Department of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
Edward Llwyd Building
In my Food Security Research I am interested in developing our understanding of the genetic & biochemical events associated with plant responses to stress & in identifying sources of tolerance/resistance. This work is based on the use of model plant species, Arabidopsis & Brachypodium distachyon & also crops, wheat (Triticum aestivum), oats (Avena sativa) tomato (Solanum esculentum) & barley (Hordeum vulgare).
My interests in clinical health focus on the respiratory tract & identifying drug leads from natural products. Lung cancer (LC) is the most prevalent cancer in the world with 1.3 million deaths recorded each year. Only 15% of patients live for five or more years after initial diagnosis, primarily due to late detection. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterised by an increase in mucus production due to hyperplasia of goblet cells, & hypertrophy of mucus glands COPD is a leading cause of death, arising from acute exacerbations (sudden worsening of symptoms) which may be triggered by infection or environmental pollutants. My research in this area is focusing on the detection of metabolite biomarkers for LC & COPD & investigating possible links with the lung microbiome.
My research in bioactive natural products focus on identifying anti-microbial metabolites against such human pathogens as MSRA & Pseudomonas aeruginosa from invasive plant species & extremophile microbial strains.
I employ cutting edge genomic & post-genomic approaches but will use classical physiological, genetic, biochemical or microbiological approaches- as appropriate. I have numerous national & international collaborations which are supported by funding from the BBSRC, the EU, NSF (USA), DEFRA, Royal Society, Welsh Assembly, & AU Research Fund.