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Kirsti Newton

Dr Kirsti Newton BSc, PhD, FHEA

Senior Lecturer


Following 10 years in toxin research, I was appointed to a teaching post at Sheffield Hallam in 2006 and am now a Senior Lecturer. I teach physiology and neurobiology across a range of degree courses within the Department of Biosciences and Chemistry. I am also the deputy course leader for the undergraduate Biomedical Science degree. My research focusses on scorpion venom, antivenom, and pharmacological components of the venoms.

  • About

    After studying BSc (hons) in Biology with Biochemistry at the University of Wales, Bangor, I spent several years at the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research in a large multidisciplinary research group investigating bacterial protein toxins. My work was primarily based on medical applications of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin, and also on replacements to animal testing in this area.

    I developed a particular interest in the therapeutic potential of naturally occurring toxins and the extensive pharmacological libraries contained within animal venoms and completed a PhD in this subject at Sheffield Hallam University with a placement in the Department of Biochemistry at the National University of Singapore. After completing my PhD, I spent time as a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Sheffield.

    I am currently the module leader for the first year module, Humans: Genes, Anatomy and Physiology for undergraduate biomedical science students and also teach on a number of modules throughout the BSc Human Biology course. I am deputy course leader for the undergraduate Biomedical Science Degree, and course leader for BSc Biosciences. My other roles include being an academic tutor, and supervision of laboratory classes and undergraduate and postgraduate research project students.

  • Teaching

    I teach physiology and neurobiology.

  • Research

    My general research interests lie in scorpion venom research. Scorpion venoms represent extensive pharmacological libraries of specifically evolved peptides with distinct molecular targets. My current focus is on three main areas, venomics, antivenoms and venom-derived anti-cancer agents.

  • Publications

    Journal articles

    Newton, K.A., Clench, M.R., Deshmukh, R., Jeyaseelan, K., & Strong, P.N. (2007). Mass fingerprinting of toxic fractions from the venom of the Indian red scorpion, mesobuthus tamulus: biotope-specific variation in the expression of venom peptides. Rapid communications in mass spectrometry, 21 (21), 3467-3476.

  • Postgraduate supervision

    MPhil- Mechanism of action of the scorpion neurotoxin, chlorotoxin - a computer modelling study

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