People

Dr Alix Blockley

Lecturer School of Biological Sciences

Profile

I'm a lecturer in biological sciences and I specialise in molecular biology ion channels and electrophysiology. I enjoy looking at how ion channel structure can impact function particularly when this has implications for improving wellbeing. I also carry out pedagogical research aimed at improving the teaching of biology in general and physiology/pharmacology specifically. My undergraduate degree (University of Bath) was an MBiol in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a year in academia; during which I worked at the National Institute for Medical Research (London) looking at transcription factors in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. My dissertation looked at enzyme function in a halophilic archaeon (Haloferax volcanii). After my degree I gained a PGCE (University of Leeds) following which I taught biology to years 7-13 (including A-Level/IB) before leaving to study for my PhD. This PhD (University of London) looked at insect and acarine (tick and mite) voltage-gated sodium channels focussing on tailoring pesticides to target pest arthropods and not ""beneficials"" (like bees). After my PhD I worked as a post-doctoral researcher on molecular biology and electrophysiological projects.

Research

My personal research is currently pedagogical focussing on how we can improve the student learning experience. For undergraduate students I run final year projects both in the lab based on ion channel structure and function and education school-based projects.

Publications

(0) Koromina, M., Flitton, M., Blockley, A., Mellor, I. and Knight, H (2019) Damaging coding variants within kainate receptor channel genes are enriched in individuals with schizophrenia, autism and intellectual disabilities. Scientific Reports 9(1):19215

Blockley, A., Elliott, D., Roberts, A. and Sweet, M (2017) Symbiotic Bacteria from Marine Invertebrates: Driving a New Era of Natural Product Drug Discovery. Diversity Special Issue: "Diversity of Marine Invertebrate and Seaweed Symbiotic Bacteria" 9(4):49

Simoni, E., Bartolini, M., Abu, IF., Blockley, A., Gotti, C., Bottegoni, G., Caporaso, R., Bergamini, C., Andrisano, V., Cavalli, A., Mellor, IR., Minarini, A. and Rosini, M (2017) Multi-target drug design strategy in Alzheimer's disease: focus on cholinergic transmission and amyloid-beta aggregation. Future Medicinal Chemistry 9(10):953-963

Smith, L., Bochkareva, A., Rolfe, M., Hunt, D., Kahramanoglou, C., Braun, Y., Rodgers, M., Blockley, A., Coade, S., Lougheed, K., Azian Hafneh, N., Glenn, S., Crack,J., Le Brun, N., Saldanha, J., Makarov, V., Nobeli, I., Arnvig, K., Mukamolova, G., Buxton, R. and Green, J (2017) The Mycobacterium tuberculosis transcription factor Rv1675c (Cmr) responds to oxidative and nitrosative stress and contributes to virulence via modulation of DosR regulon gene expression. Nucleic Acids Research 45(11):6600-6612

 
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Supervision

For undergraduate and masters students I run final year projects both in the lab based on ion channel structure and function and education school-based projects.

Teaching

I teach on many modules in the school of biological sciences. Currently I'm a module convenor for BS0011 BS0014 NT0001 BS1060 and BS2000. I also tutor on BS1000 and BS3056.

Press and media

University lecturing and pedagogy.
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