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Biomedicine (BM) lies at the interface between basic and preclinical research and investigates the fundamental mechanisms of the normal and disease processes that influence life-long health, spanning from conception into old age, and from the single cell to the whole organism in its environment.

Key questions we are addressing are:

  • association of developmental adversity with later life disease
  • co-occurrence of common diseases
  • increasing disease prevalence with ageing.


The Division has direct linkage with two URIs (ECSCRI (Lead) and NMHRI), hosts the Arthritis Research UK (ARUK) centre and Wales Gene Park Genome Editing Facility. It has a developing association with the new DRI Centre.

Research areas

BM incorporates the classic disciplines of genetics, physiology, cell biology, biochemistry and anatomy, principally using mammalian models with considerable strength in genetic/environmental manipulations and cell culture systems.

Its strategy is to focus on three areas:

1. Developmental Origins of Disease

Exploring mechanisms underpinning fetal programming, and the co-occurrence of common diseases. Using genetic and intervention models to study the whole organism in the environment from conception into old age. Uniting reproductive biology, childhood disorders and chronic diseases to support Life Long Health.

2. Mechanisms of Health and Disease

Informing our understanding of the causes and consequences of a number of important medical conditions including orphan diseases, cardiovascular disease, asthma, lung and pancreatic diseases, arthritis, neurodegeneration and cancer with a significant focus on cancer stem cells (ECSCRI). Characterising and stratifying chronic disease. Focused use and engineering of mammalian systems, both in vivo and in vitro.

3. Disease intervention

Developing therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing and treating disease. Drug discovery, delivery and biomarkers platforms including antibody therapies with translational impact complimented by stem cell research

Fellowships and PhD applications

The Division welcomes approaches by potential fellowship applicants. We have a dedicated team to support applications from highly motivated individuals whose research maps onto the divisional research areas.

We also welcome funded PhD students to host their research and expand our strategic research.

The School of Biosciences has held a Silver Athena SWAN award since 2016 in recognition of our commitment to family-friendly and flexible working policies and we welcome enquiries from a diverse range of backgrounds to utilise and harness the fullest range of experiences.

Staff members

NameArea of interest
Professor Rosalind John - Head of DivisionHow Epigenetic Marks direct Mammalian Development and drive Human Disease.
Dr Fernando Anjos-AfonsoBiology of Haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and their niche
Dr Emma BlainConnective tissue mechanobiology.
Professor Vladimir BuchmanFunctional significance of synuclein proteins in the normal and degenerating nervous system.
Professor Bruce CatersonMonoclonal antibody technologies to study onset of degenerative joint diseases.
Dr Richard ClarksonApoptosis in normal mammary tissues and in models of breast cancer.
Dr Joaquín de Navascués MeleroStem cell decisions during intestinal homeostasis.
Professor Vic DuanceStructure and function of the minor collagens of cartilage, cell signalling pathways associated with mechanical and cytokine mediated cartilage degeneration.
Dr Julia GerasimenkoMolecular mechanisms of pathological processes in exocrine pancreas.
Dr Oleg GerasimenkoInvestigation of cell death mechanisms.
Dr Sarah HallDesign, development and evaluation of physiology-related teaching and learning activities; authentic learning opportunities in the undergraduate curriculum.
Dr Tim Higgins 
Dr Catherine HoganEpithelial cell-cell communication and pancreatic cancer.
Professor Clare HughesCartilage proteoglycan metabolism in osteoarthritis.
Dr Helen JonesSignalling mechanisms involved in cancer biology.
Dr Alvin Kwan 
Professor Francis LaiCell signalling proteins that regulate intracellular calcium release.
Dr Branko Latinkic Cardiac differentiation
Dr Deborah MasonSignalling mechanisms regulating bone and cartilage turnover, in osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Dr Helen McCarthyBiology of both the articular cartilage progenitor cell and a meniscus-specific progenitor cell in human and equine tissue and their potential role in tissue repair and osteoarthritis.
Dr Larissa Nelson 
Dr Lee ParryUnderstanding the interaction between diet, microbiota, immunity and cancer.
Dr Girish Patel - Affiliated Research StaffSkin cancer stem cells.
MRC Professor Ole Petersen CBE FRSCalcium signalling: physiology & pathophysiology.
Dr Toby Phesse Cell signalling and stem cell function during homeostasis, regeneration and cancer in the gastrointestinal tract.
Dr Zoe PrytherchHuman in vitro lung models.
Dr Jim RalphsThe synthesis, deposition and organisation of collagenous matrices in highly ordered connective tissues.
Professor Dipak Ramji (Postgraduate Divisional Tutor)Inflammation, atherosclerosis and regulation of gene expression.
Professor Daniela RiccardiMolecular mechanisms of nutrient sensing.
Dr Kirsty Richardson 
Dr Neil RodriguesHaematopoietic stem/progenitor cell biology and its dysregulation in myelodysplasia and myeloid leukaemia.
Dr Hannah Shaw 
Dr Paul ShawClinician with basic-science translational research interests in lung and GI cancers.
Dr Florian SiebzehnrublRegulation of tumour progression and therapy resistance in brain cancer.
Professor Matt SmalleyThe role of normal mammary stem and progenitor cells in the generation of breast cancer phenotypic heterogeneity and cancer stem cells.
Dr Shiby StephensClinical anatomist with research interest inhuman musculoskeletal pathologies.
Professor Karl SwannThe physiology of eggs at fertilisation and embryos during early development.