Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics (2018 - 2022)
Research Director, Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, The University of Manchester (2019 - 2022)
Scientific Co-Director, Tommy’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, University of Manchester, (2018 - 2022)
Editorial board member, Placenta (2019 - present)
Editorial board member, Molecular Medicine Reports (2018 - present)
Associate editor, Molecular Human Reproduction (2014 - 2017)
Mentor, BBSRC Future Leader Fellows (2018 - 2022)
I received a B.Sc. in Pathobiology (1999) and PhD (2003) from the University of Reading, where I studied how cell death in the arterial wall contributes to the development of atherosclerosis. I then moved to The Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre at The University of Manchester to work in the laboratories of Professor John Aplin and Professor Phillip Baker. My postdoctoral research focused on how placental-derived trophoblast cells and uterine natural killer cells interact with and remodel the uterine spiral arteries during pregnancy. I also investigated the mechanisms that regulate trophoblast invasion, proliferation and survival. In 2010, I was awarded the prestigious Gabor Than Award for my contribution to the field of placentology.
In the same year, I was awarded a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship to explore the use of vascular homing peptides to develop a targeted drug delivery system for use in pregnancy. I spent 2011 working as a Visiting Fellow in the laboratory of Professor Erkki Ruoslahti at The Sanford Burnham Institute, UC Santa Barbara USA, where I identified a series of novel placental homing peptides. Upon my return to Manchester, I sought to utilize these peptides to create biocompatible nanocarriers for targeted delivery of drugs to the placenta. In May 2013, my two PhD students and I won second prize of £10,000 in the OBR OneStart European business start-up competition, reflecting the novelty and success of this approach.
Over the past 10 years, I have built on this work to create a new research discipline of obstetric nanomedicine. From 2015 - 2022, I was cross-appointed between The Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre and The Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, leading a research team specialising in vitro, in vivo and in silico approaches. I have a track-record of securing funding from research councils, charities and industry, forging international collaborations and publishing in high quality journals. I have 20 years experience of research supervision, and undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. I sit on the editorial board of two internationally recognised journals, and I peer review manuscripts and research grants for a variety of national and international sources. I acted as the Research Director for Pharmacy and Optometry and the Scientific Co-Director of the Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre from 2019 - 2022.
In 2022, I relocated my lab to The University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, USA, where I am an Associate Professor in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department. Through my varied roles, I work to promote research excellence and support the training and mentoring of the next generation of science professionals.