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UOA 12 - Allied Health Professions and Studies

Lancaster University

RA5a: Research environment and esteem

UOA 12 – RA5


1. Introduction

         The Biomedical Sciences Unit (BSU) is at the heart of Lancaster University’s current strategic developments in Health and Medicine. Development and expansion of biomedical research and education, is a key strategic priority of the University that has emerged since RAE 2001.  The BSU comprises 18 (+1 Category C) academic staff from the departments of Biological Sciences and Medicine and its function is to coordinate and plan biomedical research in the context of departmental and wider institutional strategies.  The introduction of an IBMS-accredited Biomedical Sciences degree, in 2002, the establishment of the Centre for Medical Education in 2006 and the subsequent creation of a Department of Medicine in the same year, has greatly enhanced the environment of the BSU into an international quality research unit with a strong user-facing dimension.  The success of these initiatives and the strength of the Biomedical Research grouping has driven a second phase development of a School of Health and Medicine, to be established in 2008.  This represents the major new academic investment at Lancaster University designed to carry the institution forward as an internationally competitive research centre. Within this new setting the BSU will form one of three divisions, along with Medicine, and the Institute for Health Research.  As a result of these developments a separate BSU submission to UoA12 is being made for the first time in RAE2008.  A further consequence of the expansion in biomedical research at Lancaster is that a substantial proportion of the staff in the BSU are at early stages of their academic career with 9 staff recruited since RAE 2001, 5 of these being early career staff starting their first or second independent positions. These staff have already had a major impact on the research profile of the unit, attracting awards from MRC, BBSRC and medical charities. 

Over the last 6 years the BSU has followed its specific remit to promote and coordinate biomedical research internally and with key external partners.  Since 2001, members of the unit have published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and have won over £5M in grant income. Research interests in the BSU fall broadly within five themes; Cancer Biology, Neurodegenerative Disease, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Developmental Biology and Microbiology.  Our research focus is directed toward understanding the basic cellular and physiological mechanisms that underpin disease states. The Unit has established collaborative programmes internally, nationally and internationally as evidenced by joint funding awards and publications. Investment in equipment and infrastructure through SRIF and research council initiatives has added to the BSU research infrastructure to provide state of the art laboratories and facilities.  In this thriving research culture 31 Ph. D, 2 MD, 1 M. Phil and 15 MSc by research degrees have either been awarded or are in progress.  


2. BSU Infrastructure and Governance

            Originally based exclusively within the Department of Biological Sciences the BSU now integrates the research activity of the Department of Medicine through new academic appointments (including 2 joint appointments).  The development of medical education at Lancaster made a step change following the award of 50 medical student places per year in 2006.  The full 5 year training for these students will be delivered by Lancaster University with clinical training provided within the local NHS Trusts.  The Department of Medicine now houses academic staff responsible for delivering medical education and with research interests in Medicine and allied subjects.  

            The BSU is led by a Director who is elected by the academic staff membership.  The director is also a member of the Biological Sciences Departmental Strategy Group.  Academic staff engaged in biomedical research in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Medicine are full members of the Unit and form the executive committee.  Research staff and students, as well as honorary and visiting staff from the NHS, have associate membership and participate in the wider research-associated activities, such as the seminar programme.  Currently the BSU consists of 18 Category A and 1 Category C staff.

            The Biomedical laboratories have recently been fully refurbished and equipped through SRIF investment.  1230m2 is available for Biomedical research on three floors of the Biological Sciences building.  A major SRIF bid (£2.6M) was awarded for refurbishment of laboratory space and improvement of equipment stock. The laboratories contain extensive imaging facilities (scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, DeltaVision Image Restoration System, two photon and conventional confocal microscopy), mass spectrometry (LC-MS), protein expression and purification suite, GM category II containment facilities, flow cytometry and equipment for mammalian cell culture. 


3.0 Research Strategy and Achievements

            The research interests of the BSU can be broadly described under a small number of headings; cancer biology, neurodegenerative disease, microbiology, cell biology and biochemistry (with a focus on ocular disease) and developmental biology. However one of the strengths of the BSU is that boundaries are fluid, a result of which is that staff are often involved in a variety of projects where their expertise can make useful contributions. 


