Dr Ian McDowall

Deputy Head of Biological Sciences

Ian is currently Deputy Head of Biological Sciences.

Qualifications

PhD

Overview

I left secondary education in 1974 at the age of 16 and with limited formal academic qualifications to undertake a position of full-time employment as an engineer and part-time motorcycle mechanic. I was employed in this capacity for the following nine years before deciding to take a chance on a complete change direction by undertaking an Access course in Science. This course enabled me to gain entry to Liverpool Polytechnic and in 1987 I commenced a full time degree course in Applied Biochemistry, specialising in mammalian biochemistry and molecular biology. I subsequently graduated with a first class Hons. in 1990 and joined Liverpool University as a post graduate research student, where I subsequently undertook a PhD project involved in the investigation of factors influencing the expression of the phenylalanine hydroxylase gene, the gene linked to the condition phenylketonuria.

Teaching

Since joining the University of Chester as part of the lecturing staff in 1993, I have been responsible for the teaching on a wide and diverse range of modules covering many subjects including physiology, genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and forensic DNA analysis.

Research

My current research activities are quite diverse. Although I have retained my interest in the investigation of factors influencing the expression of genes involved in the aetiology of human disease. More recently, I have had the opportunity to follow my life-long interest in natural history and conservation by applying the techniques used in human gene analysis to address wider range of biological questions including wildlife forensics and phylogenetics. In this respect, I am currently involved in a number of projects involving the analysis of mitochondrial DNA from rare or critically endangered species with a special interest in the extraction from limited or degraded substrates which have been obtained by non-invasive field sampling.