I graduated in 1984 with a BSc (Hon) in Biochemistry from the University of Sheffield, UK. I then went on to study for a PhD and this began a research career that has involved a range of studies using classical biochemical techniques, biophysical methods of analysis, and molecular biology procedures.

My Ph.D. was supervised by Dr. David Trentham, FRS, at the National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, London, UK, where I studied the kinetics of energy transduction in rabbit skeletal muscle. My post-doctoral studies continued the combination of biochemistry and biophysics in the laboratory of Prof. David Lilley, FRS, in the Biochemistry Department of the University of Dundee, Dundee, UK. Studies of unusual DNA structures developed into experiments that were among the first to show that the activity of neighbouring promoters can be coupled through DNA topology.

In 1994 I moved to the laboratory of Dr. Robert Wells, at the Institute for Biosciences & Technology, Texas A&M University, Houston, USA. Various projects identified that repeating triplet DNA sequences undergo a high level of genetic instability in bacterial cells, with observations being influenced by strain genotype and, in particular, mutations to DNA repair pathways. From 1996 to 1998 I worked in the laboratory of Dr. Tomas Lindahl, FRS, (winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with Modrich & Sancar) at the Clare Hall laboratories of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK), South Mimms, UK, where I characterised the interactions of human DNA ligases with other proteins.

I arrived at the School of Biological Sciences at UEA in 1998 as a UEA Research Fellow. I transferred across to academic staff as a Lecturer in 2002, gaining promotion to Senior Lecturer in 2007 and Reader in 2016.  My research group has characterised DNA repair processes from a variety of organisms, feeding into wider interests in mechanisms that influence genome stability. The international reputation of our research is reflected in collaborations with researchers in the USA, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and India.

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  • Reader, School of Biological Sciences, UEA (2016-present)
  • Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, UEA (2007-2016)
  • Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, UEA (2002-2007)
  • University Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, UEA (1998-2002)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, South Mimms, UK (1996-1998)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Texas A & M University, USA (1994-1996)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Dundee, UK (1988-1994)

Academic Background

  • Ph.D. - University of London, UK (1989); research undertaken at National Institute for Medical Research, London
  • B.Sc. - Biochemistry, University of Sheffield, UK (1984)


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