Personal profile

Research interests

Research interests include: Molecular nutrition with an emphasis on the influence of macro- and micronutrients on gene expression. Influence of food components on the fidelity of DNA replication. Metabolic networking and cell integrity signaling in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Heterologous gene expression in the non-conventional yeast Yarrowia lipolytica.


I graduated from the University of Würzburg with a diploma (MSc) in Biology and from the University of Erlangen with a PhD in Biochemistry. As a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Norman Giles at the University of Georgia, USA I was involved in developing the first transformation system for the bread mould, Neurospora crassa. I then returned to the University of Erlangen where I led a group working on the structure of the fatty acid synthase genes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Rattus novegicus. I was awarded a DSc by the University of Erlangen and given the title of Professor. My first post in the UK was at the Institute of Food Research, Norwich where, as well as being Head of Yeast Genetics, I was an Honorary Lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia. At IFR I set up a group on lipogenesis with the emphasis on diet-gene interaction. I came to Heriot-Watt University in 1999 as Reader in Biochemistry and in 2000 was appointed to a Personal Chair in Biochemistry. I was Director of Research for the School of Life Sciences from 2002-2007 and during this period led both a successful SRIF3 equipment bid and succeeded in obtaining an EPSRC RCUK Academic Fellowship in Nutrition for the Food & Nutrition group in SLS. I also coordinated SLS’s application to the University of Aberdeen-led Microbiology Pooling Initiative, SULSA II ‘Host-Microbe Biology’.

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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