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Personal profile



Published 120 papers in peer reviewed journals (29 first author and 44 last author) and more than 20 different grants obtained from CR-UK, MRC, EU, BLF, AICR, DoH, Defra and HSE.  Total funding ~£3.25M. Supervised 40 PhD students.



Undergraduate: MBChB Year 1 and 2 Portfolio group tutor, Yr2 PEP supervisor and Yrs 1 and 2 Academic advisor for Professional and Personal Development. Year 3 APEP supervisor. SBS Final year project supervisor.  Postgraduate: MRes, MPhil , MSci supervisor and examiner.


Leadership and/or management roles

Designated Individual for the University of Manchester Human Tissue Research Licence; Member of UREC1; Divisional Senior PGR tutor; Academic Advisor mentor.


Knowledge Transfer and External Engagement

Member of the Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment


June 1978     BSc (Chemistry), First Class Honours, University of Bristol

June 1982     MSc (Clinical Biochemistry), University of Surrey

Dec. 1985     PhD (Pharmacy), University of London.

Dec. 1997     MSc (Epidemiology), University of Edinburgh.



1979-1980  Research Assistant, Department of Biochemistry, University of Bristol.

1980‑1982   Basic Grade Biochemist, AshfordHospital, Middlesex.

1982‑1985   PhD  student, University of London.

1985‑1987   Postdoctoral fellow, International Agency for Research on  Cancer, Lyon, France.

1988‑1989   Fogerty fellow, Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute,

                    Bethesda, Md., USA.

1989‑1995   Postdoctoral fellow, Carcinogenesis Department, Paterson Institute  for Cancer

                    Research, Manchester

1995-2008  Senior Lecturer, School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, University of Manchester

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

American Association of Cancer Research.

British Association of Cancer Research.

U.K. Environmental Mutagen Society.

U.K. Molecular Epidemiology Group. 

Molecular Epidemiology Working Group  (AACR)

Further information

2002-2009   Member of the Appraisal Panel for Human Suspected Adverse Reactions 

2008             Member of US EPA FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel

2008-2013   Member of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides

2017-date    Member of the Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer

                     Products and the Environment (COM)



Research interests

Following the unravelling of the human genome, there has been an understandable focus on the genetic causes of human disease. This focus, unfortunately, has resulted in a tendency to neglect the large impact that environmental factors, whether occupational or not, have on human disease.  Recent theoretical and practical advances in characterising the exposome, (ie the totality of an individual’s exposures through a lifetime), offers an opportunity to better characterise risks associated with environmental and genetic factors in the aetiology of chronic disease.  My own research spans the range from basic laboratory research to population studies looking at the health effects in particular of exposure to air pollution, pesticides and DNA damaging agents such as N-nitroso compounds.

Current Research

  • HEALS (Health and Environment-wide Associations based on Large population Surveys) is a Pan-European study with 30 participating organisations funded by the EU. The objective is the refinement of an integrated methodology and the application of the corresponding analytical and computational tools for performing environment-wide association studies in support of EU-wide environment and health assessments (http://www.heals-eu.eu/). The Manchester arm is contributing in these main areas : (i) the development and application of novel methods to assess exposure and susceptibility to genotoxic agents (e.g. via adductomics in collaboration with Fera Science Limited)  and (iii) the recruitment of pregnant women to the European Exposure and Health Examination survey (EXHES) (in collaboration with St Mary’s?)
  • IMPRESS (Improving exposure assessment methodologies for epidemiological studies on pesticides) is a collaboration with the Institution of Occupational Medicine (Lead) and the Health and Safety Laboratory in the UK and the Institute of Risk Assessment Science (IRAS) from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. It is funded by the European Crop Protection Agency and this study aims to better understand the performance of existing methods of occupational exposure assessment to pesticides used in epidemiological studies. Further information can be found here: http://www.impress-project.org/
  • Identification and nucleotide resolution mapping of alkyl adducts in human DNA.  This is a collaborative study with the University of Sheffield and is a multi-disciplinary project award funded by the CRUK-EPSRC. The overall aim of this study  to characterise the human alkyl adductome at the genomic and nucleotide level and so to provide a more comprehensive picture of the alkyl adductome and it will address a fundamental deficit in our understanding of how alkylating agent exposure increases mutational and cancer risk 

Current PhD students (as main or co-supervisor)

  • Tarek Abou-Omar (Air pollution, epigenetics and birth outcomes in Beirut)
  • Sewon Lee (Cleaning products and respiratory ill-health in health care workers)
  • Tanawat Rakkamon (oragnic solvent and respiratory ill-health in solvent sin Thailand)
  • Hatim Badri (Toxicity of particulate matter)
  • Zulkhairul Naim Sidek Ahmad (Pesticide exposure in Malaysian Farmers)
  • Hanum Yakub (O6-alkylguanine DNA adducts and breast cancer risk)
  • Norhidayah Binti Ahmad  (Air pollution, placental toxicity and birth outcomes)
  • Muaamar Al-Khaiqani  (DNA damage and semen quality)
  • Liam Hanson (Origins and Biological Significance of Alkyl DNA Damage in Human Sperm and Fertility)


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute


  • Biomarkers, DNA damage, DNA repair, pesticides, Occupational and environmental health, Epidemiology


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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