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I am an Associate Professor for Physiology and Pharmacology. I research in two different disciplines. The first is in bioscience and relates largely to studying calcium handling in isolated cardiac myocytes. The second relates to my interrogation of the nature of learning itself at university via my educational research.
I ran my own BHF-funded laboratory at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge in Professor Sir Michael Berridge's Laboratory of Molecular Signalling. Here I pharmacologically characterised a novel cardiac beta-adrenoceptor. As a pedagogical researcher I have run national workshops on teaching and learning for colleagues for the AdvanceHE and the Heads of University Biosciences (HUBS)/Royal Society of Biology (RSB).
I am a Senior Fellow of the HEA, a Fellow of the RSB and was until recently Education Lead for the Physiological Society. I was UK HEA Bioscience Teacher of the Year in 2014/15 and am now Chair of the judging panel for this award. I set up a national "Bridging the Awarding Gaps" Network for the RSB in 2020 and now co-Chair this network. Undergraduate courses I lead have been shortlisted by the Guardian University Awards in the "Course Design, Student Outcomes and Retention" category.
As the Physiological Society's Education Lead I ran a series of worldwide webinars on topics as diverse as "Teaching in the Time of Covid", "Delivering Final Year or Capstone projects" and "Diversity in Teaching". As Expert Panel Member for the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) I helped draw up a new national BSc Pharmacology curriculum. I am now part of the BPS's Inclusive Pharmacology Group.
I am an acknowledged expert in UK Biosciences teaching having national roles which shape policy and strategy in those disciplines.
As a culmination of these efforts in 2021 I was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by AdvanceHE.
My research has largely involved looking at the role of beta adrenoceptors in regulating single cardiac cell function. In particular I helped to characterise the role of a novel beta-AR now called the low affinity beta1-AR. This receptor is resistant to blockade by propranolol but seems to be linked to arrhythmogenesis. I am also interested in the morphological and functional differences between atrial and ventricular cardiac cells. Techniques I have used to investigate these areas have included single cell fluorescence, confocal microscopy, western blotting and biochemical assays.
I have also induced experimental forms of heart failure in experimental animals and studied the effect of novel pharmacological agents on the compromised myocardium.
In terms of pedagogical research I have extensively investigated the nature of the student experience at Kingston University, especially as it relates to the MPharm Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science degrees. I am currently investigating BME attainment in these programmes
Baheran, Sanaz Sadig, Alany, Raid G., Schwikkard, Sianne, Muen, Wisam, Salman, Lena Namaan, Freestone, Nicholas and Al-Kinani, Ali A. (2022) Pharmacological treatment strategies of pterygium : drugs, biologics, and novel natural products. Drug Discovery Today, p. 103416. ISSN (print) 1359-6446 (Epub Ahead of Print)
ElShaer, Amr, Casanova, Diogo, Freestone, Nicholas S and Calabrese, Gianpiero (2020) Students' perceptions of the value of electronic feedback : does disciplinary background really matter? British Journal Of Educational Technology, 51(2), pp. 590-606. ISSN (print) 0007-1013
Ghosh, Anshuman, Freestone, Nicholas S, Anim-Nyame, Nicholas and Arrigoni, Francesca I F (2017) Microvascular function in pre-eclampsia is influenced by insulin resistance and an imbalance of angiogenic mediators. Physiological Reports, 5(8), e13185. ISSN (online) 2051-817X
Anim-Nyame, Nick, Ghosh, Anshuman, Freestone, Nicholas and Arrigoni, Francesca (2015) Relationship between insulin resistance and circulating endothelial cells in pre-eclampsia. Gynecological endocrinology : the official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology, 31(10), pp. 788-791. ISSN (print) 1473-0766
Sam, C, Alhakem, H and Freestone, N.S. (2013) [Beta]-Adrenergic subtypes in chick embryonic cardiac myocytes. Proceedings of the 6th European Congress of Pharmacology, pp. 63-66.
Freestone, N. (2013) Equity in Higher Education provision: stretching the able. Proceedings Of the 6th European Congress of Pharmacology, pp. 189-192.
Sam, C.L.S., Bolton, T.B., Piper, I.T., Greenhill, D and Freestone, N.S. (2013) A novel mechanism for the genesis of arrhythmias? The role of the low affinity β1-adrenergic receptor and CGP12177 in spontaneous calcium release in rat atrial myocytes. Proceedings of the 6th European Congress of Pharmacology, pp. 75-78.
Abdullah, A, Arrigoni, F and Freestone, N (2010) Tumour cell adhesion of endothelial cell monolayer. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 62(10), pp. 1496-1498. ISSN (print) 0022-3573
Freestone, Nicholas (2009) Drafting and acting on feedback supports student learning when writing essay assignments. Advances in Physiology Education, 33(2), pp. 98-102. ISSN (print) 1043-4046
Halliday, Loryn, Freestone, Nicholas and Arrigoni, Francesca (2021) Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase levels in blood outgrowth endothelial cells. In: Physiology 2021; 12-16 Jul 2021, Held online.
