Personal profile

Research interests

  • Role of inflammation and ageing on sensory signalling in the GI tract
  • Role of serotonergic, TRP and P2X signalling processes in mediating sensory signalling in the GI tract
  • Role of TRP channel activity in modulating GI motility
  • Design of novel safety pharmacology screens to assess drug safety profiles

Teaching specialisms

  • Module co-ordinator  and lecturer 2nd year Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Gastrointestinal pathophysiology, drug receptor interactions)

  • Module co-ordinator for MSc Pharmacology research projects

  • Lecturer on 2nd year Pharmacy module (Gastroenterology pathophysiology, rheumatoid arthritis)

  • Lecturer on BSc Dietetics module (GI physiology and pathophysiology)

  • Lecturer on 1st year Human Physiology module (neurophysiology; autonomic neuroscience; renal and GI physiology)

  • Lecturer on 3rd year Therapeutics and Pharmacology module (local and general anaesthesiology)

  • Lecturer of 3rd year drug design module

  • Lecturer on sports science human physiology module

  • Lecturer on MSc Pharmacology module, OSPAP, Principles of Pharmaceutical Science modules (pharmacodynamics, GI pathophysiology)

Commercial and public engagement

  • Entered the BBSRC Innovator of the Year Award competition, 2009 and 2010.

  • Consultancy work with Takeda Cambridge to provide technical and academic advice on developing gastrointestinal motility models.

  • Invited peer reviewer for Pharmaceuticals Journal.

  • Invited peer reviewer for Frontiers in Enteric Neuroscience
  • Associate reviewer for F1000 Club.

  • Digestive Disease Week 2009 abstract referee (Neurogastroenterology and Motility subsection).
  • Assistant peer reviewer for PLoS, Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Physiology.


Research Background

My research interests are focused on studying the neural control of gastrointestinal function. Specifically I wish to understand how processes such as ageing and inflammation affect the organization and function of gastrointestinal sensory neural pathways, and how this impacts upon human health. I use a variety of experimental protocols including electrophysiology, molecular biology, and immunohistochemistry to identify the pathways and characterise the molecules involved in regulating gastrointestinal sensory signalling processes. I have also collaborated with industry to develop biomarkers of gastrointestinal adverse drug reactions for use in safety pharmacology screening procedures.


Membership information:

  • British Pharmacological Society.

  • Physiological Society.


Conference Presentations:

Invited lecture presentations:

  • British Pharmacological Society Meeting Dec 2014

  • Little Brain Big Brain Meeting, Jeju Island, S. Korea, 2007.

  • Little Brain Big Brain Meeting, Kenosha USA, 2009.

  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Boston, 2013

  • 1st Federation of Gastroenterology and Motility, Guangzhou, China, 2014

Distinguished Abstract Plenary Session lecture presentations:

American Gastrointestinal Association, Digestive Disease Week (DDW), Chicago, 2009.

Research Forum lecture presentations:

  • Infection and Immunity Research Day, University of Sheffield, 2012.

  • ISAN Meeting, Brazil  Sept 2011.

  • International Symposium on Neurogastroenterology and Motility, Lucerne, SW, 2008 and Jeju Island, S. Korea, 2007.

  •  DDW Meeting, Chicago, 2005; Los Angeles, 2006, San Diego, 2012.

  • Comparative Invertebrate Physiology and Biochemistry Conference, Calgary, 1999.

  • Society for Parasitology Conference, Edinburgh, 1995.

Selected Posters presentations/abstracts:

  • International Symposium on Neurogastroenterology and Motility, Chicago, 2009.

  • DDW Meeting, Los Angeles, 2006, Washington, 2007 and San Diego, 2008, 2011.

  • The C. elegans European Meeting, Naples, 2002.

  • Society for Neuroscience Conference, USA 2001, 1997, 1995.


Funding gained:

  • BBSRC (co-applicant on research grant with David Grundy) “Sensory dysfunction in the ageing gut” (2009-2012); ~£400,000.

  • Nuffield Foundation, Research Bursary (2005); £1400.

  • Physiological Society Vacation Studentships (2005, 2007-2011): £7200.


Distinctions :

  • Pharmacological Society, Bain Award, 2013.

  • Physiological Society Travel Awards, 2005; 2007; 2009; 2011, 2013

  • ISNM 2008 Meeting Abstract Prize winner.

  • AstraZeneca Science Day 2008, Best Poster Prize.

  • DDW Meeting 2006, Poster of Distinction Award.

  • F1000 Biology, recommended paper 2003; “Analysis of G-protein coupled receptors in Caenorhabditis elegans by gene inactivation using RNA mediated genetic interference.”


Commercial and public engagement

  • Vitae, Leadership in Action, University of Leeds, 2011.

  • BBSRC media training course, 2010.

  • Gastrosummer School Haigerloch Germany, 2006.


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