Personal profile

Key Research Interests

We established Norwich Skin Platform as a focus for our research on skin health and disease.

Research Group or Lab Membership

We are interested in how cells interact with their environment - with other cells, with the extracellular matrix, in health and disease.

We currently focus on studies of human skin function in health and disease. We are interested in how epithelial cells heal wounds in healthy tissue and in conditions such as diabetes. With our collaborators, consultant Diabetologists,  Profs Ketan Dhatariya and Jeremy Turner, (Norfolk and Norwich University Hosiptal; NNUH) we develop models of healthy and impaired skin wound healing. We analyse these models with several approaches including quantitative proteomics with Dr Gerhard Saalbach at the John Innes Centre. We have previously taken a similar approach in Big C and NNUH funded studies with Consultant Plastic Surgeon/Surgical Oncologist, Prof Marc Moncrieff (NNUH) to explore the margins of melanomas. Most recently we have developed a new model "NSPinfex" to explore the host response to bacterial skin infection in an ex-vivo model system and the bacterial genes necessary for survival with Prof Mark Webber (Quadram Institute of Biosciences, QIB).

Career history:

  • Norwich Skin Platform: Founder with Dr Damon Bevan in 2015
  • Present appointment: Associate Professor in Cell Biology, University of East Anglia (full-time since 2014)
  • Lecturer in Cell Biology (75% time), University of East Anglia (1997-2002)
  • Group Leader (60% time) Strangeways Research Laboratory (1994-1997)
  • Post-doctoral Associate (50% time) , Strangeways Research Laboratory, Cambridge (1993-1994)
  • One-year career break after birth of first child (1992-1993)
  • Post-doctoral Fellow, University College London (1989-1992)
  • Royal Society and EMBO Post-doctoral Fellow Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France(1987-1989)
  • Ph.D. - Strangeways Research Laboratory, Cambridge (1987)
  • B.Sc. - Cell Biology, University College London (1978)




Key Research Interests

Our interests lie in cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in skin health and disease, with current emphasis on inflammation, diabetes and infection.

Current Research Projects

  • "Defining mechanisms of antiseptic tolerance against skin microbiota". Drs Jelena Gavrilovic (Co-I) and Damon Bevan. Joint project with Dr Mark Webber (PI Quadram Institute of Biosciences) funded by BBSRC.
  • "Shining a light on diabetic foot ulcers: exploiting imaging mass spectrometry to explore impaired healing and to refine an ex-vivo chronic wound model" Drs Jelena Gavrilovic (PI) and Damon Bevan. Funded by The Humane Research Trust and UEA Innovation Fund. Joint project with Dr Ketan Dhatariya (Consultant Diabetologist, NNUH) and Prof Marc Moncrieff (Consultant Plastic Surgeon/Surgical Oncologist, NNUH)
  • Norwich Skin Platform  Modelling skin biology in health and disease in collaboration with  Profs Jeremy Turner, Marc Moncrieff, Ketan Dhatariya (all Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital) and Prof Cathie Martin (John Innes Centre). 


Life in our research group 

We are cell biologists studying several key disease processes. Using in vivo and in vitro approaches and state-of-the-art imaging techniques we work to unravel the complex mechanisms involved in inflammation in health and disease, with a focus on human skin models. We also have interests in modelling in vivo disease scenarios by growing cells in a 3-dimensional matrix and at appropriate oxygen tension. Our work benefits from collaborations within BIO and with colleagues across the Norwich Research Park and across the UK, Europe and the USA and in pharmaceutical companies.

Master's by Research

Our projects lend themselves very well to one-year research projects. Please get in touch for more information.

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.


Postdocs & Fellows 

I am always happy to discuss possibilities for postdoctoral work and collaborations.

Areas of Expertise

Cell migration in health and disease; metalloproteinase expression and function

Teaching Interests

  • I teach Cell Biology in second and third year modules and on Biomedicine modules and Masters modules

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or