Robert completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Sussex in 2012 and later joined the laboratory of Dr Felicity Watts to study post-translational modifications that enable cells to respond to cellular stress. In 2016, he joined the University of Pittsburgh as a postdoctoral associate to determine the impact of mutations in DNA repair genes on sensitivity of cancer cells to precision medicines.

In 2018, Robert returned to the UK to start his own research laboratory. During this time, he helped establish a new BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science programme as a Lecturer at Solent University Southampton before later progressing to Senior Lecturer. In 2021, he joined the University of Gloucestershire to develop a 2nd set of new Biomedical Science programmes. In 2022, Robert joined the University of Portsmouth to continue his research investigating the mechanisms of DNA repair that protect both the mitochondrial and nuclear genome.

Robert is currently Associate Head (Employability & Placements) at the University of Portsmouth. He is a Local Ambassador for the Biochemical Society and serves on both the Genes Research Area Panel as well as on the society’s Early Career Advisory Panel. He has participated in external validation panels for new degree programmes and is an External Examiner for the University of Plymouth. Robert is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AdvanceHE) and has a keen interest in how technology can widen-participation and enrich bioscience education.


Research Interests

Robert’s research aims to investigate the mitotoxic effects of some antibiotics and whether this can explain the rare adverse events reported in a sub-population of patients prescribed them. He hopes that by understanding the mechanisms that help protect mitochondrial DNA from damage, it may be possible to screen-out individuals who are most likely to encounter severe adverse effects.


PhD Opportunities

Robbie’s research laboratory is currently accepting applications for self-funded PhDs. Please email with expressions of interest. Please see the lab website for information on current opportunities:


Further information on current PhD projects can be found here: (listed under the Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Biomedical Sciences tab).