In support of equality, diversity, and inclusion at Kingston University, I am collaborating with Dr Mehmet Dorak, Head of School for Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry, to lead the development of Café SWAN - the Athena SWAN journal society for LSPC. We are facilitating staff and student talks around issues affecting EDI in the sciences, with meetings to discuss current research in this area, supporting action on Athena SWAN principles across the school.
In my role as an academic, I am the Module Leader for LS4004 Human Physiology, a core module for all BSc (honours) students in Pharmacology, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Science, and Nutrition programmes. I'm currently investigating how engagement with formative work influences summative performance for STEM undergraduates. Prior to this I was the Maplethorpe Fellow from 2012-2014 at King's College London, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, where my research included investigations of experimental inflammation using nanomaterials.
My interdisciplinary background includes psychology, pharmaceutical sciences, and pedagogical development. I'm interested in the intersection of subject-based knowledge and transferable skills. With support from SADRAS I recently investigated staff and students' understanding of soft skills within the SEC Faculty, which led to the refinement of tools for embedding soft skills assessment. From a focused analysis of our pharmacology students, I observed that students recognised the importance of some key soft skills, but were less certain about the importance of others.
In the lab, my current research includes investigation of the role of pharmacologic and nutraceutical agents in aquatic snails. Background work has included setting up and validating conditioned behavioural models in Lymnaea stagnalis (Great Pond Snail), with a stable breeding colony established. Future research will seek to investigate the role of oxidative stress and nootropic drugs on learning and memory.
Senior Lecturer in Physiology and Pharmacology
As Module Leader for LS4004 Human Physiology, I have responsibility for a large cohort of students including pharmacology, nutrition, biomedical sciences, and biological sciences degrees. Students join us at Level 4 from a wide variety of backgrounds, and I have been investigating how we can improve academic engagement and module performance through the use of formative (practice) assessments. Our in-house research has shown that students who engage in formal practice work are significantly more likely to do well in this module overall. Building on this research, I am now investigating how students backgrounds influence their percentions of, and engagement with, learning opportunities across the module with a view to recognizing and removing barriers to access.
Based on the success of rigorous use of formative assessments at Level 4, I have been working with the pharmacology teaching team to implement systematic formative assessment across the programme. Early results suggest that formative work is also of value at Levels 5 and 6, and provides students with opportunities for further feedback.
In the past my research has centered around in-vivo pharmacology of inflammation, nanotoxicity, and respiratory functions. This has included collaborations with the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland, and the Sackler Institute of Pulmonary Pharmacology at King's College London.
Currently my focus has shifted to non-animal models, to investigate the effects of anti-oxidants, serotonergic drugs, and neutraceuticals on learning and memory circuits in Lymnaea stagnalis (Great Pond Snails). This has included lab and literature based investigations, supporting undergraduate and masters research projects.