My life as a Biologist started at Portobello High School, Edinburgh. After leaving school I worked as a state registered Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where I obtained an ONC and HNC in Medical Laboratory Sciences. After a few years I became rather unsettled as a MLSO so I gave up the day job and went to the University of Stirling to do an Honours Degree in Biological Sciences . Here I became interested in Bacteriology following my honours research project on bacterial plasmids.
I then did my PhD on bacterial pathogenicity factors at Queens Medical Centre, University of Nottingham where I also completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Although I enjoyed teaching in schools , I really missed research, and moved back to University life where after several postdoctoral positions I became a full time lecturer at Queen Margaret University. Here I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and teach Microbiology and Immunology to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and conduct research on the antimicrobial activity and composition of honey.
My passion is research on honey which I have only relatively recently studied having previously investigated the antimicrobial activity of plant essential oils. I regularly give public talks on my research findings and collaborate with Dr Gordon Mc Dougall of the Hutton Research Institute, Dundee, Scotland. Here we have identified a number of honeys which have potent antibacterial activity which is independent of sugar, hydrogen peroxide and polyphenol content. We are currently trying to isolate this hitherto unknown antimicrobial agent in honey and to determine if it can inhibit antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:
Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:
My research interest is on the antimicrobial activity, composition, and immunomodulatory properties of honey.
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.
Lorna's seminars and lectures focus on Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Clinical Sciences including microbiology and immunology of the GI tract and Immunology, amongst other topics.
Fellowship of the Royal Society 2015