Dr Corinne Spickett

Corinne Spickett

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I joined the School of Life and Health Sciences in January 2011, after 17 years as an academic member of staff at the University of Strathclyde. I worked in several different departments there, starting in Chemistry, then moving to Immunology, Bioscience, and lastly Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science. This reflects my broad scientific background and interests in oxidative stress ranging from molecular processes to inflammation in disease.

I have extensive collaborations in Europe: currently I am treasurer of the Society for Free Radical Research (Europe), a workgroup leader in the COST Action CM1001 on “Chemistry of non-enzymatic protein modification”, and a member of the International HNE-Club committee, having just stood down as secretary.

I have taught extensively in biological and biomedical related classes at the University of Strathclyde, where my primary focus was on biochemistry, metabolism and molecular events in cardiovascular disease. I have also been an invited lecturer for the Masters in Integrative Physiology at the University of Barcelona, and have lectured at the Spetses Free Radical Summer School run by the Society of Free Radical Research Europe.

Research interests

All my current research is in the field of oxidative stress. I have been working on this subject since 1994, when I moved to the University of Strathclyde.  Oxidative stress occurs when the level of free radicals or oxidants in a system exceeds the capacity of antioxidants to protect against them.  This can lead to oxidative damage, thus harming the cell or tissue. This often happens in inflammation, which occurs in infectious diseases as well chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.  These diseases are a major cause of ill-health and mortality in all developed countries, and increasingly in developing countries.

Oxidants are formed in many metabolic and environmental processes.  They are also be released by phagocytes during their role in early immune defence against pathogens, but in severe inflammation may result in host tissue damage and pathology. I am interested in various aspects of oxidant metabolism, from mechanisms of cell killing by oxidants and cell antioxidant defence to the role of immune cell-derived oxidants in disease and immunomodulatory effects of oxidised macromolecules.  Much of the research in my group relates to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and atherosclerosis, conditions where oxidative stress is clearly implicated in the pathology of the disease, through the increased cellular uptake of oxidized low density lipoprotein (LDL). One of the major techniques used is electrospray mass spectrometry (ESMS), which can be applied to the analysis of phospholipid and protein oxidation. Together with Prof Andy Pitt, we are currently establishing a new, state-of-the-art mass spectrometry facility in Life and Health Sciences.

Teaching Activity

Here at Aston University, I am currently only involved in teaching key skills tutorials for BY1KS1 and BY2KS2.  However, previously at the University of Strathclyde I taught a wide range of lecture- and laboratory-based classed, mainly in the biochemistry and biomedical science areas


  • BA (Hons) Biochemistry  - Oxford University (Pembroke College) - 1986
  • DPhil Biochemistry - Oxford University (Pembroke College) - 1990
  • MA  - Oxford University (Pembroke College) - 1990  


  • August 2006 - January 2011: Senior Lecturer, SIPBS, University of Strathclyde.
  • April 2005 - August 2006: Senior Lecturer, Department of Bioscience, University of Strathclyde.
  • September 2001 – April 2005: Lecturer, Department of Bioscience, University of Strathclyde.
  • September 1994 - August 2001: Glaxo-Jack Research Lecturer, Department of Immunology, University of Strathclyde.
  • April 1993 - to August 1994:  SHHD funded postdoctoral research fellow in the Dept. of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Strathclyde, working with Prof. W.E. Smith. (An investigation of oxidative stress in preeclamptic erythrocytes using in vivo NMR and resonance Raman spectroscopy).
  • April 1992 - March 1993:  AFRC funded postdoctoral research assistant to Dr C. Abell, Department of Chemistry, Cambridge. (The purification of kaurene synthase and related diterpene cyclases from Ricinus communis).
  • October 1989 - March 1992:  AFRC funded postdoctoral research assistant to Dr B.C. Loughman and Dr R.G. Ratcliffe, Department of Plant Sciences, Oxford. (The application of in vivo NMR to the study of plant systems).

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • The Biochemical Society (1986-present)
  • Society for Free Radical Research (1995-present)
  • Society for General Microbiology (1997-present)
  • British Society for Cardiovascular Research (2003-present)

PhD Supervision

I have supervised 20 graduate research students and about 20 visiting scientists from a variety of countries.  Currently I am supervising 2 PhD students with 2 more due to start in April 2016.

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Clinical and Systems Neuroscience

Organisational unit: School

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