Halliday, L., Brogan, P., Freestone, N. and Arrigoni, F. (2020) ADA2 expression and activity in blood outgrowth endothelial cells. In: 3rd International Conference on Deficiency of Adenosine Deaminase 2 : Driving Toward Consensus; 17-19 Nov 2020, Held online. (Unpublished)
Halliday, Loryn, Esposito, Giulia, Brogan, Paul, Freestone, Nicholas and Arrigoni, Francesca (2019) Adenosine deaminase 2 restores the endothelial glycocalyx of blood outgrowth endothelial cells. In: Future Physiology 2019 : Translating Cellular Mechanisms into Lifelong Health Strategies; 17-18 Dec 2019, Liverpool, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Halliday, Loryn, Brogan, Paul, Freestone, Nicholas and Arrigoni, Francesca (2019) Influence of adenosine deaminase 2, on the angiogenic function of blood outgrowth endothelial cells. In: Pharmacology 2019; 15-17 Dec 2019, Edinburgh, U.K..
Luckhurst, Natasha, Kenny, Julia, Hunter, Patricia, Freestone, Nicholas, Klein, Nigel and Arrigoni, Francesca (2019) Circulating microparticle levels in children following the initiation of antiretroviral therapy. In: British Society for Immunology (BSI) Congress 2019; 02-05 Dec 2019, Liverpool, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Luckhurst, Natasha, Hunter, Patricia, Freestone, Nicholas, Klein, Nigel and Arrigoni, Francesca (2019) Monocyte-derived microparticles activate human monocytes and promote their transendothelial migration. In: British Society for Immunology (BSI) Congress 2019; 02-05 Dec 2019, Liverpool, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Freestone, Nicholas and Thatti, Baljit (2019) Supporting inclusion and encouraging diversity in chemistry. In: Redefining Success: Royal Society of Chemistry Inclusion and Diversity Forum 2019; 05 Nov 2019, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Halliday, L., Brogan, P., Freestone, N. and Arrigoni, F. (2019) Adenosine deaminase 2 promotes growth and migration of blood outgrowth endothelial cells, in the presence of adenosine. In: First Symposium on Synthesis & Drug Discovery; 01 Nov 2019, Kingston upon Thames, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Ghatora, Baljit, Freestone, Nicholas and Rooney, Brian (2018) The use of co-curricular activities to increase student engagement on interdisciplinary degree courses and instil graduate outcomes. In: Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference: Making Connections, Innovating and Sharing Pedagogy; 28-29 Jun 2018, Hull, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Thatti, Baljit, Freestone, Nicholas and Ali, Salma (2018) Personal tutors and tutees perceptions of a personal tutoring system. In: Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference : Making Connections, Innovating and Sharing Pedagogy; 28-29 Jun 2018, Hull, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Luckhurst, N., Kenny, J., Hunter, P., Freestone, N., Klein, N. and Arrigoni, F. (2018) Alterations in cellular microparticle levels as a marker of cellular activation and injury in children with HIV infection. In: 36th Annual European Society of Infectious Diseases (ESPID) Meeting : Advances in Paediatric Infectious Diseases; 28 May - 02 Jun 2018, Malmo, Sweden. (Unpublished)
Freestone, Nicholas and Sam, Cynthia (2011) Team teaching across two very different higher education institutions: the Kingston MPharm degree. In: Scanning the Horizons: Institutional Research in a Borderless World. The 4th UK and Ireland Higher Education Institutional Research Network Conference; 16-17 Jun 2011, Kingston, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Freestone, Nicholas and Sam, Cynthia (2011) Unpalatable truths about institutional research: when doing the right thing costs. In: Scanning the Horizons: Institutional Research in a Borderless World. The 4th UK and Ireland Higher Education Institutional Research Network Conference; 16-17 Jun 2011, Kingston, U.K.. (Unpublished)
I am an Educational Theme Lead for The Physiological Society and a member of the Education, Public Engagement and Policy Committee of The Physiological Society. This is a pivotal role in the policy and practice environment as it relates to the teaching and dissemination of physiology and related Biosciences across the UK.
I was also a member of a working group acting for the British Pharmacological Society that drew up the new BSc Pharmacology curriculum for Pharmacology courses in the UK.
Using all the resources at my disposal as a result of the above leadership and management roles I have been able to initiate a number of successful interventions into my teaching practice. These have resulted in the courses that I lead, the suite of undergraduate Pharmaceutical Science degrees at Kingston University being shortlisted for the Guardian University Awards in 2020. This was for work I have done in removing the attainment gaps for all identifiable student cohorts in this degree.
I am an elected member of Senate, Kingston University's most senior consultative committee for academic matters and this gives me a role to play in the strategic direction of the university, especially in the area of learning, teaching and assessment.
Finally, I am the elected Chair of the Kingston University Branch of the University and College Union.
All of the above roles are ones to which I have been elected by my peers and enable me to play a strategic and practical role in shaping the future, not only of Kingston University, but learning in the wider Biosciences.