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Personal profile

Biography

Until 2016, Dianne was at Newcastle University, where her leadership roles were in the area of Postgraduate Education and included Director of PhD Studies and most latterly Associate Dean for Taught Postgraduate Studies in the Faculty of Medical Sciences.  Her research career developed from an interest in nutrient transport mechanisms, which was the focus of early postdoctoral studies, and the metabolism of dietary components implicated in promoting better health. She led a research group of postdoctoral researchers and PhD students from 1998.

Dianne led work on the Athena SWAN agenda at Newcastle University, including the award made in 2014 to the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences.

Dianne is a graduate in Biochemistry (BSc 1988, PhD 1991, University of Bristol)

 As Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Dianne leads the largest of Northumbria University’s four faculties, comprising approximately 12,000 students and 600 members of staff.  The Faculty consists of the departments of Applied Sciences, Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Psychology, Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, and Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing. 

 All aspects of the University’s strategy and key objectives feed into or have a route in the four faculties. Dianne represents the  Faculty of Health and Life Sciences in her role on University Executive and works closely with her fellow Faculty PVCs and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor to implement and achieve the University Strategy through the work of academic faculty staff and faculty-aligned professional support colleagues.

 Dianne is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Fellow of the Physiological Society.  She has a record spanning over 10 years of serving on research and advisory panels for the Biosciences and Biotechnology Research Council – one of the nine councils of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) - and has served on several international research funding committees, including in Portugal and France. She collaborates with researchers in the UK and worldwide, including Italy and Australia.

Research interests

Dianne’s research is focused on zinc, dietary polyphenolic compounds and the role of dietary molecules in ageing and their effects on epigenetic modification.  This work has been funded largely by BBSRC, and Dianne has been a member of BBSRC research grants committees and other advisory panels since 2008. 

Her current research is focused on how diet may promote a longer span of good health.  The work includes human intervention studies and also research on cultured human cells and involves measurement of a range of molecular indicators of intervention in pathways known to be involved in the ageing process.

Dianne has held 6 BBSRC research grants totalling £2.55m (4 as PI) between 2000 and 2018.  She has received £0.25m in research funding from Unilever and is currently funded by Nuchido Ltd (£~95K) for research in cell models and in human participants on the use of food supplements aimed to increase NAD as an intervention to slow aspects of ageing and age-related disease.

Education/Academic qualification

Biochemistry, PhD

4 Apr 201631 Dec 2099

Award Date: 4 Apr 2016

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