Dr Lauren Buck

Lauren BuckUniversity Teacher (Anatomical Education)
Engagement Lead for Biomedical Science
Deputy Admissions Tutor for Biomedical Science
Deputy for Programme Level Approach

Department of Biomedical Science
The University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TN, United Kingdom

Room: B105 Addison building
Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 2391
Email: l.buck@sheffield.ac.uk

General

Brief career history

  • 2016–present: University Teacher, University of Sheffield
  • 2014-2015 Post-Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching
  • 2013-2016: University Teaching Associate, University of Sheffield.
  • 2012-2013: University Teaching Assistant, University of Sheffield.
  • 2008-2012: PhD student (BBSRC CASE) jointly supervised through the MRC Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics (University of Sheffield), AstraZeneca Safety, Health and Environment (Brixham Environmental Laboratory, Devon) and Safety Assessment UK, AstraZeneca R&D (Alderley Park).
  • 2005-2008: BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield.

Research interests

I specialise in Anatomy education at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. I am particularly interested in student and staff engagement, student voice and inclusivity. I also consider the ways that students learn and the value of enterprise activities in the learning environment. I am currently working on multiple projects as part of my Engagement Lead role.

My PhD research focussed on the use of the zebrafish as a model organism to identify the unwanted ototoxic effects of compounds at the early pre-clinical stages of drug development. Specifically, the research aimed to assess the comparative translational capability and validity of this model system by using a combination of established histological and novel functional assays. More detailed investigations into the underlying mechanisms of cisplatin-induced hair cell damage were performed to further validate the model, giving rise to a number of potential routes for further exploration. 

Research centre affiliations

  • Pedagogical Research in Biomedical Science and Developmental Biology

Professional activities

  • National Moderator (Realising Opportunities)
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
  • Senate Fellow – Early Career Senate Award (2015)
  • Member of the Anatomical Society.
  • Member of the Biomedical Science Teaching Committee

Selected publications

  • Submission in progress. Jones A., Buck L. Case study: Investigating student perceptions of a novel Anatomy Master’s programme. Special Issue of Higher Education Pedagogies.
  • Robson L., Buck L., Henry J., Wind M., Waddington B. Programme level working – potential pitfalls and possibilities. Abstract from 12th Annual Learning & Teaching Conference 2018, University of Sheffield.
  • Buck L., Goodall E., Martin M. Peer Assisted Study Sessions: More than just near-peer learning. 3rd Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship Conference, 2017.
  • Buck L. and Riley A. Enterprise Case Study: BMS246 Introduction to Human Anatomy. Case Study. http://www.etctoolkit.org.uk/science-technology-engineering-and-maths/biomedical-science/
  • Buck L., Sahal A., Rozenbroek-Nelson M. and Cooper G. Development of a cross-platform multimedia teaching resource to enhance the delivery of ‘Classical’ Physiology Practical Classes. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Physiological Society, Physiology 2014, London
  • Buck LM, Winter MJ, Redfern WS & Whitfield TT (2012). Ototoxin-induced cellular damage in neuromasts disrupts lateral line function in larval zebrafish. Hear Res, 284(1-2), 67-81.
Research

Learning and Teaching Focus (projects):

Ongoing projects

  • Action research projects with a focus on student and staff engagement (joint with Student Staff committee)
  • Investigating the impact of ‘Peer Assisted Study Sessions’ debrief sessions on curriculum development (staff-student co-creation), and on the benefits of collaborative learning for the PASS Leaders themselves.
  • Incorporating enterprise education into the anatomy teaching curriculum (ECD grant and Senate Award grant). The aim of the project is to encourage students to become creative problem-solvers, to apply their academic knowledge to real life situations and to develop skills in managing limited resources.

Completed projects

  • 2014/15: Strategic focus: Overcoming Challenges in Anatomy Teaching in Response to Increased Student Numbers. Involved survey of 201 Level 2 students.
  • 2013: The use of technology in large group teaching scenarios. This work was funded by the Physiological Society. The aim of this work was to develop up-to-date teaching materials in order to enhance the delivery of Physiology laboratory classes for both staff and students. This work involved the production of accessible video resources and interactive web pages to guide students through a variety of practical classes in “Classical Physiology” and facilitate independent learning.

Safety Pharmacology Focus

I currently hold a teaching (100%) position within the university but retain a fervent interest in ototoxicity research, particularly concerning the underlying mechanisms of cisplatin-induced hair cell damage and the prevention of cisplatin-induced ototoxicity.

I am interested in using the zebrafish inner ear and lateral line systems to model compound-induced hearing and balance impairment in humans. My research has investigated the cellular and functional consequences of exposure to medicines that damage the hearing and balance systems as an off-target effect (ototoxins). I am especially interested in the effects of cisplatin (a platinum-based compound used in cancer treatment) and cisplatin-like compounds.

In 2014/15 I acted as Co-PI, supervising two PG Masters Students. The first project was part-funded by Action on Hearing Loss and involved collaboration with the Chemistry department; it focussed on testing newly synthesised photo-activated cisplatin-like compounds for their toxicity, and more specifically, toxicity to hair cells. The second project was tailored to a Taught Masters programme (MSc Molecular Medicine) and was entitled “The zebrafish as a screening tool to identify compounds with protective effects against cisplatin ototoxicity.”

The screening project identified a number of novel protective compounds against cisplatin ototoxicity and further work will be required to validate and characterise these hit compounds and to understand their underlying mechanisms of action.

Funding

  • Office for Students
  • Senate Award Grant (institutional) 2015
  • USE/HEIF (Enterprise Curriculum Development Grant)
  • Action on Hearing Loss (previous work 2014/15)
Teaching

I specialise in Anatomy education at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and have received formal recognition for my excellence in learning and teaching (Senate Award, Students’ Union Academic Awards).

I am particularly interested in student and staff engagement, student voice and inclusivity. I also consider the ways that students learn and the value of enterprise activities in the learning environment. I am currently working on multiple projects as part of my Engagement Lead role.

In addition to my roles as Engagement Lead, Deputy Admissions Tutor and Deputy PLA Lead, I have previous experience as head of Year 1 undergraduate studies (2016-2018).

Undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules

Level 1:

  • BMS109 Introduction to Biomedical Science
  • BMS109 Laboratory Skills in Biomedical Science
  • BMS109 Introduction to Organ Systems

Level 2:

  • BMS246 Introduction to Human  Anatomy (Coordinator)
  • BMS228 Introduction to Human Anatomy (Part A) (Coordinator)

Level 3:

  • BMS352 Forensic Anatomy
  • BMS339 Patients as Educators Project
  • BMS349 Library Project - Autumn Semester

MSc

  • BMS6017 Anatomy of the Trunk and Limbs
  • EDU6148 Curriculum and Programme Development
  • BMS6015 Action Research Project - Scholarship in Learning and Teaching