3.1 Cancer biologywithin the BSU contains research-active groups in the basic sciences through to the clinical and translational research relevant to oncology. The basic science themes include projects on mechanisms of cell cycle control (Price, Martin), DNA damage and repair (Benson, Allinson, Lindsay, McMillan), genetic epidemiology in breast and prostate cancer (Martin), and oncogene function (Owen-Lynch). Exploiting multi-disciplinary links, the last five years has witnessed the emergence of a major focus of activity in clinical and translational research in breast, prostate, cervical, endometrial, pancreatic and colon cancer. The main objectives of these activities have been the development of novel cancer imaging technologies to facilitate earlier and more reliable diagnosis, monitor cancer progression and disease grading (Martin).  Significant achievements have also been realized in the description of etiological mechanisms of carcinogenesis and the identification of novel biomarkers (Martin, McMillan, Brown). For example the detailed examination of the biological response to UV-A light has identified novel features, including an inverse dose-rate effect, that have important implications for skin cancer prevention (McMillan). Many of these studies have been pursued in conjunction with the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust through the active collaboration of clinical colleagues, particularly Mr Pierre Martin-Hirsch (Category C).  A consortium led by QinetiQ, and comprising eight organizations including Lancaster University, Anasys Ltd (a Lancaster University start-up company) and BP was successful in obtaining DTI funding to develop mid-infrared semiconductor lasers and two members of the unit are involved in this initiative (Fullwood and Martin).  Some of the potential applications for these microscopy techniques have direct clinical utility, e.g. refractive eye surgery (see later), prostate surgery and diagnostic applications including cervical cancer screening.  Within the assessment period, these cancer biology groups have been awarded peer-reviewed funding from major cancer charities (CRUK, LRF, NWCRF, Colt Foundation, Rosemere Cancer Foundation) and national research councils (EPSRC, BBSRC, DoH, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust).   The collaborations between the BSU and the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have lead to the creation of joint posts (Clinical Fellows in Urology and Gynaecology), the establishment of a Clinical fellowship programme aimed at MD qualification and funding of 4 PhD studentships through the local NHS Trust


3.2  The neurodegenerative disease group focuses on the pathological role of misfolded 'amyloid' proteins in a range of different neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, the 'prion' diseases and other related disorders. A major aspect of this research has been a detailed investigation into how interactions between redox-active transition metal ions and the misfolded proteins associated with these diseases might lead to neurodegeneration (Allsop, Benson, Fullwood, Martin).  Our work in this area has been supported by major awards from medical charities (including Wellcome Trust, Alzheimer's Society, Parkinson's Disease Society) and industry (Pfizer, Novartis, Sanochemia Pharmazeutica AG, funding to Allsop) and has led to the important discovery that many of the amyloid proteins associated with these disease have the common ability to generate hydrogen peroxide.  Our neurodegenerative disease research is also aimed at improving the early diagnosis and treatment of some currently incurable conditions, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.  Current treatment strategies for these diseases are responsive to the effects of the pathological process, rather than its prevention. Work in the group has identified α-synuclein in human blood plasma as a potential biomarker for Parkinson's disease. This has resulted in a supported patent application WO03069332 that is the subject of ongoing industrial licensing discussions, and the recent award of major grants from EC (Framework 6) and MRC.  Related work has led to the commercial licensing of plasmids encoding synuclein family genes to Sigma-Aldrich. This has resulted in payment of transfer fees and royalties to LU and in the award of a Lancaster University Commercialization Prize (Benson and Allsop, 2006).  The success of this research grouping led to a strategic decision to expand this area of research.  This has been initiated by the recent appointment of Dr Parkin working on the secretion and shedding of membrane bound proteins involved in copper homoeostasis and implicated in neurodegenerative disease and cancer. 


3.3  The main focus of the microbiology grouping is infectious protozoan mediated tropical disease with studies on basic physiology, potential drug targets and cell biology (Ginger, Grant, McKean) and this work has been funded by major awards from the BBSRC, MRC and the Royal Society.  The protozoan parasites Leishmania and Trypanosoma are the infective agents in leishmaniasis and African sleeping sickness respectively and are responsible for a considerable disease burden, predominately in the developing world.  Globally, 12 million people are affected by leishmaniasis in 88 countries whilst African sleeping sickness is fatal if untreated and affects 36 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.  Current first-line chemotherapies for leishmaniasis and African sleeping sickness are inadequate due to poor efficacy, toxicity and drug resistance and there is an urgent need for new drugs against these tropical parasitic diseases.  The outstanding achievement within this grouping has been the leading participation of two members (Ginger and McKean) in the description of the protozoan flagellar proteome that has profound implications, not only for tropical parasite disease control but also the understanding of a wide range of heritable human diseases characterized by dysfunctional cilia. The appointment of Dr. Grant has added a new area of research on the identification of potential drug targets and chemical inhibitors, work that is supported by collaborations with Cyclacel (UK) and Schering-Plough (Germany).

