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Dr Gillian Knight

Associate Dean for Learning & Teaching in the School of Engineering & Applied Science

Phone Number: 0121 204 5272
Email: g.knight@aston.ac.uk
Room: MB184E

Dr Gillian Knight




Profile 

I joined Aston in 2018 as the Associate Dean for Learning & Teaching in the School of Engineering & Applied Science. My key role at Aston is to ensure the teaching quality of the school provides all our students with an excellent taught experience whilst studying at Aston. I also support academic staff in their development of innovative teaching and professional development of their academic teaching practice. In addition, I facilitate with the liaison with regional employers to ensure our degree programmes have great support from business and also that our graduates have the correct training for their future career choices. 

Before joining Aston, I was Head of Biosciences at the University of Derby, where my role was to lead and manage a group of academics and a degree portfolio related to the life sciences and public health area. Whilst at Derby I developed a range of new programmes so have experience in the design, implementation and running of degrees.

I am a research active academic, with my main focus related to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical cancer and a submit set of other cancers, including head & neck cancer. I currently have a number of investigations into the role HPV is playing in the development of oro-pharyngeal carcinoma, which is a type of Head & Neck cancer. 

  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA) – 2014
  • PGCert in Higher Education – Keele University, UK -2011
  • PhD in Molecular characterisation of the Na+/Bile acid co-transport protein – University of Bedfordshire, UK – 2001
  • BSc (Hons) in Applied Biology – Brunel University, UK 1996
  • 2018- to date: Associate Dean in Learning & Teaching, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Aston University, Birmingham, UK
  • 2014-2018: Head of Biosciences, Deputy of Head of Department of Natural Sciences, University of Derby, Derby, UK
  • 2012-2014: Senior Lecturer in Human Genetics, University of Derby, Derby, UK
  • 2010-2012: Teaching fellow, School of Life Sciences, Keele University, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, UK
  • Research Fellow in Molecular Biology & Oncology 2000-2010, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK 

At Aston my main teaching activity is related to anatomy & physiology and biochemical pathways. I am part of the Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry (CEAC) subject group.

As Associate Dean in Learning & Teaching I play a key role in the School of Engineering & Applied Science (EAS) curricular development, professional development of academic staff, student experience and teaching quality. I am also a joint lead on the School’s TEF steering group. In addition I work closely with the University’s Centre for Learning Innovation & Professional Practice, to support the University’s commitment to an excellent student experience. 

I am a research active academic, with my main focus related to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical cancer and a submit set of other cancers, including head & neck cancer. I have been researching HPV for nearly 20 years and in the past 5 years I have been investigating the role HPV is playing in the development of oro-pharyngeal carcinoma, which is a type of Head & Neck cancer. I have a number of clinical investigations currently ongoing to explore prevalence of oral HPV infection and the impact infection is having on the infected person.

I work closely with a number of HPV charities and awareness groups, which include HPVaction.org and Swallows Head & Neck charity. I am also a member of the NHS East Midlands Cancer Alliance.

I also have an active interest in all micro-organisms, with a particular focus around disease identification and the impact infection has on the body.  

July 2018: £100,000 Research Postdoctoral fellow in the Role of HPV in Oro-pharyngeal carcinoma. 18 months funding in collaboration with the University of Derby.

Jan 2017: Supported PhD student in the successful application to Primerdesign Ltd, for a £3000 sponsorship. Awarded full amount in March 2017.

October 2016: £3000 awarded from the Midlands Institute of Otorhinolaryngology investigating the Role of HPV in Oro-pharyngeal carcinoma

May 2015: £60,000 application to University of Derby Research council for PhD studentship. Awarded full amount in September 2015. 

Aimee Whitton – Prevalence of oral HPV in young adults. University of Derby. 

Pilot study investigating the prevalence of oral Human Papilloma Viral (HPV) infection in young adults. Knight GL, Needwood, L, Roberts, S, Ward D.  Public Health 132 p105-107 2016.

Delury, C. P., Marsh, E. K., James, C. D., Boon, S. S., Banks, L., Knight, G. L., & Roberts, S. The role of protein kinase A regulation of the E6 PDZ-binding domain during the differentiation-dependent life cycle of human papillomavirus type 18. Journal of virology, (2013) 87(17), 9463-9472

Watson, David, and Gillian L. Knight. "Continuous Formative Assessment and Feedback in an Enquiry-Based Laboratory Course." Bioscience Education (2012), 20, 101-105

A cyclin-binding motif in human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV18) E1^E4 is necessary for association with CDK-cyclin complexes and G2/M cell cycle arrest of keratinocytes, but is not required for differentiation-dependent viral genome amplification or L1 capsid protein expression. Knight GL, Pugh AG, Yates E, Bell I, Wilson R, Moody CA, Laimins LA, Roberts S. Virology ( 2011) 412 (1) 196-210

Identification of an arginine rich motif in human papillomavirus type 1 E1^E4 protein necessary for E4 mediated inhibition of cellular DNA synthesis in vitro and in cell. Roberts S, Kingsbury SR, Stoeber K, Knight GL, Gallimore PH, Williams GH.  Journal of Virology (2008) 82(18) 9056-64.

The full-length E1E4 protein of human papillomavirus type 18 modulates differentiation-dependent viral DNA amplification and late gene expression. Wilson R, Ryan GB, Knight GL, Laimins LA, Roberts S. Virology (2007) 362(2) 453-60

Role for Wee1 in inhibition of G2-to-M transition through the cooperation of distinct human papillomavirus type 1 E4 proteins. Knight GL, Turnell AS, Roberts S.   Journal of Virology (2006) 80(15) 7416-26.

Cooperation between different forms of the human papillomavirus type 1 E4 protein to block cell cycle progression and cellular DNA synthesis. Knight GL, Grainger JR, Gallimore PH, Roberts S. Journal of Virology (2004) 78(24) 13920-33

The ND10 component promyelocytic leukemia protein relocates to human papillomavirus type 1 E4 intranuclear inclusion bodies in cultured keratinocytes and in warts. Roberts S, Hillman ML, Knight GL, Gallimore PH.  Journal of Virology (2003) 77(1) 673-84.