I am the Head of Biomedical Forensic science, within the School of Human Sciences. I currently lead and co-ordinate an enthusiastic academic team in research-informed teaching. We develop student-focused curricula with a specific emphasis to enhance graduate employability.
Within this relatively new but rapidly expanding discipline, there are approximately 15 academics within my team, delivering a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. My focus is mainly on enhancing student engagement via active learning strategies, internationalisation and pedagogic development (relating to the theory and practice of education) with consultancy activities in the fields of biomedical and forensic science.
I joined the University in August 2018 after completing 22 years as a senior and then principal lecturer in another higher education institution within the UK. I am proud to lead a vibrant and passionate academic community. My vision is to improve and enhance teaching and research activities within this discipline leading to an established centre of excellence for medical sciences.
I have a successful research career, focusing on both biomedical science and pedagogic approaches in scientific teaching. My scientific research specialises on the environmental and nutritional influences on early trophoblast invasion linking to pregnancy-related disorders such as pre-eclampsia. Likewise, my pedagogic research focuses on improving student engagement, academic integrity (including plagiarism awareness, deterrence) and medical ethics. I am one of the founding members of European Network of Academic Integrity (ENAI) which was established via collaborations amongst several European universities supported by the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships project (2016-1-CZ01-KA203-023949). The main objectives are to promote integrity in whole academia (i.e. education, research and other aspects of academic sector) and to collaborate towards research and promotion of academic integrity. I am also delivering workshops to medical/biomedical students and researchers around the world on medical and bioethics
As a biomedical scientist, I have over 25 years of experience in teaching physiology, molecular pharmacology, human reproduction, and bio/medical ethics to undergraduate and postgraduate students. My main focus has been on training and assisting students for Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) registration. I am currently involved in teaching a variety of modules from NQF5 to 7 including human reproduction, translational oncology, research methods and biochemistry. As a student-focused educator, I take pride in developing new innovative ways of teaching and learning enhancement activities. At undergraduate level I focus on, blended learning activities using students as partners, peer-assisted learning with problem-solving skill development, and laboratory-linked enquiry-based learning activities. On the other hand, at post-graduate level, I focus on the internationalisation of curricula, flexi-learning (leading pharmacology module), research-informed teaching and cross-border peer-assisted blended learning activities. I have shared my experiences from this wide range of learning enhancement activities in the form of presentations, seminars and publications.
My professional interests are to lead and co-ordinate biomedical/forensic science area with the focus to develop external industry and research links. These, in my opinion, would enhance a student cantered curriculum that will enhance learning, academic integrity and graduate employability. This includes recruitment, teaching, enhancing student engagement, plagiarism prevention, internationalisation and pedagogic research development.
From an instructional design point of view, I have pioneered anti-plagiarism scholarly activities within biosciences. I am conducting several global student seminars and produced a student handbook containing advice on methods to avoid, deter, and detect plagiarism. These strategies were not only useful for the students but also helped the staff to employ these tools effectively to reduce plagiarism. Also, I have the responsibility for academic leadership in advising academic teams on plagiarism deterrence, detection and suitable punishments. Moreover, I have been working in conjunction with JISC-plagiarism advisory service since its launch.
Scientific Research Interests
My main research interest is on investigating underlying concept of molecular events that are associated with trophoblast invasion as a model of tumour invasiveness. My laboratory focusses on the role of invasion specific novel factors such as onco-foetal proteins during placental invasion. My laboratory has standardised protocols for generating stem-like cells (SLC’s) from transformed first trimester placental and choriocarcinoma (placental tumour) cell lines to focus on SLC’s as a model of tumour invasiveness. We intend to use proteomic and computational biology in addition to the usual comparative analysis of protein and mRNA expressions. Using the same 3D cell culture systems, we are also trying to understand the effects of environmental pollution on the molecular events/factors that are involved in early trophoblast invasion.
Pedagogic Research Interests
I have been an active researcher in developing novel approaches in teaching biomedical sciences. My pedagogic research interests include (a) internationalisation; (b) Student-centred teaching, (c) peer-assisted learning and (b) academic integrity/plagiarism deterrence. Working closely with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and Plagiarism Advisory Services (PAS), I have addressed educating students to enhance their academic writing and improve their graduate attributes. This has resulted in several publications in HEA and PAS conferences. Also, I have developed innovative teaching techniques to educate under- and post-graduate students and plagiarism deterrence.
Head of Ethical Advisory Group, European Network for Academic Integrity (ENAI)
Reviewer for scientific journals (a) Placenta; (b) American Journal of Preventive Medicine; (c) American Journal of Physiology; and (d) Journal of Perinatal Medicine.
Prof Marco Cosentino, Centro di Ricerche in Farmacologia Medica, Università degli Studi dell'Insubria, Varese, Lombardia, Italy
Prof Graham Pockley, John van Geest Cancer Research Centre, Nottingham Trent University
Prof K Sunder, Kalasilingam Academy of Research and Education, Krishnan Koil, Srivilliputhur, Tamil Nadu 626128, India
European Network of Academic Integrity, Zemedelska 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
- BSc (H) Biomedical Science (First Class with Distinction; IBMS President's Prize Winner), Nottingham Trent University.
- PhD - Monoamine oxidase expression in non-CNS tissues and pregnancy-induced hypertension, Nottingham Trent University.
- Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE), Nottingham Trent University.
Experience in industry
I have been working in European Collection of Animal Cell Culture (ECACC), at the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research, Porton Down, Salibury, UK