Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry
I joined the University of Sunderland in 2022 as a Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry. My primary interest in research is to study fundamental biological questions and disease mechanisms through the generation and characterization of various models, ranging from in vitro cultured cells, ex vivo tissue explants, to genetically-manipulated mouse mutants.
The current focus of my research is to understand the functions of the neuronal axon guidance molecules semaphorin and plexin in cell migration and invasion, axon navigation, cellular differentiation, neuronal regeneration, and cancer development. These exposures empowered me to practise research-informed teaching in courses like physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, molecular genetics, cell and molecular biology, neurobiology, and biomedical research techniques at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
My teaching philosophy is to impart knowledge to our younger generation in ways that not only enhance their intellectual and cognitive abilities but also develop their potential to become lifelong learners and creative problem solvers who can apply basic principles in a wider context.
Teaching and supervision
- BSc (Hons) Biochemistry
- BSc (Hons) Biopharmaceutical Science
- BSc (Hons) Cosmetic Science
- MSc Drug Discovery and Development
- MSc Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Formulations
- BPS216 – Cellular and Clinical Biochemistry
- RPMM11 – Essential Pharmaceutical Science Research and Study Skills
Research interests for potential research students
- Development of semaphorins as therapeutic agents and diagnostic markers for human glioblastomas
- Role of semaphorins and plexins in oligodendrocyte differentiation and demyelinating diseases
- Axon guidance molecules in functional regeneration of injured central nervous system
The long-term goal of my research team is to understand the functions of neuronal axon guidance molecules in the nervous systems during physiological and pathological conditions.
Currently, the role of semaphorins and their receptors in the regulation of cell motility, axonal outgrowth and guidance, and oligodendrocyte differentiation are being investigated.
Findings from these studies complement our investigations into the implication of these guidance molecules in the pathophysiology of various disease conditions such as tumor formation and infiltration, injuries and regeneration of the nervous system, demyelination, and loss of oligodendrocytes in multiple sclerosis.
A multitude of approaches, ranging from cell and molecular biology, molecular genetics, animal models, and controlled drug delivery are used in these studies. The ultimate goal is to develop therapeutic strategies for diseases such as multiple sclerosis, traumatized CNS, and brain cancers.
My laboratory has recently discovered the tumor suppressor functions of semaphorin 5A in human glioblastomas and is currently in the process of exploring its therapeutic and diagnostic potential in brain cancers.
- Cancer biology
- Molecular genetics
- Molecular medicine