Biography

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in PHA. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Paul Graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of East Anglia in 1999 before going on to complete an MSc in Taught organic chemistry again at the UEA. He then worked at Derwent PLC as a chemical indexer before returning to UEA in 2002 to complete a PhD under the supervision of Dr Robert A Stockman investigating a novel procedure for the synthesis of trioxadispiroketals.

After a year long sabbatical for an expedition to travel by truck through Africa Paul returned to the region to work as a Medicinal Chemist at BioFocus PLC in Cambridge. He then made his second return to UEA in 2007 to take up a position as a senior demonstrator within the school of pharmacy. After 2 years in this role Paul was promoted to the position of ATS lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry. In 2011 he was one of the recipients for a UEA award for Excellence in Teaching.

Paul’s main research interests are in the development of electronic learning resources and natural product synthesis. Current projects include:

  • A novel way of organising course materials and resources: Interactive mind maps.
  • Enhancing the student experience and improving student feedback: pilot study for the use of screencasting in undergraduate laboratory preparation.
  • Synthetic studies toward the angucyclinone ring system of simocyclinone D8.
  • Synthetic studies toward symplostatin 4 a novel antimalarial peptide.
     

See below for an example of an interactive learning resource.

Knowledge Map on Prezi

All Publications

Austin, M. J., Hearnshaw, S. J., Mitchenall, L. A., McDermott, P. J., Howell, L. A., Maxwell, A., Searcey, M.

(2016)

A natural product inspired fragment-based approach towards the development of novel anti-bacterial agents,

in MedChemComm

7

(7)

pp. 1387-1391

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Key Research Interests

  • Enhancing the student experience and improving student feedback: pilot study for the use of screencasting in undergraduate laboratory preparation.

In collaboration with Dr Anja Mueller, Paul has recently been awarded the Edward Acton Teaching Fellowship to investigate the use of interactive instructional videos to train students in essential biological lab techniques.

  • A novel way of presenting course materials and resources: Interactive mind maps.

This project aims to create a set of new learning resources alongside a novel way to access them. The resources will be a collection of screencasts covering the key mechanistic concepts for a range of modules across the Pharmacy course. These screencasts will be available online and arranged in a prezi file that can be navigated freely by the students, rather than the conventional sequence of links. Although students currently have access to resources that support their learning, the format in which they are presented does not encourage links to be made between the content of individual lectures. With the increasing diversity, technical proficiency and cost awareness within the student body at UEA it is important that the institution moves toward developing more sophisticated online resources. Furthermore this approach would address the needs of the variety of learning cultures and styles of this new student demographic, alongside widening accessibility for students whose majority of time is spent off campus (so-called distance learners). Being able to view materials multiple times and out of office hours should also have the beneficial effect of fostering an environment of independent learning.

So far, two learning resources have been created using this technique:

  1. An interactive mind map covering the key organic chemical concepts that are needed for the pharmacy degree (http://prezi.com/r67lujd1fm2s/life-sciences-chemistry-mind-map/)
     
  2. A virtual classroom covering the metabolic process that have been taught in the drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics module PHA-2HF2 (https://prezi.com/secure/1b2ed05e199bc66cf0147e8b5674c6433e332a30/

Research Grants

Edward Acton Teaching Fellowship, UEA
Enhancing the student experience and improving student feedback: pilot study for the use of screencasting in undergraduate laboratory preparation.
Investigators - Dr Anja Mueller, Dr Paul McDermott, Mr George Gordon
Start date - July 2011
£5000