Personal profile

Contact Details


Phone: +44 121 204 3178


I joined the School of Life & Health Sciences in October 2016 as a Lecturer in Biochemistry, having spent the previous four years as a Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of Lincoln.  Prior to that I spent nearly seven years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford.  I completed both my BSc and PhD at the University of Warwick.

I am the Associate Dean Education (Quality Assurance) in the College of Health and Life Sciences.

Research Interests

My research interests focus around membrane proteins and the lipid membranes in which they reside.  I have experience of working with a range of membrane protein systems including receptors such as GPCRs, transporters and biogenesis systems.  I use model lipid membranes to study proteins in their native environments and also to probe the effects of various compounds on the integrity of the membrane itself.  For example, I have investigated the lipid-specific effects of antimicrobials and solvent on biological membranes. I have an ongoing collaboration with Green Biologics Ltd.
I am keen to collaborate on industrially-focussed projects as well as academic ones.  Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

Current Lab Members:

  • Debbie Toomeoks - Programme Manager (MemTrain)
  • Daniel Wiseman - PhD/GTA.  Interactions of GPCRs and RAMPs.
  • John Linney - PhD - Engineering Clostridia for production of high-value chemicals.
  • Monse Roman Lara - PhD - Improved Clostridia strains for production of high-value chemicals.
  • Peer Depping - H2020 MSCA COFUND MemTrain student with Iontas.
  • Annaïg Rozo - H2020 MSCA COFUND MemTrain student with uFraction8.
  • Carolina Almeida - H2020 MSCA COFUND MemTrain student with BCL2020.
  • Tom Potter - Placement Student.

Lab Alumni:

  • Dr Sarah Routledge – MeMBrane. Now in industry.
  • Dr Joyce Bennett - Project Manager (MeMBrane).  Now at HBVNet
  • Dr Megan Cox - KTP associate with Meritics. Now at Meritics.
  • Naomi Wilkinson - Placement student. Now at Aston University.
  • Dr David Hardy - ICURe-funded researcher. Now at Peak Proteins.
  • Ravneet Kaur - Aston GCRF Postdoctoral Researcher. Now at University of Birmingham.
  • Sophia Ijaz - Placement student. Now at Aston University
  • Georgia Stevens - Placement student.  Now at Aston University
  • Dr Peter Sanderson - Postdoctoral Researcher.  Solventogenic stress in bacteria.  Now at University of Lincoln.
  • Samantha Penrice - Postdoctoral Researcher.  Geometric morphometric analysis of GPCR structures.
  • Joanna Bird - MSc student.  Peptide-guided drug delivery.  Now at University of Kent


BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences with Molecular Genetics, University of Warwick, 2002.

PhD Biological Sciences, University of Warwick, 2006.

PGCE HE, University of Lincoln, 2016.


2016 – date: Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University.
2012 – 2016: Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln.
2009 – 2012: PDRA, University of Oxford with Prof. Anthony Watts and Dr Mark Wallace.
2006 – 2009: PDRA, University of Oxford with Prof. Stuart Ferguson, Prof. David Richardson (UEA) and Dr James Moir (York).

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Member of Biochemical Society (Local Ambassador and Member of Training Theme Panel).
  • Member of Microbiology Society.
  • Member of British Biophysical Society.
  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy.

Professional/editorial offices

I am a member of the editorial board for Antibiotics. Membranes and Microbiology Research.

Teaching Activity

I teach across the breadth of life sciences at undergraduate and postgraduate but my main focus in within the area of biochemistry.  I also supervise final year project students and provide academic and pastoral care to tutees.  I am very involved in public engagement and outreach – please get in touch if you would like to know more.

I am module leader for BC4MOM - Molecular Metabolism and BY2BC1 - Metabolism.

I am the Associate Dean Educatoin (Quality Assurance) in the College.

