• Room Bob Champion Res

Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile

Academic Background

I am based in the Nutrition and Preventive Medicine group at Norwich Medical School, and I am a member of the Norwich Institute for Healthy Ageing.  I teach on the MB BS medical degree, am a PBL tutor, a year 4 Elective Module tutor and I am also the Nutrition Theme lead for the Gateway Medicine Year Self Selected Component. I am a PhD supervisor, PhD mentor for the EDESIA PhD program and supervise BSc Biomedicine UG final year research projects.

Biography

I obtained my BSc in Biomedical Sciences in 2004 and was awarded the Fahrenheit Placement Prize for Excellence. I spent a year in industry with Pfizer Ltd, and in 2008 was awarded my PhD in Molecular Biology from UEA. My post-doctoral research spanned 12 years in the BioMedical Research Centre at UEA. In 2020, I was seconded for 20 months during the COVID-19 pandemic to develop an award winning clinical molecular diagnostics laboratory in collaboration with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Foundation Trust to provide extra capacity for Pillar 1 testing.  This collaboration worked in partnership with the Quadram Institute for Bioscience, and I became a member of the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium.  I was also a leading member of The Norwich Testing Initiative working in partnership with The Earlham Institute.

Research Interests

My research interests centre on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying joint tissue homeostasis and how dietary phytonutrients might interact with these to promote musculoskeletal health. I have special interests in Osteoarthritis and Dupuytren’s disease.

I collaborate with partners across the Norwich Research Park, local hospitals, and further afield to bring cross disciplinary skills together for a holistic research approach.  My major research contributions follow a translational path from lab bench to clinical intervention trial.  I have published key papers on the molecular mechanisms of sulforaphane in chondrocytes and cartilage, synergistic activity with other bioactives, identifying sulforaphane in the joint tissues following dietary consumption, and impact on synovial fluid proteome. This led to the BRoccoli In Osteoarthritis (BRIO) Study that looks at pain outcomes in osteoarthritis patients.

My current research interests:

  • The impact of dietary sulforaphane on musculoskeletal health.
  • The development of high-throughput in vitro screening methods (phytonutrient function discovery).
  • The inhibition of MMP-14 as a viable therapeutic in Dupuytren’s Disease.

Key Responsibilities

I currently serve on internal and local committees:

  • UEA Human Tissue Committee
  • Human Tissue Sub Committee
  • Norwich Research Park Biorepository Access Committee
  • MED Promotions Committee

Professional Activities

I provide article peer review for Nature Protocols, Scientific Reports, Genes and Nutrition, The Knee, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, Faculty 1000, Australian Knee Society, Food Chemistry advances, International Immunopharmacology.

I am on the Norwich Medical School MB BS Interview Panel and am a PhD examiner.

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

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of East Anglia

Award Date: 1 Oct 2008

Bachelor of Biomedical science, Sheffield Hallam University

Award Date: 1 Aug 2004

Network

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