Head of Department - Professor Kathryn Ayscough

Kathryn AyscoughSince becoming Head of the Department of Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield in 2016, Professor Kathryn Ayscough has been on a mission to create opportunities and ensure they are available to everyone.

Kathryn brings a lot of experience to her role as Head of Department. She studied Biochemistry at Oxford University and received her PhD from University College London. She undertook fellowships in California, Dundee and Glasgow then joined the University of Sheffield in 2003 (as an MRC Senior Fellow) and spent nine years in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology before joining Biomedical Science in 2012 as Professor of Molecular Cell Biology.

Since being at Sheffield, Kathryn’s Fellowships have led her to focus her time on research but she has always undertaken a range of teaching responsibilities. Her own research centres around understanding the mechanisms underpinning cell organisation, in particular how cells are able to drive changes in their shape. One current project, focused on the fungal pathogen Candida albicans, aims to determine how specific proteins control cell shape and how this relates to Candida virulence.

Going forward, Kathryn wants to ensure that the impact of research emanating from Biomedical Science is maximized and is keen to develop interdisciplinary aspects of departmental research further, possibly through the establishment of cross-Faculty institutes that could give focus to the University’s strategic research projects.

Kathryn is also a strong advocate working in support of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) agenda and she has chaired the Faculty’s EDI committee driving forward departmental submissions to the Athena SWAN charter.

“What I hope Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield gives our students is the opportunity to study an area of science that they find truly exciting and inspirational as well as opening avenues into stimulating and rewarding careers.”