BSc, Biological Chemistry, University of Bristol, UK, 1964, PhD, Biochemistry, University of Bristol, UK, 1967
My long term interest has been in the biochemistry of lysosomal storage diseases and the reason for the early neuronal cell death and demyelination associated with these inherited diseases. This has led us to study lipid-linked signal transduction in isolated neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. More recently we have focussed on the role of the sphingolipid ceramide as a promoter of cell death (apoptosis) in many different cell types. We are interested in drugs which reduce apoptosis (neuroprotective drugs ) which could reverse neurodegeneration and in proapoptotic drugs such as oleoylethanolamine which could be anti-cancer drugs. We make extensive use of cell culture, gene transfection, protein purification, lipid isolation, in vitro enzyme assays and a range of analytical and biochemical methods including mass spectrometry.