Professor David Timson
School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences
University of Brighton
Telephone: +44 (0)1273 641623
For appointments please contact my PA, Ms Thalia Silver: pabs-PAHoS@brighton.ac.uk
Originally I am from the Borough of Trafford in Greater Manchester. (If you listen carefully you can still hear a trace of my Manchester accent despite many years away from the city…) I studied biochemistry at the University of Birmingham and stayed at Birmingham to complete a PhD in the biochemistry of muscle proteins (“Fine tuning the myosin motor: the role of the essential light chain”) with Professor Ian Trayer. Ian started as Head of the School of Biochemistry the same year I started my PhD. I told Ian many times that I would never become a head of school – something which says a lot about my ability to predict the future. From Birmingham I moved onto post-doctoral positions in Oxford (working on DNA ligases with Dr Dale Wigley FRS) and Manchester (galactose metabolising enzymes with Professor Richard Reece).
My first academic post was at Queen’s University Belfast. Competition for academic posts is always fierce and I had made many applications before QUB made me an offer. I will always be grateful to Queen’s for taking a chance on a young(ish) biochemist with some untested research ideas and almost no teaching experience. At QUB, I developed a number of research ideas (mostly not related to those untested ones I talked about in my interview – but that’s how research works: some ideas work out better than others!). I continued the work on galactose metabolising enzymes which started in Manchester. This work continues to this day and has involved many amazing collaborators from around the world. It was at Queen’s that I developed an interest in molecular parasitology. QUB is a world class centre for parasitology research and it was inevitable that I would get sucked in. With colleagues at QUB I developed projects on fluke calcium binding proteins, cytoskeletal proteins and metabolic enzymes – all of which are still running. Another great thing about working at QUB was the chance to dabble in other areas – for some time I worked with colleagues in Physics on the effects of radiation on biological molecules. This involved doing experiments at amazing external facilities like the Diamond synchrotron in Oxfordshire and CERN.
As my career developed at Queen’s, I became leader of a Biochemistry degree courses, reshaping some of the modules and introducing an integrated masters (MSci) version of the programme as well as a sandwich year option (Biochemistry with Professional Studies). In 2010, I was appointed Director of Education for the School of Biological Sciences (roughly equivalent to Brighton’s Assistant/Deputy Heads for Learning and Teaching). In 2015, I decided that it was time to move on and “dipped my toe” into the job market. Although it was difficult to leave Northern Ireland after 12.5 years, I was very happy to accept the post of Head of School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences here at Brighton.
Thomas CM & Timson DJ (2015) FhCaBP2: a Fasciola hepatica calcium-binding protein with EF-hand and dynein light chain domains. Parasitology. 142, 1375-1386
Zinsser VL, Lindert S, Banford S, Hoey EM, Trudgett A & Timson DJ (2015) UDP-galactose 4’-epimerase from the liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica: biochemical characterisation of the enzyme and identification of inhibitors. Parasitology 142, 463-472.
Thomas CM, Fitzsimmons CM, Dunne DW & Timson DJ (2015) Comparative biochemical analysis of three members of the Schistosoma mansoni TAL family: differences in ion and drug binding properties. Biochimie. 108, 40-47
Pey A, Megarity CF & Timson DJ (2014) FAD binding overcomes defects in activity and stability displayed by cancer-associated variants of human NQO1. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Molecular Basis of Disease. 1842, 2163-2173
Megarity CF, Gill JRE, Caraher MC, Nolan KA, Stratford IJ & Timson DJ (2014) The two polymorphic forms of human NRH-quinone oxidoreductase 2 (NQO2) have different biochemical properties. FEBS Letters 588, 1666-1672
Zinsser VL, Farnell E, Dunne DW & Timson DJ (2013) Triose phosphate isomerase from the blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni: biochemical characterisation of a potential drug and vaccine target. FEBS Letters. 587, 3422-3427.
Further outputs can be found at my Google Scholar page
I am open to collaboration - particularly in the areas of protein characterisation, enzyme assays and development of yeast model systems. The following topics in Horizon 2020 are of particular interest:
- SFS-1-2014/2015: Sustainable terrestrial livestock production
- SFS-15-2014: Proteins of the future
- SFS-16-2015: Tackling malnutrition in the elderly
- BG-3-2014: Novel marine derived biomolecules and industrial biomaterials
- BG-4-2014: Enhancing the industrial exploitation potential of marine-derived enzymes
- PHC 3 - 2015: Understanding common mechanisms of diseases and their relevance in co-morbidities
- PHC 13 – 2014: New therapies for chronic non-communicable diseases
- PHC 14 – 2015: New therapies for rare diseases
- HCO 10 – 2014: ERA NET: Rare Disease research implementing IRDiRC objectives
- HCO 12 – 2015: ERA-NET: Antimicrobial Resistance
- LCE 11 – 2014/2015: Developing next generation technologies for biofuels and sustainable alternative fuels
- BIOTEC 1 – 2014: Synthetic biology – construction of organisms for new products and processes
- BIOTEC 3 – 2014: Widening industrial application of enzymatic processes
- Marie Curie programmes/fellowships
Associate Editor, RSC Advances
Editorial Board, Bioscience Reports
Council member, The Biochemical Society