            The recent appointment of Dr Winzer has further broadened the microbiology portfolio.  His laboratory studies prokaryotic cell communication and quorum sensing in gram positive bacteria with a particular focus on how bacterial communication determines the behaviour of pathogenic bacteria, including important human pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Neisseria meningitides, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Helicobacter pylori.  These efforts have already attracted a large Industrial Partnership award from the BBSRC in collaboration with the University of Nottingham and TMO Renewables. 


3.4  Disease related work within the cell biology and biochemistry theme includes the work of the Fullwood and Brown groups, both of which study the cornea and are directed towards the development of clinical treatments for corneal disease.  Projects in the Fullwood laboratory have included collaboration with Kyoto Prefectural Medical School, which has resulted in the development of a clinically successful corneal stem cell transplantation technique that contributed towards Dr Fullwood becoming a co-recipient of the Daiwa Adrian prize in 2004.  Other major achievements to have included work contributing to the development of an artificial cornea and a highly advanced in vitro model of the anterior chamber of the eye. A recent grant funded by a special BBSRC/EPSRC Stem Cell Initiative involves the development of novel stem cell marker technology through nano-spectroscopic techniques and is focused toward an applied use in regenerative medicine through collaboration with Anasys Instruments.  A related activity is the investigation of the role of sugar moieties in corneal function and development (Brown).  The research concentrates on the role of proteoglycans in tissue structure and integrity and has succeeded in adding to our understanding of their involvement in a variety of disease processes including corneal eye disease (e.g. macular corneal dystrophy) the development of osteoarthritis (the loss of cartilage integrity) and the metastatic spread of cancer. Studies on neuropeptide synthesis and action (Shirras) draw together the neurodegenerative disease and cell biology themes.  During the assessment period strong industrial links have been forged by this research grouping and the research funded by awards from the BBSRC, EPSRC, NC3Rs, the Wellcome Trust, Royal Society and the TFC Frost Trust.


3.5  The founding of the Department of Medicine has lead to the establishment of a developmental biology grouping within the BSU where research is focused on the immunobiology of placental implantation (Ockleford, Vince).  This grouping brings with it an established international reputation as evidenced by their participation in a major EU FP6 network programme award.  These efforts complement established work in the BSU aimed at understanding the abnormal neural development associated with early onset hydrocephalus a debilitating condition that affects approximately 1/500 pregnancies (Owen-Lynch). Despite later treatment in the form of shunts, abnormal development of the cerebral cortex occurs in the fetal stages, which results in persistent neurological deficits in the infants.  A major advance has been to define that the primary mechanism of this defective development is an S-phase block and consequent reduced cell proliferation in the cortical stem and progenitor cells leading to decreased output of neurones. 


4. Collaborative Interactions 

            It is in the very nature of a successful and active research programme within a relatively small unit that much of the work is advanced by collaborative initiatives.  The majority of staff have extant collaborative research relationships at national and international level and a flavour of these is provided by the list below:


Allinson:            Uppsala University (Sweden), MRC Harwell, University of Manchester.

Allsop:              Harvard Medical School (USA), Kyoto (Japan), University of Bath. EC   Framework 6 grant involving collaborating partners from France, Belgium,       Germany, Hungary and Slovenia (NEUROSCREEN).

Benson:            CRUK, Universities of Oxford, Sussex and NHS Lancashire Hospitals.

Brown:             University of Parma (Italy), Chiba University (Japan), Kennedy Institute.

Fullwood:          Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine (Japan), Manchester Royal Eye                        Hospital.

Ginger:              University of California, Berkeley (USA), Instituto de Investigaciones                              Medicas "Alfredo Lanari", Buenos Aires (Argentina), University of Oxford.

Grant:               Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Cyclacel (UK Ltd.),                             Schering-Plough (Germany).

Lindsay:            Universities of Harvard (USA), Osaka (Japan) and Sussex.

