School of Life Sciences
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Gill Coburn

Course Director and Admissions Tutor for Foundation Science, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



I started my teaching career in 1989 in a multinational 11-18 comprehensive in West Bromwich, Birmingham. I was lucky to be able to teach Biology A'level (JMB) in my first year and have been teaching it and equivalents ever since. I have taught secondary education in a variety of different locations and progressed to both middle and senior management level. I was Head of Science at a school in North London and Head of Sixth Form/Senior Teacher at 'The British School' in Muscat, Oman. I have taught a wide variety of students of different nationalities and from different backgrounds. I try to encourage all students to reach the highest level they are capable of.

I am now Course Director and Admissions Tutor for Foundation Science at the University of Nottingham, which is now delivered within the School of Life Sciences. I teach the 40 credit module of Biology and other experienced staff deliver the 40 credit module of Chemistry and the 20 credit module of Maths.I deliver workshops for the Mathematics module. Students also complete Studying Science and Man and other Animals, each worth 10 credits.

This course was set up in September 2007 and has proved popular with overseas students and UK students who are at a high level, but do not have the required subjects or qualifications for direct entry to degree programmes. The course has proved a good background of science and students can progress to degrees within the School of Life Sciences, Biosciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry. International students can also progress to Psychology. Students who do well in Foundation Science and meet the progression requirements continue to do well through their 3 or 4 year study. Further information can be found on the following website link.

My previous qualifications include :-

Leeds University 1984-1987. BSc(Hons) Agricultural Zoology,

Loughborough University 1988-1989. Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Biology/Science and Maths (11-18)

The University of Nottingham 2004-2005. MSc Molecular Medical Microbiology, As an MSc student in Medical Microbiology, I had a special interest in Virology. I completed a dissertation on 'Mechanisms and Effects of Viral Entry into the Central Nervous System' and my research project with Prof Paul Sharp was computer based and involved investigating 'Acquired genes in Herpesviridae'.

From 2009 to 2011, I carried out part time computer based research with Dr Liz Bailes on SIV and gave a presentation to the 'Evolution Discussion Group' on 'Host Specific Adaptation in SIV.' This involved using Codeml analysis of gag, pol and env genetic data showing host specific adaptation in SIVmnd1/SIVmnd2 and SIVmus1/SIVmus2.

From 2012 to 2014 I was carrying out part time research on Endogenous retroviruses through links in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. I contributed to a paper published in Virology in June 2012 and was mentioned in Acknowledgments. I have also contributed to construction of Evolutionary trees in other areas. E.g. Raw data from Zambian ruminants.

Disabled Staff Network For the past 3 years I have been coordinator of the Disabled Staff Network. This involved communication with disabled members of staff and arranging meetings 3 times per year. Any issues were taken forward to the Staff Equality and Diversity Advisory Committee (SEDAC) at meetings 3 times per year. If you have any questions regarding this group please feel free to send an email and I can pass on your details to the new person in charge of the Disabled Staff Network. All information is highly confidential.

I am a member of the Equality and Diversity committee set up within the School of Life Sciences. I am also a committee member of the NASDN (National Association of Disabled Staff Networks) This is a new network set up by Manchester University, which allows coordination between disabled staff groups in tertiary education and aims to address issues of equality.

School of Life Sciences

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham NG7 2UH

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