Biomolecular, Microbiology & Food Sciences

Department of Life Sciences

This subject group comprises a range of disciplines, including:

  • Cell and Molecular Biology looking at biology at the molecular level in organisms ranging from molluscs to mammals, the mechanisms that operate inside cells and how they communicate and interact
  • Microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae with a medical focus
  • Food sciences which apply biology subject disciplines to food issues, including carbohydrate biosynthesis, structure and functionality (food and pharma), quality, safety, security and sustainability.

Areas of Excellence

Cross Discipline:

Diabetes Research Group at the Institute of Applied Health Research


Skills in a broad range of state-of-the-art cell and molecular biology techniques, including culturing primary and established cells, analysis and manipulation of nucleic acids, proteins and lipids:

  • Lipid Metabolism, Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes
  • Environmental Biomarkers
  • Cell Communication
  • Wound healing and skin disorders
  • Cancer
  • Retinal diseases
  • Various transgenic model systems are available, as well as access to a Zebrafish facility that is unique to the West of Scotland


  • Anaerobic digestion of seaweeds, microalgae and other biomass for biofuel production
  • Viral Pathogens and xenotransplantation
  • Healthcare-related infections
  • Bacterial classification and identification
  • Detection of zoonotic pathogens in agricultural effluents
  • Virulence determinants and antibiotic therapy of staphylococcal infections
  • Hepatitis E virus and chronic liver disease

Food sciences:

  • Carbohydrates – biosynthesis, structure and functionality (food and pharma)
  • Microbiology
  • Food pathogens and toxins
  • Food quality (including UKAS) - Commercial ventures in the food and pharmaceutical sectors



BSc (Hons) Cell & Molecular Biology (part of framework degrees)

MSc Biomolecular and Biomedical Sciences


BSc (Hons) Microbiology (part of framework degrees)

MSc Clinical Microbiology

Food Sciences:

Hygiene, HACCP and nutrition certification

BSc (Hons) Food Bioscience (part of framework degrees)

MSc Food Bioscience

Academic Staff

  • John Craft
  • Linda Jones
  • Chris Bartholomew
  • Ann Graham
  • Xinhua Shu
  • Catherine Wright
  • Linda Walsh
  • Patricia Martin
  • Adrian Pierotti
  • Gillian Gibson
  • Kofi Aidoo
  • Alan Candlish
  • Linda Scobie
  • Janice Taylor
  • Karen Keith


BSc (Hons) Food Bioscience is endorsed by the UK's Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST)

Industry Links


  • NFBC (finished)
  • McPhies (finished)
  • Cadburys (finished)
  • Vion (frozen)
  • NFBC2 (frozen)
  • Agrico (active)


  • Advanced Pest Solutions Ltd. KTN Spark collaboration and TSB project consultant.
    WellCow Ltd
  • KTN Spark collaboration
  • Zealand Pharma, Denmark (Patricia Martin, Catherine Wright): peptide development
  • Pfizer: antibiotic induced stress and the impact on the treatment of bacterial infections (Sue Lang)

Employability and Placement Opportunities


  • Diageo, Port Dundas: yeast inoculum contamination investigation
  • GSK, Irvine: penicillin fermentation starter culture preparation
  • Tennent’s, Glasgow: Lactobacillus contamination studies
  • Glasgow Dental Hospital: root canal treatment microbiology
  • Glasgow University: research laboratory placement studying microbial flora associated with inflammatory bowel disease

Food Sciences - many opportunities, including:

  • RHM
  • McPhies
  • Scotbeef
  • Bacardi
  • ABF

Summer Vacation Scholarship schemes – announced annually, including opportunities for sponsorship from the Biochemical Society, Wellcome Trust, Carnegie Trust and Society for General Microbiology

Alumni stars

Dr Colm Bradley, Bradley Consulting

Globally Networked

  • International student recruitment India, Saudi Arabia, Libya
  • Advanced Pest Solutions Ltd. KTN Spark collaboration and TSB project consultant.
  • WellCow Ltd. KTN Spark collaboration.
  • Professor Joao Varela, CCMAR, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal
  • Professor Dr N. Chihib, University of Lille (AUT), France
  • Professor C. Batista, University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil
  • Dr R. Nout, University of Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • Professor S. Aboaba, University of Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Dr Johanna Brandner: Department of Dermatology, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf – Germany
  • Dr Bjarne Due Larsen: Zealand Pharma, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Dr Brant Isakson: Cardiovascular Research Centre, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, USA
  • Professor Maurice van Steensel, Maastricht University Center for Molecular Dermatology, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Professor Junia V Melo, Department of Haematology, Centre for Cancer Biology, IMVS, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  • Professor Michael Kassiou, Unviersity of Sydney, Australia
  • Professor Andrew Grosovsky, College of Science and Mathematics, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Professor Michael Kassiou, Unviersity of Sydney, Australia
  • Emanuele Cozzi, MD, PhD, Clinical and Experimental Transplantation Immunology, Padua, Italy.
  • All members of Xenome Consortium;
  • Ralf Toenjes, Paul-Ehrlich Institute, Germany
  • Joachim Denner. Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, GermanyProf Jay Fishman, Associate Director, MGH Transplantation Center, Transplant Infectious Disease & Compromised Host Program, MGH, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
  • Dr Phil Cummins Dublin City University, Dublin Ireland
  • East Scotland Alzheimer Research UK Network
  • Prof Bernard Vanhove, Senior Scientific Advisor at Effimune SAS, UMR643 INSERM, University of Nantes, France
  • Biotalentum, Hungary
  • Avantea Ltd, Italy
  • Research gate
  • Dr Jesús Mingorance, Servicio de Microbiología, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Paseo de La Castellana, 261, 28046 Madrid