Research Projects/Collaborations


  • May 2019-April 2024  H2020-MSCA-COFUND (€1,952,640; EU contribution €976,320)
    MemTrain - Cell Membrane Training to Advance Industrial Processes. PI with Co-Is Prof. Roslyn Bill, Prof. David Poyner, Prof. Corinne Spickett. Prof. Andy Pitt, Prof. Brian Tighe and Dr Alice Rothnie.
  • July 2018-October 2021   CONACyT PhD Studentship with Maria Monserrat Roman Lara (£59,083) + Aston University International Scholarship (£21,000) Improved Clostridia strains for production of high-value chemicals.
  • April 2021-March 2022  British Council UK/Australia Season 2021-22 COP26 Grant (£24,614.50) Biotechnological Knowledge Transfer in a Pandemic-affected World.  PI with Co-Is Prof. Roslyn Bill, Dr Sara Kyne (Monash University, Australia) and Dr Long Dang (University of Danang, Vietnam).
  • October 2020 – September 2024              BBSRC MIBTP CASE Studentship with NanoFCM (£120,000) Extracellular Vesicles – defining the functional surface of extracellular vesicles.  PI – Prof. Andrew Devitt, Co-I with Dr Dimitri Aubert (NanoFCM).
  • January 2022-December 2023    KTP with Biocleave Ltd (£143,129 + £70,496 company contribution) Expression of membrane proteins in Clostridia. PI with Co-I Prof. Roslyn Bill.
  • January 2022-July 2022  UKRI/FSA Joint Call in Citizen Science for Food (£38,962) Exploring the chopping board microbiome. PI with Co-Is Prof. Anthony Hilton, Dr Tony Worthington and Dr Rachel Pateman (University of York).
  • October 2021-September 2025  BBSRC MIBTP CASE Studentship with Refeyn (£120,000) Using light to weigh membrane proteins in lipid bilayers.  PI: Prof. Roslyn Bill, Co-I with Dr Alice Rothnie.
  • January 2022-July 2022  Biochemical Society Diversity in Science Grant (£500) Co-creation of resources for empathy development in academics. PI: Dr Joanne Gough Co-I with Dr James Brown, Dr Eric Hill and Dr Karan Rana.




