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Welcome to the regional pages for the North of England. Full details of national and local events are available on our events pages.

Upcoming branch events

Watch this space for upcoming branch events.

Past branch events

Visit the reports section to find out about past events the branch have run.

Social media

Visit our Facebook page for more branch and regional news.

Our members

Visit the branch demographics to see the numbers and locations of our members (Dated January 2022).

AGM minutes

You can download the minutes of the Northern branch's 2020 AGM, and their 2021 AGM.


Chair (interim): Professor Caroline Austin FRSB
Treasurer: Mrs Helen Page FRSB
Secretary: Ros Roberts CBiol FRSB
Education liaison officers: Professor Stephen Todryk FRSB, Professor Keith Lindsay FRSB, Barbara Murphy MRSB
Industry liaison officer: Tom Simpson MRSB
Student liaison officer: Eve Maguinness

Members: Paul Beetham CBiol MRSB, Dr Ethan Hack MRSB, Dr Shaun Nicholson FRSB, Dr Patrick Randolph-Quinney FRSB, Catherine Stephenson

Committee biographies

Caroline Austin is a Professor of Molecular Biology at the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences at Newcastle University Medical School. Caroline's research interests are focused on the structure and functions of DNA topoisomerases, and include the co-discovery of TOP2B. Caroline is also a former Trustee of the Royal Society of Biology.

Helen Page has worked for Teesside University since 2005, but previously worked at the Pirbright Institute, Surrey and at Doncaster College. Within the School of Health and Life Sciences (SHLS) at Teesside, Helen lectures in a range of biology disciplines as well as forensic biology and DNA analysis. Helen's research interests include the location and recovery of trace biological evidence from unusual items, recovery of fingerprints from devices and peer review and quality processes in forensic science.

Ros Roberts started out on her academic career as a teacher educator and science education researcher in the 90s. Through spells on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biological Education (JBE), more recently representing the JBE as a Diversity and Inclusion ambassador, and involvement with the Biology Education Researchers’ Group, Ros has a longstanding involvement with the RSB.

Revd Dr Paul Beetham is currently a Supernumerary Methodist Minister. He studied Botany and Zoology at London University (Royal Holloway College) graduating in 1975 and gained his PhD (Wales 1980) in microbiology (lichens and SO2). He has been editor of the Christ & The Cosmos publications, a trustee of the Science & Religion Forum and published papers in both science and theology. As a result of the fellowship in 2016 he published a paper entitled "Science, Theology And Politics in the Eighteenth And Twenty-first Centuries".

Keith Lindsay graduated from St. Catherine's College Oxford, and then undertook a PhD at Edinburgh University. Keith carried out post-doc work in Edinburgh and then Rothamsted, before taking up a position as leader of the Plant Molecular Genetics Group at the Leicester Biocentre, and a lectureship at Leicester University (1989) before moving to a Chair in Durham in 1996. Keithe is Professor in the Department of Biosciences at Durham University and is a former President and Chair of Council of the Society for Experimental Biology.

Shaun Nicholson is head of strategic marine licensing at the Marine Management Organisation. He is a Chartered Biologist and water & environmental manager and a Fellow of the RSB, CIWEM and Marine Biological Association of the UK. He is also a Trustee on the Board of CIWEM. He has a PhD in marine ecotoxicology and has over 20 years consultancy and regulatory experience. Shaun was previously based in Hong Kong and has conducted projects in the UK, Ireland, Southeast Asia and St Helena. He sits on the editorial board of The Habitats Regulations Assessment Journal and has served as a reviewer for a number of international peer-reviewed journals.

Tom Simpson graduated from the University of Leeds in 2013 with a BSc Hons in Biochemistry. Since then Tom has used the skills he developed in academia in the pharmaceutical industry whilst working for GSK. Tom has held roles in new product introduction, product technical, operational, and quality departments each requiring different facets of his biochemistry background. Tom is currently training to become a Qualified Person (QP) who is legally responsible for assuring the safety, quality and efficacy of each batch of medicine. Tom acts as industry liaison for the RSB Northern branch, focusing on celebrating current and potential capability and talent in biological science held within the north east of England in industry.

Stephen Todryk is Professor of Immunology within the Department of Applied Sciences and Head of the Mammalian Cell Biology & Immunology Group at Northumbria University. Having received a BSc from Aston, Birmingham, Steve went on to work in an NHS Immunology lab in Oxford for two years. He then embarked on a PhD at Guys Hospital, London, studying immunity and vaccines against streptococci, which he completed in 1995. Steve joined Northumbria University in 2007 as a Senior Lecturer, became Reader in 2010 and was awarded personal Chair of Immunology in 2012.

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