I work in bioinformatics, which I define very generally as anything that can be done on a computer and which is relevant to the biological sciences. In practice, however, most of my work over the years has been on sequence analysis with a minor component of network analysis.
Currently active projects:
- Assembly of Illumina sequence of Leishmania chanceri and Leishmania siamensis genomes. Collaboration with Prof Paul Bates and Dr Rod Dillon (Lancaster). PhD student Hatim Almutairi funded by Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia.
- Filoviruses outside Africa. Collaboration with Dr Robert Lauder and Dr Lisa Bishop (Lancaster) and Public Health England.
- Taxonomy of Order Herpesvirales. International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) Working Group.
- Self-referential networks in systems biology, and their philosophical implications
Media appearances: Over 230 broadcast media appearances on the subject of infectious diseases, particularly viruses, with Sky News Channel, BBC News 24, BBC radio (local and national), LBC, TRT World, France 24, al-Jazeera. Quoted in newspapers on countless occasions.
Editorial Board: Journal of General Virology
Herpesvirales Working Group: International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV)
I am Assessment Officer for Biomedical & Life Sciences degrees, meaning I have overall responsibility for exams, coursework and other assessment aspects of our various degree programmes.
Currently I also teach on the following modules - module convenor where underlined:
- BIOL113 Genetics: Introduction to Bioinformatics (lecture and workshop)
- BIOL243 Medical Microbiology: Viruses (lectures and workshops)
- BIOL275 Bionformatics: entire module (lectures and workshops)
- BIOL313 Proteins: Structure, Function & Evolution: Protein Evolution (lectures and workshops)
- BIOL334 Environmental Pathogens: Viruses (lectures and workshop)
- BIOL387 Research Project: supervision
- BIOL435 Microbes & Disease: Viruses and Disease (lectures and workshop)
- BIOL445 Bioinformatics: entire module (lectures and workshops)
- FutureLearn MOOC: Influenza
- Cancer & Polio Research Fund travel grant 2015-2019
My first degree was in Genetics, and I began my scientific career as a molecular developmental biologist, working at St Mary's Hospital Medical School (now part of Imperial College School of Medicine) in London. After post-docs in Quito, Warwick and Cambridge, I took up a position in 1996 as Lecturer in Molecular Genetics at Liverpool John Moores University, then spent time in the pharmaceutical industry before moving to the old MRC Virology Unit in Glasgow (now part of the new MRC Centre for Virus Research). I joined Lancaster University in September 2013.
PhD Supervision Interests
No projects at present.