A closer look at
COMPARATIVE BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES DEPARTMENT
Head of Department
Dr Nigel Goode
The Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences Is responsible for research and teaching, focusing on
biomedical sciences with comparative aspects, in the basic science disciplines of Anatomy with
Developmental Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Pharmacology, Genetics and
Physiology. Department staff are based at either the Camden or Hawkshead campuses, and will be
required to travel between campuses as part of their jobs.
The Department’s focus is to advance understanding of animal biology from the molecular to whole animal
level and within this environment to train undergraduate and postgraduate students. The Department is
committed to the provision of training of the highest standards and to the development of innovative
methodologies. The Department’s research interests, which feed into the College wide research themes,
includes longstanding international strengths in a number of areas including Biomechanics,
Musculoskeletal biology, Cardiovascular biology, Reproduction, Development and Pharmacology.
Head of Department –Nigel Goode
Assistant Head of Department –Caroline Wheeler-Jones
Departmental Administrator – Karen Creeke
Laboratory Manager / Safety Officer – Michael Avella
The Department, which contains approximately 37 academic staff, with 17 technicians, 44 Research
Associates and 47 PhD students, is divided into administrative groups, members of which share common
interests as well as laboratory and technical resource.
Cardiovascular (Camden) – Co-ordinated by Kathy Botham
Comparative Neuromuscular Diseases (Camden) – Co-ordinated by Dominic Wells
Skeletal Biology (Camden) – Co-ordinated by Andy Pitsillides
Structure & Motion (Hawkshead) – Co-ordinated by Alan Wilson
Pharmacology & Reproduction (Hawkshead) – Co-ordinated by Claire Wathes
Immunology and Reproduction (Camden) – Co-ordinated by Rachel Lawrence
Development (Camden) – Co-ordinated by Imelda McGonnell
Teaching (Camden) – Co-ordinated by Nigel Goode
Recent success stories
The Department has an excellent long term record of research funding. In recent years the Structure and
Motion group have continue to secure a number of large grants to investigate comparative animal
locomotion, tracking and objective assessment of lameness. The Comparative Neuromuscular Diseases
group has recently been awarded a large EU consortium grant to analyse the health benefits of exercise in
individuals. The Reproduction group at Hawkshead has a recent large award, part of a collaborative grant
from DairyCo, to examine production, health and nutrition in the dairy cattle.
In addition, numerous project grants are held within the department, creating a vibrant atmosphere of
productive research. The Department also hosts a number of fellowships including a RCUK Fellowship in
Biomechanics funded by EPSRC, Career Development Fellowships funded by the Wellcome Trust, a
Senior Research Fellowship funded by Wellcome and a University award in Insulin resistance funded by
the Wellcome Trust.
The department continues to play a pivotal role in teaching provision for all students at the college. For
undergraduates, this includes co-ordinating and developing teaching on the BSc (BioVet) programme,
which was very highly rated in this year’s National Student Survey, with 100% student satisfaction. We also
design, deliver and manage the early years of the BVetMed programme, including our highly acclaimed
Gateway course. All members of the department are expected to play a full role in teaching, participating in
the continuing design and innovation as well as delivery of teaching, of which the college is very proud.
Looking to the future
The Department will build on our acknowledged strengths in research, most of which falls under our
“Lifestyle” umbrella, as well as focusing on the development of new allied areas of research such as
Biodiversity and Conservation. In teaching, we look forward to consolidating and continuing innovations in
our current courses and to playing a major part in broadening and developing the potential entry routes into
our degree programmes.