Dr Alan-Shaun Wilkinson

Position: Senior Lecturer in Analytical Chemistry

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

Subject area: Forensic Sciences

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Senior Lecturer in Analytical Chemistry

Teaching responsibilities

  • Program leader for Chemical Biology BSc (Hons) CF71
  • Program leader for Higher National Degree in Applied Sciences

I teach on the following modules: Advanced Techniques in Analytical Chemistry (level 6); Forensic Chemistry of Drugs (level 6); Materials in a Forensic Context (level 6); Independant Studies (level 6); Chemistry for Analysis (level 5); Practical Analytical Chemistry (level 5); Instrumental Methods in Chemical Analysis (level 5); Research Methods: Critical Thinking (level 5); Research Methods (Developing Skills); Molecular and Cellular Processess (level 5); Introduction to Chemistry (level 4); Chemical Reactions and Their Control (level 4); Practical Skills in Forensic Science (level 4); Essential Chemical Skills (level 4). 

Professional interests

  • Director of studies for GTA Mr Ian M. Shropshire, "Stability studies of biological drugs, Herceptin a case study"
  • Representative on the "Employer employability user group" within the School of Science.

Research interests

I have a number of research interests:

  • Developing analytical tools including Biological cell based assays for assessing drug stability over an extended shelf life. This work is focused on understanding the mechanisms of degradation and loss of efficacy in the human breast cancer drug Trastzumab (formulated as Herceptin).
  • The development and use of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) as a diagnostic tool for evaluating changes in secondary structure within a range of model proteins (monoclonal antibodies) used in the treatment of cancer.
  • Instrumentation and sensor design for the detection of a range of biological and chemical agents at low levels of detection.
  • Developing analytical tools and methods for the detection and quantitation of pheromones for attracting the Oak processionary moth (OPM) Thaumetopoea procesessionea in conjunction with the Centre for Forestry and Climate Change UK.


Undergraduate Qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) in Applied Chemistry, Louughborough University

Research Qualifications 

  • PhD (Sept 1992 to Sept 1995), Derby University in collaboration with Nottingham University
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (PGPLT) - 2009, Derby University

Additional interests and activities

  • Member of the Biological Sciences Research Group (BSRG)
  • Member of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Physical Sciences.
  • I have established a number of links with external companies and collaborating organisations and deliver consultancy in the areas of: Analytical Chemistry, Pharmacy (drug stability) and instrumentation.

Experience in industry

Research Posts

  • Birmingham University, Biological Sciences: Kinetic studies of b-lactam antibiotics with target proteins: stopped flow FTIR 1997-2001
  • Derby University, Chemistry: RNA directed peptide synthesis using a solid phase 1995-1997
  • Research Scientist in Microfluidics and Silicon MEMS (Micro Electromechanical Systems): Working within the Micro Nano Technology Labs (MNT) at QinetiQ plc (Malvern) towards developing lab on a chip based approaches for the enhanced detection of a variety of chemical, biological and explosive materials. This work was mainly focused on the use and exploitation of silicon microfabrication technology and processes at QinetiQ Malvern. 2001 - 2008
  • Research Scientist DERA (Defence Evaluation Research Agency) in Sensors and Electronics: Working in the MNT group at Malvern in Microfluidics and Silicon MEMS for detection of chemical, Biological and Explosive materials. 2001

In the media

  • Recently invited on Radio Derby to talk about research into the use of Licopene rich food stuffs as an alternative to low level Statins for reducing risk of heart attack/stroke (2011).

  • Featured on East Midlands Today with Independant Studies student Miss Sonica Devi. The coverage was based on the development of a new analytical method based on Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) for detecting Cocaine down at the picogram level from phone box surfaces in Derby. This work came out of a discussion with Derbyshire Constabulary who identified this as an area of interest, linking specific public phone booths with illegal drug use and drug based transactions in the city. This work was published at a recent Forensic Conference at which the Miss Devi receieved a prize for her oral presentation on her novel research.

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