Degree Programme Director, MSc Medicinal Plants and Functional Foods
Member MSc Board of Studies, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Member MSc Board of Examiners, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
BSc (Hons.), MSc., PhD
Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research
North East Dementias & Neurodegenerative Diseases Network (DeNDRoN)
UK Biobank Enhancement Subgroup (brain imaging) Network
Member of the North East Bionet Bioactive Chemistry Working Group
Academic member American Botanical Council
North East Universities Medicinal Plant Research Group
Medicinal plants and natural product pharmacognosy/ pharmacology
Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and related issue
Phyto-chemicals and neurophysiological/ pharmacological effects
Food Quality & Health
Phytochemistry and Mechanistic enzymology
Medical and veterinary applications of natural plant products
The isolation and chemical characterization of novel active components from natural products, particularly medicinal plants, and screening for key bioactivities in disease mechanisms – particularly those associated with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type -such as neuromodulation, neurotransmitter function, neuroprotection (antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytics and anti-amyloidal agents) and enzyme inhibition (cholinesterases, BACE) with a view to developing new strategies for the prevention of and/ or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to conduction my own research and supervising postgraduate (MSc and PhD) students, I am also Director of the North East Universities Medicinal Plant Research Group (MPRG). The MPRC) was founded in 1996. It is a research partnership between the Universities of Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham, in the North East of England (UK). Our mission is to develop a ‘centre of research excellence’ for interdisciplinary research in the pharmacology of medicinal plants and to apply the advances in knowledge that emanate from this to develop novel plant based bioactives for health and disease, particularly in areas of neuroscience, clinical brain ageing, psychology, oncology, diabetes and ageing and health.
I am also a member of the Institute of Neuroscience Natural Products Pharmacology research group: www.ncl.ac.uk/ion/research/themes/neuropharmacology/natural.htm.
I am currently co-supervising 5 PhD students. Two other PhD’s to commence September 2011.
Selected Invited Lectures
First International Conference about Pharmacology of natural Products and BLACPMA, Varadero, Cuba, 20-24 Novermber 2006
The 10th Shangai Internatiobnal Forum on Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry (Bio-Forum) & 13th Annual Conference of Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association, 20-30th May 2008
The British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Brighton 1-3 April 2009
Vitafoods International Conference (Symposium Chair and Speaker), Geneva, 5-7 May 2009
Second International Symposium on Pharmacology of Natural Products, (FAPRONATURA) “OASIS VARADERO 1920” Hotel, Varadero Beach, Matanzas, Cuba. June 3-7, 2009
Brain Ageing and Dementia in Newcastle: Past, Present and Future. Medical School, Newcastle University, 19th May 2010
International Congress of Applied Psychology, 11-16 July, 2010, Melbourne Australia
Brain Ageing and Dementia in Developing Countries, 4-7 December, 2012, Nairobi, Kenya
Reviewer of Academic Manuscript for:
Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Journal of the American College of Nutrition
European Journal of Neuroscience
Journal of Medicinal Food
African Journal of Biotechnology
Associate editor, European Journal of medicnal Plants
Guest Editor, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
PhD External Examiner, School of Biological & Biomedical Sciences, Durham University.
Independent assessor on a report for an application for transfer from MPhil to PhD – School of Science & Engineering, Teesside University.
Invited as an International Expert Panel Member by the Medical Council of South Africa to review and assess the progress and status of their Indigenous Knowledge System Unit (Cape Town) against its 5 year research mandate: September 2011.
Dissemination of knowledge/ research to general public (National TV interviews, International/national / local radio interviews; International and Nations/ local newspaper articles – featuring my research on tea consumption and prevention of dementia (2006)
Norvatis, Rington’s Tea Company, Mental Health Foundation, Royal Society, DEFRA, KTP with Citrox Limited, Wellcome Trust Summer Studentship, BBSRC CASE Studentship,Wirz Herbs
ACE 1023 IT and Numeracy Skills for Nutrition (Module Leader)
ACE 1030 Man’s use of plants
ACE 2050 Introduction to medicinal plants (Module Leader)
ACE 8051 Production of herbal medicines and functional foods (Module Leader)
ACE 8052 Traditional use of plants (including ethno-pharmacology) (Module Leader)
ACE 8053 Functional foods in nutrition and health