Martin:              Center for Toxicological Research (USA), National Center for Toxicological 

Research (USA) National Institutes of Health (USA), Ningxia Medical College (China), Institute of Cancer Research, 

McKean:          Universities of North Carolina, Oxford, Manchester, UCL and Hull.

Owen-Lynch:    Universities of Dundee and Manchester.

Ockleford:         University of Leicester and 17 partners through the EMBIC                                            collaboration, including Oxford, INSERM, Trieste, CNRS, Rome,                                 INRA, Liege.

Parkin:              Hospital for Special Surgery New York (USA), University of Cape Town                        (RSA), Mayo Clinic Jacksonville (USA), GlaxoSmithKline, University of                     Leeds, Roslin Institute.

Price:                Universities of Sussex, Exeter, Manchester and Dundee.

Shirras:             Universities of Leeds, Stockholm (Sweden) and Jena (Germany).

Winzer:             University of Chicago (USA), Ulm (Germany) Stuttgart (Germany)                                  Nottingham, Imperial College, TMO Renewables.


Two members of staff hold visiting research appointments at international institutions:

Visiting Scientist at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, 2002 (Fullwood).

Visiting Professor in Medical Genetics at Ningxia Medical College, P.R. China, 2006. (Martin).  Professor Ockleford holds an Honorary chair at the Leicester/Warwick School of Medicine.


5. Networking and Translational Research.

            As indicated above, working with partners who may utilise the research and translating it into use when appropriate is an integral part of our research activity. The directly funded work clearly results from long term and ongoing relationship building activities with end-users  such as Anasys Ltd, BP, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Sigma-Aldrich, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanochemia Pharmazeutica AG).  Interactions with the business community are managed through the University Commercialization Unit, which is funded in part through European Regional and North West Development Agencies monies.  This unit has the remit to develop commercial relationships and actively seeks commercial partners across the full spectra of research activity within the Biological Sciences Department.

            The BSU has also demonstrated an awareness and willingness to exploit revenue generating opportunities through commercialization of research tools (Allsop and Benson). Similarly the hydrocephalus work described above has lead to a patent application based around the idea that the condition may be averted through manipulation of the maternal diet.  This is a joint initiative between Lancaster (Owen-Lynch) and the University of Manchester and several large food supplementation companies are currently in negotiation over the licensing and further funding of this patent.  GlaxoSmithKline also funds a collaboration between the Owen-Lynch laboratory and Sandra Sunram-Lea (Psychology, Lancaster) examining the effects of caffeine and glucose containing drinks on the human stress response.  

             The BSU is one component of a large (£1.2m) Department of Health (DoH) collaboration: the Dementia and Neurodegenerative Disease Network (DENDRON) in the Northwest, involving NHS Trusts (including Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Walton Centre for Clinical Neurology NHS Trust, Salford Royal Hospitals’ Trust) and partner universities (Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester).  The activities of the human embryo development group are supported by a EU FP 6 award; EMBIC is a network of Excellence supported through Priority 1 (Life Sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health) FP6 funding to a total value of 22 million euros (EU contribution + 7.4 million). The BSU at Lancaster is a member of the N8 Centre for Translational Regenerative Medicine.  N8 is an innovative partnership between eight research-intensive universities in the North of England, set up to form a bridge between academia and industry to promote healthcare and economic development in the North of England.This centre for Translational Regenerative Medicine will overcome barriers between academia and industry that currently prevent regenerative therapies reaching the clinic. This consortium has already successfully achieved phase I funding (£400k) and is currently preparing for phase II, the objectives of which are to raise £2M from Northern Development Agencies and £6M from industrial sources.

Much of the recent funding into the BSU has been received in response to national and international research agenda defined by the relevant funding bodies e.g. the neurodegenerative disease group is a member of a successful EC Framework 6 Targeted research project. Research funding also has been attracted from a number of sources in response to political priority initiatives. Three major BBSRC capacity building Initiatives resulted in funding awards: Exploiting Genomics (McKean), Proteomics and Cell Function (Price) and Stem Cell Biology (Fullwood).  A DoH research contract was awarded under the auspices of the government Radiation Protection Research Programme (Benson and McMillan).


