Biomedical Science Day

To celebrate #BiomedicalScienceDay2023, we are showcasing some of our Biomedical Science Staff.

First up we have Dr Claire Walker, who is our Senior Lecturer in Immunology. What does Biomedical Science Day Mean to Claire?

“As a Senior Lecturer in Immunology on the Institute of Biomedical Sciences accredited course at the University of Lincoln, I’m often asked two questions. The first is always ‘why immunology” and the second is “well what is so important about IBMS accreditation”? For me personally, few fields hold the potential to transform lives so profoundly as immunology. Ground-breaking discoveries and innovative treatments are reported every month in this extraordinary discipline, from CAR-T cells to gene therapy to cure disease. I can’t think of a single scientist who wouldn’t want to be a part of this innovative work which pioneers a new frontier in medicine. As for why I teach on accredited course, the IBMS is a professional body that represents biomedical scientists and completion of an IBMS accredited degree course is essential to becoming a registered professional who works in a clinical laboratory. The translation of the exciting novel technologies I describe into NHS pathology is entirely dependent on our accredited workforce and I undertook my teaching position here at University of Lincoln to inspire our next generation of scientists to lead the way in this field. Biomedical Science education is a powerful tool for progress in NHS pathology and I feel incredibly privileged play a role in it.”

What Does Biomedical Science Day mean to Michael, one of our Senior Lecturers in Biomedical Science?

“I have been a Biomedical Scientist for 15 years, and being able to share knowledge about my profession with colleagues and the wider public is something that makes me feel visible and valued.

I currently work as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Lincoln where we run an IBMS Accredited Biomedical Science course.  It is great to see just how popular this course is becoming, and how many students are aware of the importance of accreditation is to their prospects of becoming a Biomedical Scientist.

I am privileged to work with laboratories across Lincolnshire and beyond, supporting our placement students to work in diagnostic laboratories, gaining the knowledge skills and behaviours required to work as a Biomedical Scientist.

The partnership between the University and the laboratories is vital in ensuring we continue to deliver highly skilled and motivated Biomedical Scientists into the workforce.”

What does Biomedical Science Day mean to Dr Carol Rea, one of our Associate Professors?

“After 8 years of working in pathology and almost 29 years of teaching biomedical science, it means helping provide the next generation of biomedical scientists. I am proud to have helped hundreds of students begin that journey over this time. Initially at the University of Wolverhampton, moving to the University of Lincoln in 2002 to set up the BSc Biomedical Science, in response to local difficulties in recruitment of biomedical scientists. We started with just 16 students, several of whom I am still in touch with and are contributing to the service in a variety of ways. We have grown significantly since then with the current first year being around 130. In that time, we have introduced a placement year, largely placing students locally, an integrated masters to appeal to high achieving students and a foundation year to widen access. A key aim has always been to develop relevant practical skills and to put learning in the context of patient care, using case studies and problem-based learning. This is often in the context of interprofessional learning with other health professionals, emphasising the importance of working in a multi-disciplinary team.”

What does Biomedical Science Day Mean to Sue?

“My name is Sue and I have worked as a Biomedical Scientist for almost 30 years. In my current role as Deputy Manager and Training Officer, I support training in the Blood Sciences department at Lincoln Hospital. This included Trainee Biomedical scientists and students on placement with us to achieve their IBMS registration portfolio.

Being a training officer allows me to pass on my knowledge and to support the Biomedical Scientists of the future.

I am proud to support Biomedical Science Day.”

What does Biomedical Science Day Mean to Rebecca?

“As a new Biomedical Scientist at Lincoln County Hospital, I am very proud to be a part of this day and it is important to recognise the vital role Biomedical Scientists have in the patient pathway by managing and monitoring diseases and even aiding in the diagnostic process, this day helps us do that.

I studied Biomedical Science at the University of Lincoln and completed a placement year at Lincoln County Hospital where I obtained my registration portfolio and gained invaluable knowledge and experience. I would encourage any student that is given the opportunity to take a placement year as it provides brilliant laboratory experience, the chance to complete the registration portfolio and gives a great insight into the everyday role of the Biomedical Scientist.

I am very lucky to work as part of a multidisciplinary team at Lincoln, where we work in Haematology, Biochemistry and Transfusion. As a person who enjoys learning and being challenged, it is a perfect place to work as no two days are the same.

I thoroughly look forward to advancing my career and adding to my knowledge and in time, helping any further students and new staff that chose this rewarding career.”

“Taking Part in a University Study Saved My Eyesight”

A staff member’s participation in a voluntary research study detected a sight-threatening disease which was misdiagnosed by opticians.

