Department of Biology & Biochemistry


4 South 0.48


Tel: +44 (0) 1225 383129 


Research Students

  • Ms. Winnie Wu (PhD 2005-08): Co-supervised with Dr. David Hough
  • Ms. Kate Hanrott (PhD 2002-05): Co-supervised with Prof. S Wonnacott
  • Ms. Christiane Wirrig (summer student- University of Greifswald, Germany 2004)
  • Mr. Ben Jones (Wellcome Trust vacation scholar- Clare College, Cambridge-2002)

Dr Momna Hejmadi 


Momna is responsible for the coordination of Bath’s ‘MOOC’ (Massive Open Online Course) titled ‘Inside cancer: how genes influence cancer development’, run through the FutureLearn platform as a free online course.

Current Research

1) Characterisation of photolyases (DNA repair enzymes) from extremophiles

Photolyases catalyse the simplest and most efficient way of repairing DNA damage induced by ultraviolet radiation. Interestingly however, placental mammals (including humans) have lost the gene encoding these enzymes, making them more susceptible to the harmful effects of UV radiation. Extremophiles, especially some halophiles and thermophiles, demonstrate highly efficient photoreactivation repair, although photolyases from these organisms are poorly characterised. This project is part of ongoing work on the identification and functional expression of photolyases from extremophiles in human cancer cell lines. This study is in collaboration with the Centre for Extremophile Research. Funded by PhD studentships and KTP.

2) Hypoxic signaling pathways in neuronal and cancer models

Hypoxia is a critical reduction of cellular oxygen in tissues caused by pathophysiological conditions such as brain strokes or increasing tumour sizes. My research is aimed at understanding how cells sense this drop in oxygen levels, and how this affects cell signalling and behaviour. Using in vitro (neuronal and cancer cell lines) and in vivo models (C.elegans mutant strains), I study the role of key transcriptional regulators such HIF-1 (hypoxia inducible factor) in regulating cell death pathways in response to acute or intermittent hypoxia. Funded by BBSRC, Wellcome Trust, industry and Dept. Biotechnology (India).

3) Pedagogic research in Learning & Teaching

My research interests into learning and teaching in Higher Education currently encompasses evaluation of placements in learning and employability, enhancing the international student learning experience, internationalization of the curriculum, use of open education resources and innovative approaches to assessment and feedback. These were funded through UKIERI (UK-India Education & Research Initiative), British Council, the UK Higher Education Academy (OER phase 1 & 2, TechDis, Internationalisation) and the University of Bath Teaching Development Fund.


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