6. Mechanisms and Practices for Promoting Research

            The BSU holds business meetings every month to discuss research strategy, formulate bids for resources and plan events for promoting biomedical research, such as the BSU seminar programme.  Seminars are held on alternate weeks during term time and involve talks from internal and external staff on a wide range of topics of interest to the BSU.  Academics and postdoctoral research assistants are strongly encouraged to attend these seminars and all postgraduate research students are required to do so as part of their training programme. Funds are available from the Department, Faculty and University to allow PDRAs and research students present their results at national and international scientific meetings. The university Research Support office provides administrative support to active grant awards but its role extends to providing information on funding opportunities and help with the application process. 


6.1 Postgraduate Research Students 

            In addition to M. Phil/PhD students, funded by the Research Councils and medical charities, a small number of students each year undertake the MSc in Biomedicine by Research and we have recently introduced the degree of MD, allowing clinicians to pursue a doctoral level research project.  Support is also available at Faculty and Institutional levels, both providing competitive PhD research studentship awards on an annual basis. The over-riding criterion used to appoint students to doctoral programmes is academic quality.

            The Postgraduate Research Tutor is responsible for the monitoring and coordination of doctoral training within the BSU. Training is recorded in each student’s personal Record of Achievement book, which is reviewed at least every three months by the supervisor(s) and annually by the Postgraduate Research Tutor. Training falls into two categories: a) Generic Training which provides the necessary skills required by all types of research student (provided by the Faculty and comes under the remit of the Postgraduate Teaching Committee which reviews annually the content and delivery of each module), b) Specific Training provided through small groups or one-to-one tuition with academic, post-doctoral, or technical staff which provides the skills necessary for successful development and completion of the research project itself. 

            To promote a broader knowledge of biomedical research and foster collaborative interactions, students are expected to attend the BSU seminar series. There is also annual postgraduate symposium, where students present their work as either a poster or in a talk (final year), with feedback from the academic staff from all sub-disciplines to help develop communication and presentation skills, as well as their science. Substantial reports at the end of years one and two provide practice and training in written communication skills and critical analysis, these provide a focus for the annual progress meetings involving, the student, the Postgraduate Tutor and an independent member of the academic staff.  All research students are provided with writing space, receive substantial IT support and have access to a broad range of equipment, databases and expertise. The PG staff student committee meets three times a year and provides a forum for students to raise questions and identify areas for concern relating to the training programme. 


6.2 Academic and Research Staff       

            The total workload of academic staff is monitored by the Head of Department, taking research, teaching and administration into consideration.  In calculating and assigning workloads account is also taken of external research associated activities; editing, grant and policy committee membership, journal and grant reviewing; with the aim of encouraging staff at all levels to engage with the broader research community.  Staff with a strong research profile and junior staff are given relatively light non-research roles to allow development and maintenance of their research profile.  All academic staff have an entitlement of one full year of sabbatical leave after seven years service and short research leave periods granted to facilitate specific tasks such as writing of papers and grant applications. Priority is given to sabbatical requests leading to demonstrable research outcomes.  Staff are encouraged to attend conferences and funding is provided at Faculty level.  There is also support for small laboratory items and support of Masters projects through a formula driven by number of research staff and students.  Laboratory space allocation is continuously monitored and allocated according to need. Funding for equipment, through the Departmental equipment allocation and the University and Faculty equipment funds, is targeted to multi-user items and new staff.

            New academic staff are mentored by a senior member of staff throughout the probationary period.  Start-up funds are provided along with an enhanced allocation of funds for project supervision.  Junior staff also have priority for grants awarded from the University Research Committee.  A probationary agreement defines teaching and administration load and clearly sets out criteria for passing probation.  The university staff development unit runs specific courses for new academic staff to develop their teaching and other generic skills.

            On joining the BSU all contract researchers go through an induction process.  A professional development agreement is completed on appointment in which training requirements and targets for successful completion of probation are identified. Specific courses for contract research staff are run by the University staff development unit and cover skill development and career planning.  All staff are given an annual appraisal by a senior member of staff which focuses on training needs and areas for development. 


7. Progress on Objectives in RAE 2001

            In RAE2001 biomedical research at Lancaster was included within a Biology submission, a clear objective of which was to enhance biomedical research activity.  The success of this strategy has been evident through the appointments made in the intervening years, the high standard of research outputs, increased clinical links and the extensive translational and commercialization activities developed over the assessment period. All of these activities have been significant drivers in the development and prioritization of the Health and Medicine agenda at the University level. 

