Journeys in biology

DNA strandsWe'll be taken on a tour down into the microscopic world of a cell and explore what makes them tick. We will start with a description of the scales of biological life, from ecosystems down to the tiny molecules of life. We will look at why the 3D shape of molecules like DNA and protein are essential to their function, and the key role of enzymes in allowing reactions to proceed on a useful timescale. We will discuss the central role of evolution in shaping life and explore various examples of how diseases can be explained, diagnosed and cured by a clear understanding of molecular interactions.

Darren GowersSince his college days in Brighton, Darren Gowers has been fascinated by biology and the amazing diversity of life found on this planet. He has been fortunate in following a path in bioscience research that has allowed him to understand life from a cellular level. This has been via a PhD at Southampton (1998), postdoc at Bristol (2004), to his present position as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biology at The University of Portsmouth. His research area is Biochemistry - the study of macromolecules, genes and cells. His group works on proteins that bind to DNA, with the aim of understanding how these affect gene control in healthy and diseased cells.