  • September 2020 – October 2020              BBSRC High Value Biorenewables NIBB Business Interaction Voucher with Corteva Agriscience (£10,000 + £10,000 in kind) Characterising toxicity at the cell membrane during spinosyn biosynthesis.
  • January 2020 – October 2020     UKRI Citizen Science Exploration Grant (£19,765) Crowd Sourcing SuperYeast.  PI with Co-Is: Prof. Roslyn Bill, Dr Rachel Pateman (York).
  • January 2020 – September 2020              Midlands Innovation MICRA Post Scientific Proof of Concept Development Grant (£24,883) Commercialisation of membrane protein production.  Co-PI: Prof. Roslyn Bill, Mr Luke Southan.
  • August 2019 – January 2020       Innovate UK Midlands ICURe (£35,000) Commercialisation of membrane protein production.  Co-PI: Prof. Roslyn Bill, Dr Alice Rothnie, Dr David Hardy and Mr Luke Southan.
  • March 2019   BBSRC 18ALERT (£637,476)
    A mass spectrometry centre for the analysis of glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids and sphingolipids, and their lipid oxidation products. PI: Prof. Andy Pitt, Co-I with Prof. Roslyn Bill, Prof. Corinne Spickett and Prof. Andrew Devitt.
  • July 2019-June 2021  KTP with Meritics Ltd. (£126,670 + £62,389 company contribution)
    Characterisation of biological nanoparticles. Co-PI with Dr Alice Rothnie.
  • May 2018-May 2021 ERA CoBioTech (PI €2,400,000; Aston share £790,993 BBSRC-funded)
    MeMBrane - MEmbrane Modulation for BiopRocess enhANcEment.
  • April 2018-December 2018   BBSRC Follow on Fund Pathfinder (£13,577) Setting up a core facility for the production and purification of recombinant membrane proteins as a service to research institutions and industry.  PI: Prof. Roslyn Bill; Co-I with Prof. David Poyner and Dr Alice Rothnie.
  • March 2018-March 2019   Royal Society Research Grant (£14,636) Characterising protective lipid changes in solventogenic Clostridia.
  • October 2017-September 2020    School of Life and Health Sciences PhD Studentship (£54,888). Engineering bacteria for enhanced production of high-value chemicals.
  • October 2017-February 2018   IB Catalyst Seeding Award - BioProNet (£24,968).  Improved microfluidic devices for downstream bioprocess separation of sub-micron targets with uFraction8 Ltd.
  • October 2017-January 2018  BBSRC UK-Taiwan Exchange (£1,200). Exchange with Dr Yu-Chu Chang, College of Medical Science and Technology, Taipei Medical University.
  • September 2017-December 2017   Biochemical Society Event Sponsorshop (£350) Labtathlon.
  • August 2017-February 2018     IB Catalyst Seeding Award - CBMNet Flagship Project (£100,000). Consolidation, Integration and Critical Mass Building- Optimizing membrane function in the Clostridial ABE process with Dr Gavin Thomas. Dr Rob Fagan, Dr Peter Chivers and Green Biologics Ltd. 
  • October 2016    BBSRC CBMNet Industrial-Academic Exchange Grant (£850). Examination of n-butanol membrane interactions by nanoplasmonic sensing.
  • March 2016-November 2016    BBSRC CBMNet Proof of Concept (£30,753.20).Identifying and characterising protective lipid changes under solventogenic stress with Dr Ian Graham and Dr Tony Larson (University of York) and Green Biologics Ltd.
  • June-July 2016    BBSRC CBMNet Vacation Scholarship (£1,467). Modelling of multifactorial solvent stress on membranes.
  • June 2016    BBSRC CBMNet Public Engagement Grant (£460).School debate: how should we use our resources?
  • March 2016-August 2016    BBSRC CBMNet Business Interaction Voucher (£9,820.15 + £10,000 in kind)In vitro and in silico models of n-butanol-membrane interactions with Dr Manuela Mura (School of Maths and Physics) and Green Biologics Ltd.
  • January 2016-December 2016    School of Life Sciences Pump Priming Scheme (£10,000). Characterising peptide-guided drugs.  With Driton Vllasaliu (School of Pharmacy, University of Lincoln).
  • June-August 2015    University of Lincoln UROS Scheme (£1,000).Support for an undergraduate student identifying novel cell-surface receptors.
  • November 2014 - April 2015    BBSRC CBMNet Business Interaction Voucher (£4,895 + £5,000 in kind). n-butanol Interactions with Biological Membranes with Green Biologics Ltd.
  • October 2014 -June 2015    Fund for Educational Development (£1,400).To develop a new training programme for PGR students focussed on employability.
  • June 2014 – August 2015    Eric Reid Fund for Methodology - Biochemical Society (£1,837).To develop a collaboration with Dr Nicola Crewe to use Polarising Light Microscopy to study biological lipid membranes.
  • June 2014-July2014    University of Lincoln UROS Scheme (£1,000).With Dr Anna Wilkinson and Dr Charles Deeming.  Summer studentship support for two students to study the biochemistry of bird eggs.
  • November 2013 - April 2014    University of Lincoln RIF (£12,700).With Dr Driton Vllasaliu and Dr David Waugh.  Pump prime funding to develop an in vitro model of the human gut using laser-processing techniques.
  • July 2013    Biochemical Society Sponsored Event Grant (£350). School of Life Sciences Postgraduate Symposium
  • June – August 2013    SGM Harry Smith Vacation Studentship (£1,766).Purification of Paracoccus nitrogen oxyanion transporters.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

External positions

External Examiner, Liverpool John Moores University



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