            The previous objectives were to build on existing activities by the appointment of academic staff in several priority areas, cancer biology, neurogenerative disease and microbiology. The strengths in the cell cycle, cancer and DNA repair research were augmented by the appointment of Price and Martin in 2001, Allinson (NWCRF research fellow) in 2004 and Lindsay in 2006. Our activity in Neurodegenerative diseases has recently been enhanced by the appointment of Parkin (2007). The appointment of McKean in 2002 established molecular parasitology as a new field in the Department.  The success of this appointment has enabled further growth with the appointment of Grant (Senior Lecturer) and Ginger (Royal Society Research Fellow) in 2007.  Following the retirement of staff the opportunity has arisen to develop prokaryotic microbiology.  This process has begun with the appointment of Winzer in 2006.   Appointments in this area will benefit from cross campus interactions with environmental microbiologists in the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC).  This area was identified as key development objective in RAE 2001 and has successfully been established through the efforts of the Martin laboratory in collaboration environmental toxicology laboratories within LEC.  A further objective was to maintain, expand and exploit the Bioimaging facilities and this has been achieved by the acquisition of the research council funded DeltaVision Image Restoration Analysis system. 


8. Future Development Strategy

            A major policy goal of the BSU remains directed toward basic research underpinning the health and well being of society with the translational delivery of the derived knowledge to the relevant end user community when appropriate.  The integration of the BSU into a new School of Health and Medicine in 2008 will ensure a strong focus for our high quality basic and translational research and allow further expansion of the BSU.  There will be a continued focus on the diseases of aging, cancer and infectious disease, all areas which link to the research activities within the Department of Medicine and the Institute of Health Research who are also joining the new School.  Funds are already available for an increase in staff numbers through externally funded chair and lectureship positions and some internally funded posts. The new School environment will also facilitate clinical facing appointments, for example in pharmacology and medical genetics, which will link the BSU research themes with clinical efforts within the local NHS trusts, enhancing both teaching and research opportunities. The creation of other future joint posts (between Lancaster University and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust) is now under consideration.  The BSU will continue to foster and build upon current, internal, clinically relevant research links with the Departments of Medical Physics, Pyschology, Mathematics and Statistics and the Lancaster Environment Centre. 

            In order to continue to develop the research strategy outlined above the BSU has adopted a set of guiding principles relating to the appointment of new staff.  Where possible, retirements are anticipated and replacement staff sought at the earliest opportunity, prior to retirement.  The strong research environment coupled to the recruitment in recent years of students to biomedical undergraduate and postgraduate degrees has allowed us rapidly to replace retiring staff.  Priority is given to posts that either build on areas of research strength and or where appointments will broaden our forward research strategy.  Decisions on staff recruitment are based mainly on proven research ability, although consideration of developments in teaching is also of importance. 


Esteem indicators:

            All members of the Unit are engaged in the international academic research community, acting as referees for a wide range of internationally recognized journals, the major research councils and medical charities.  Many staff are actively involved with the major research funders in advisory and decision making capacities and there is significant engagement from BSU members with policy definition. 

Chairing or membership of distinguished committees related to research.

BBSRC Genes and Development Committee      (2004-2007) (CP).

BBSRC Research Equipment Initiative (REI)      (2005-2006) (CP).

BBSRC REI Chair                                            (2007) (CP).

Science Foundation Ireland Genetics                   (2007) (CP).

Science Foundation Ireland Microbiology            (2004) (CP).

European Science Foundation EURONA            (2006) (CP).

Society for General Microbiology (SGM) Convener Eukaryotic Microbiology Committee (2001-2006) (CP).

SGM Member Eukaryotic Microbiology Committee  (2001-2007) (PM).

SGM Member Eukaryotic Microbiology Committee  (2007-) (MG).

Member of the Medical Research Council’s College of Experts (JOL).

Member of North West Cancer Research Fund Scientific Committee (JOL).

Academy of Finland, International panel of experts, Research Council for Biosciences and Environment (2003-) (FB).

Founding Committee member and Treasurer of the Genome Stability Network (FB).

Chair and Member of Grant Assessment Panel for The Alzheimer’s Society UK (DA).

Member of Theme Panel VII (Development and Disease) of the Biochemical Society,

(2003-2006) (DA).

Scientific Committee for North West Cancer Research Fund (1998-) (TJM).

Research Committee of Royal College of Radiologists (1997-) (TJM).

EU Panel on Cancer Research (TJM).

Chairman of UK Molecular Epidemiology Group  (FM).

