., Gadd, G.M., Sariaslani, S. (In press).

                                                                                                                                                    Editorial board member, Microbial Ecology. (2006-Present).


Invited lecture:

SIMS XVI in Kanazawa, Japan. (2007).

International Meeting on Food Science, Prague. (2007).

Annual Tandem Mass Spectrometry Workshop, Canada. (2007)

Editorial Board Mass Spectrometry (1998-Present)


1.                  Keynote speaker:

2.                  Middle Eastern Marine Science Congress, Kuwait. (2007)

Australian Coral Reef Society, Australia. (2007).

3.                  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to work on and revise small island and coastal sections of the IPCC review. (2007).

Chief Editor, Marine Pollution Bulletin. (1994-Present).


Invited speaker, Instituto Juan March Symposium on 'Molecular Mechanisms of Vesicle Selectivity', Madrid. (2004).

Invited ‘Perspective’ article, Science 311, 182-183. (2006).

Invited review, Nature Reviews in Molecular Cell Biology 7, 32-44. (2006).

Guest editorship, Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology 18, 411-570. (2007).


Member, Diabetes UK Grant Awarding Panel. (2005-2008).

Paul Langerhans Award for Research into the Physiology and Pathophysiology of the Pancreatic Beta-cell. (2001).

Honorary Lecturer, Division of Physiology in the Endocrinology and Reproduction Research Centre, GKT School of Biomedical Sciences, at King’s College London. (2001-2004).

Academic Science Consultant to the Procter and Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. (2001-2003).


Plenary speaker, Korean Physiological Society Meeting. (2003).

Elected Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences. (2003)

Member, International Advisory Board of Research Center for Molecular Medicine, Medical and Health Science Centre, University of Debrecen, Hungary.

Editorial board,  Pflügers Archiv – European Journal of Physiology. (2001-Present).


Invited speaker, Physiological Society, Cambridge. (2004).

Invited review: Wall MJ. A role for zinc in cerebellar synaptic transmission. The Cerebellum 4, 224-229. (2005).

Invited poster, British Neuroloscience Association. (2007).


Keynote speaker, 1st Symposium on Antimicrobial Resistance in Animals and the Environment, Lyons France. (2005).

Plenary speaker, Bacterial Ecology and Genetics  , 8th Symposium, Lyon University. (2005).

Member, BBSRC Microbial Science Review Panel (2006).

Editorial board, Journal of Antibiotics, Environmental Microbiology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Editor in Chief (Europe) for Microbial Ecology (1998-2005).


Guest lecturer at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia, Portugal (2006); 

Principal member of organising committee of “Wellcome-KEMRI Workshop on the Biology, Statistics and Modelling of Repeated Infections” in Kilifi, Kenya. (2003).

Mathematical modelling consultancy: GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Rixensart, Belgium. (2006).

Co-supervisor of PhD student at Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal (2005-present).


Invited speaker, International Workshop on Machine Learning in Bioinformatics, Berlin. (2005).

Chair, Organizing Committee, Structural Proteomics Workshop, Program on Proteomics, UCLA. (2004).

Editorial Board, Current Bioinformatics. (2005-Present).

NIH Grant Review Panels: Cellular Aspects of Diabetes and Obesity; Biodata Management and Analysis


Invited speaker:

‘Direct Desorption' Meeting, Purdue University. (2006).

British Mass Spectrometry Conference, Edinburgh. (2007).

Astra Zeneca International Users Meeting. (2006).

Laboratory of Government Chemist. (2006).


Invited speaker:

Sox Genes meeting, Cairns, Australia. (2005).

11th Xenopus Developmental Biology Meeting, Tokyo. (2006).

Senior Editor, Differentiation. (2001-Present).

Editorial Board, Development. (2003-present).