Tammie Farley, College of Science Events and Schools Liaison Manager at the University of Lincoln, UK responded to an open call to take part in a study where her eyes were to be routinely photographed. The study was being ran by Dr Bashir Al-Diri, Associate Professor and Programme Leader at Lincoln School of Computer Science as part of his project titled ARIAL (Automated Retinal Image Analysis Lab).

She volunteered as someone with healthy eyes to provide Dr Bashir with photographs to help build software designed to automatically analyse retinal images. The images can detect vascular segmentation which, if untreated, can cause blindness.

In February 2022, an irregularity appeared on the photographs of Tammie’s eyes. A month prior, she had noticed that straight lines appeared to have kinks in them. Spreadsheets, for example, became especially difficult for her to see clearly. An optician had diagnosed age-related macular degeneration (AMD), though Dr Bashir believed that this was a misdiagnosis.

Through corresponding with a fellow researcher at the University of Sunderland, Dr Maged Habib, a Consultant Ophthalmology and Retina Specialist, Dr Bashir was able to confirm that Tammie had Central Serous Chorioretinopathy with CNV (choroidal neovascularisation) rather than AMD. This disease can be sight-threatening.

The first four months are crucial in determining whether a patient with this disease will lose sight or not. By taking part in the study, Tammie was correctly diagnosed quickly and able to receive treatment with Dr Maged in March this year at no charge.

 “I am incredibly grateful to Dr Bashir for not only detecting the issue in my right eye but also his concern and continued monitoring of it over the past 15 months.  Had Bashir not liaised with Dr Habib at Sunderland Eye Infirmary I would not have received such speedy treatment. If it had been left without treatment or undiagnosed, I could have been left with permanent central vision loss.”

Tammie Farley

Tammie’s experience is just one example of the exceptional work ARIAL is doing to protect people’s eyesight. Since the project began in May 2018, 12 per cent of the participants were found to have abnormal signs in their retinal images and were encouraged to follow up with their opticians and continue with the retinal scans to detect any further changes.

A further five per cent of the participants had started to develop more serious conditions that would have been undetected by the participant and were referred to their GPs for more investigations.

Dr Bashir Al-Diri, Lead Investigator of ARIAL, said:

“Our vascular system adapts to various conditions, age, and lifestyle activities. It is crucial to differentiate between changes due to pathology and those due to normal aging and lifestyle factors. However, this has been difficult in the past due to a lack of images from non-pathological participants.
“The ARIAL project aims to address this issue by collecting images over time to discover patterns and learn cause-and-effect relationships. By analysing these images and correlating them with other clinical data, the project hopes to develop a set of integrated techniques that will influence routine clinical patient care in the years to come.”

Dr Bashir Al-Diri

Dr Bashir was the first ever PhD student at Lincoln’s School of Computer Science and has been researching this subject for almost 20 years. To develop an artificial intelligence system that monitors changes to a patient’s eye, he requires considerably more photographs of eyes where any segmentation is manually measured and logged.

This manual process, however, is incredibly time consuming. He hopes to employ the assistance of medical students or colleagues to continue progressing the project which could have a transformative impact on UK provision of optical care.

Image 1 shows the abnormality identified in Tammie’s eye in photos captured on 01/12/2022. Image 2 shows Tammie’s healthy eye report from 31/03/2023 following treatment. The retinal thickness shadowgraph indicates where the disease is present and shows the significantly increased thickness. A ‘hole’ is also visible on the left-hand photos which is shown to be repaired in Image 2. The fully green thickness graph displayed in Image 2 also shows the success of the treatment, with only faint traces of abnormality left on the shadowgraph.

Social Engagement with Parkinson’s community in Lincolnshire

Research within the College of Science is central to our mission. Our research aims to be relevant to the field it relates to, and something that will make a difference to local, national and international communities. Research is not only crucial in underpinning our academic agendas, it is vital to the economic success and social fabric of society. This engagement opportunity has been supported by public engagement for all with research at Lincoln, PEARL

In January, our School of Pharmacy held a research event, which was focused on Parkinson’s Disease (PD). For those who may not have heard of Parkinson’s, it is a degenerative neurological condition, in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over time.

The aim of the event was to explore and improve the health issues amongst the Parkinson’s Community in Lincolnshire. Attending the event was researchers, clinical pharmacists/ health care practitioners, current pharmacy students, and people living with Parkinson’s Disease and their careers.

During the event, attendees had the chance to network, offering them the opportunity to create new friendships and learn about each other’s experiences. The first session allowed individuals to discuss their journey, from the diagnosis to the daily challenges they now face. Following this, an artistic/self-expression activity session which was held, as this is often a form of therapy for people with PD.

We heard from Dr Richard Ngomba, lead PEARL grant recipient within the School of Pharmacy and Honorary clinical research fellow at ULHT, Lincoln County hospital, to hear his thoughts on the event. 

“What was the reason behind holding this event?”