Member of Medical Research Councils College of Experts (2002-) (TJM).

Council of Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (CO).

Secretary of the Company of Anatomists (1998-2004) (CO).


Service on, or invitations to join, government, national or international bodies, or professional advisory bodies, relevant to research.

Advisor to UK delegation to United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic radiation (TJM)

Council of International Association of Radiation Research (TJM)

Radiobiology advisory group for National Cancer Research Institute (TJM)

COMARE (Committee on Medical aspects of radiation in the environment)(1998-) (TJM)

COMARE sub-committee on novel molecular effects of ionising radiation (TJM)

COMARE sub-committee on transgenerational effects of radiation (TJM).

COMARE shadow group for Consultative Exercise on Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters (TJM).

BBSRC Microbiology Funding Review panel (2006) (CP)

N8 centre for Translational Regenerative Medicine steering committee (NJF)

ACP (Ministerial Advisory Committee on Pesticides) DEFRA  (CO)

Medical and Toxicological Panel, Pesticides Safety Directorate (CO)

Steering Committee for NorthWest DeNDRoN (DA)


Editorial activities (eg, membership of the editorial boards of journals).

Member of Editorial Board of (new) journal ‘Biologics: Targets and Therapy’ (DA)

Guest Editor for Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. Since 2001 (NJF)

International Journal of Radiation Biology 1991- (TJM).

Clinical Oncology 1994-2001 (TJM)

Member of Editorial Board of Immunobiology 2006-(CO)

Member of Editorial Board of J. Anatomy,1995-2001 (CO)

Member of Editorial Board European Journal of Morphology 2001-2005 (CO)

Member of the Editorial Board of the journal Toxicology 2006- (FM)


Keynote research papers or invited addresses related to research at major or international conferences.

Research into Aging Symposium, London, 2001 (DA)

International Conference on Parkinsonism and Dementia, Istanbul, Turkey, 2002 (DA)

4th Forum of European Neuroscience (FENS), Lisbon, Portugal, 2004 (DA)

Chairperson and Invited Speaker, 9th International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, Philadelphia, USA, 2004 (DA)

Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration, Dublin 2005. (DA)

COST B-22 (EU-funded) Expert meeting – at the Micro-symposium glycosomes/trypanosomatid metabolism/drug design 2007 (MG)

COST B-22 (EU-funded) Expert meeting – Energy metabolism of parasitic protozoa as a drug target/glycosomes, trypanosomatid metabolism and drug discovery 2006 (MG)

The Trypanosome Flagellum (Institute Pasteur, Paris) 2006 (MG)

FASEB Conference ‘Biology of Cilia and Flagella’ Vermont USA, 2007 (PGM)

‘The Trypanosome Flagellum: An Emerging Model’ - Pasteur Institute, 2006 (PGM)

Society for General Microbiology Conference, Loughborough, 2002 (PGM)

Molecular Parasitology Conference, Woods Hole, MA, USA, 2002 (PGM)

Invited talks at 7thInternational Ocular Surface Society Meeting, Kyoto, Japan 2001 (NJF)

28th Corneal Conference Yonago, Japan 2004 (NJF)

UK Corneal Meeting Cardiff.  2004 (NJF)

Scientific Meeting on Endocrine Disrupters, Prague 2005 (FM)

24th meeting of the European study group for cell proliferation, Leipzig, 2001 (TJM).

UK Radiation Oncology Conference, Bath, 2003 (TJM).

ESTRO international workshop on radiation biology in radiotherapy, Nijmegan, 2003 (TJM).

Annual Meeting of German Radiobiology Society, Hamburg, 2005 (TJM).

Association of Radiation Research Annual Conference, Belfast, 2007 (TJM).


Research Honours or awards.

Honorary Membership of Royal College of Physicians January 2002 (TJM)

Honorary Membership of Royal College of Radiologists May 2004 (TJM) 

Honorary Fellowship of Royal College of Radiologists May 2007 (TJM)

Honorary Research Fellow, Academic Department of Surgery, King’s College London, 2003. (FM)

Co-recipients of the Brian Booth Oncology Research Prize, Rosemere Cancer Foundation 2005 (FM, TJM)

Visiting Professor in Medical Genetics at Ningxia Medical College, P.R. China, 2006 (FM)

Hon. Visiting Professor, University of Leicester 2007-(CO)

Joint recipient of 2004 Daiwa Adrian prize (NJF)