I have always been fascinated with the life sciences and how we utilise and critically evaluate data. My favourite subjects in school were biology and history, although very different I found biology fascinating but very factual and history on the other hand was more interpretive and allowed space to question the evidence. I can remember my history teacher poking fun at the fact that history text books always seemed to quote even, rounded numbers. Little did I know that this healthy scepticism would prove an asset to me in the world of science.
Following school I went to Cardiff University to study a BSc in Biomedical Sciences, where I developed a passion for molecular biology, undertaking my honours research project in Cartilage repair under Prof Bruce Caterson. He sparked my interest in Tissue Engineering, and how we could use the body’s own repair mechanisms to heal and regenerate tissues and organs. I went on to undertake a masters in Tissue Engineering and undertook biomaterial research seeding stem cells into antimicrobial hydrogels for bone graft applications. I then moved into wound healing research for my PhD, where I investigated the underlying molecular signalling pathways involved in non-healing chronic wounds.
Throughout my research career I have always had a passion for communicating and teaching science. I have been science communications officer for third sector organisations, taught at Cardiff University and I have written for BBC Cymru. This passion for teaching led me to become lecturer at Queen Margaret University. Here I am undertaking my PgCert in Professional and Higher Education and teach Genetics, Immunology, Molecular Biology and Public Health Communication to undergraduate and postgraduate students.
I have had an active role in both public engagement and widening participation throughout my career, including being part of the Seren network in Wales. I am now WISeR (Widening Student Participation and Retention) Coordinator for the School of Health Sciences, involved in working with the QAA Enhancement Themes
My research interests is on the wound healing properties of honey, science communication and teaching.
Active research interests:
Development of honey based antimicrobial agents, immunomodulatory properties of honey, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of honey.
Microbial inhibition assays, tissue culture, ELISA assays, biochemical assays, LCMS, inhibition of the production of bacterial toxins by honey.
Microbiology and Immunology, Cell biology and Genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry, communicating public health.