“It’s just a combination of many factors, no doubt yes it’s intellectual curiosity but it seems more like a sort of innate call really, to take care of people and to understand where their needs lie, then to work out with them the best solutions required to improve their wellbeing as they face the various challenges within the system.”

“Following the event, what did we learn?”

“I have to admit that I am still learning all the time, and what I have gathered on this occasion is that communication between patients and healthcare providers is essential. The togetherness of people living with PD, their families and friends are central to ensuring that everybody is well represented and heard throughout all the stages of patients’ care. Health providers need to learn more from the patients and their families.”

We also heard from one of the attendees, who commented on the event.

“I found the session very informative and unlike most social gatherings, which I wouldn’t usually attend because of my PD Symptoms. I didn’t feel uncomfortable amongst strangers. I hope in the future, there will be further opportunities like this as I found it beneficial in many ways.”

For more information on Parkinson’s Disease, please click here. Or if you or someone you know would like to take part in future sessions, please get in touch with our College of Science Marketing Team by emailing,

STEM Christmas Lectures 2022

STEM Christmas Lectures 2022

“I could use a little social interaction” – The Grinch

If you’re feeling a little bit like The Grinch, why not join us the week beginning Monday 12 December, for our annual STEM Christmas Lecture Series?  

This series aims to inspire the next generation of scientists and will showcase our expertise in key STEM subjects.

We will be offering both virtual and in-person lectures across the week streamed via our YouTube channel and on our beautiful Brayford Campus, giving everyone the opportunity to experience a taste of teaching at Lincoln.

So, if you have any interest in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, or Computer Science, then why not come along?

The full schedule of talks can be found below:


Date Time Talk Speaker  Watch
Monday 12 December 1.00 to 1.45pm Santa’s Little Helper – Robots picking, packing and delivering Professor Marc Hanheide, Professor of Intelligent Robotics and Interactive Systems Watch Live
Tuesday 13 December 1.00pm to 1.45pm How to Grow a Moon Dr Phil Sutton, Senior Lecturer in Astrophysics Watch Live
Wednesday 14 December 1.00pm to 1.45pm A Pet’s View of Christmas Professor Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine Watch Live
Wednesday 14 December 6.00pm to 7.50pm Fish Tales: The History and Physics of the Goldfish Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky, Head of the School of Mathematics and Physics

Professor Anna Marie Roos, Professor of the History of Science and Medicine

Isaac Newton Building

Lecture Theatre INB0114

Thursday 15 December 1.00pm to 1.45pm Fantastic Festive Food National Centre for Food Manufacturing Team Watch Live
Friday 16 December 1.00pm to 1.45pm Santa the High Risk Traveller (Travel Health) Dr Ian Heslop, Acting Head of School of Pharmacy Watch Live


We look forward to seeing you all there! 

Congratulations to Liam Mason

Last week, Liam Mason, one of our PhD students from our School of Computer Science won the CHI best paper award. Well done Liam!

We spoke to Liam, to get an insight into his best paper titled “Including the Experiences of Physically Disabled Players in Mainstream Guidelines for Movement-Based Games”.

“In this chi paper titled “Including the Experiences of Physically Disabled Players in Mainstream Guidelines for Movement-Based Games”. We highlight how movement-based video games can be entertaining and have the potential to encourage players to be more physically active. However, current design guidelines for such games, are overwhelmingly geared toward non-disabled players, in this work we draw from interviews and an online survey with wheelchair users to contextualize and expand existing guidelines in this field.

This was my last paper submission to a conference as part of my PhD and I have had a very good run with papers being accepted throughout but no awards until this, so it is a really great way to finish my PhD.

This chapter of my work was the most challenging – some of these interviews were nearly 3 hours long! So getting an award for best paper really gives me the confidence for passing! But it’s important to note, I couldn’t do it without the expertise of my co-authors, we went through many many iterations, working all the way through lockdown so I really appreciate the effort they put in too!”

You can watch his favourite video on YouTube here, more information on the award can also be found on the CHI website.


School of Engineering’s Boston College Trip

Recently, our colleagues from the School of Engineering visited Boston College as part of the University of Lincoln’s vision outreach work to promote STEM on Engineering Industry Insight Day.

The learners from Boston College were those enrolled in the general engineering, and motor vehicle engineering courses, including apprentices in levels 2 and 3.

Dr Aliyu Aliyu,  Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Energy gave a presentation on our courses at the University of Lincoln, within the School of Engineering, what modules they should expect to take in each year, our research facilities, strong connection to industry and the local council, opportunities to work on industry-led independent and group projects, focus on hands-on activities, and indicative engineering salaries obtainable in the market.

They were afterwards given the opportunity to see and interact with some of the lab equipment we took there. On hand to answer their questions were the Technical Team, as well as three 2nd-4th year student volunteers who spoke to them about their university experiences and campus life.