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Jennifer Koenig

Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Associate Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham based in the Derby Medical School.

Jenny obtained a BSc (Hons 1 with University Medal) at the University of Sydney followed by a PhD at the University of Cambridge, working with Dr Ian Martin on electrophysiological and biochemical characterisation of purified GABAA receptors. After a short spell in industry, Jenny moved to the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge where she worked on intracellular trafficking of G protein coupled receptors and developed a mathematical modelling approach for which she was awarded the first IUPHAR Receptor Mechanisms Research Award in 1998. From 2004-20, Jenny combined teaching pharmacology in the Cambridge Graduate Entry Medicine Course with science education and communication, in particular developing the pedagogy surrounding the intersection of maths and science. She was an instructor on the Diploma in General and Advanced Receptor Theory for the British Pharmacological Society and has published on curriculum and pedagogical approaches for maths in bioscience. Jenny has worked on many projects in science communication, particularly in pharmacology, bringing the understanding of drug action to a wide audience.

Jenny has experience in a number of educational themes specialising in:

  • Transition: through her work as a Fellow at Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, Jenny has a long-standing interest in widening participation in medical education and has been involved in a number of initiatives in the transition from secondary to higher education including provision of study skills support and as an External Moderator for the Cambridge Access Validating Agency. In 2015-16 Jenny took a two year break from University teaching to do a PGCE (secondary chemistry) and taught in secondary schools, gaining valuable experience in teaching A level biology and chemistry as well as GCSE science and maths.
  • Inclusion: Jenny has a strong interest in the impact of autism, specific learning differences and mental health issues on academic study skills amongst science, engineering and medical students and worked part-time at the Disability Resource Centre in the University of Cambridge from 2012 - 2020 supporting students with study skills advice.

Expertise Summary

* Equity, diversity and inclusion in education.

* Research at the intersection of maths and biology education: analysis of curricula and pedagogy leading to improved design for both motivation and understanding.

* Understanding how students understand ethnicity in medical sciences

* Core Concepts of Pharmacology research team member, IUPHAR Education Section

Teaching Summary

Pharmacology Education

Maths and Statistics in the Life Sciences

Research Summary

I have two areas of research relating to medical, and in particular pharmacology, education.

1- How students understand ethnicity across the medical curriculum but in particular within pharmacology as a discipline. We are working in a multi-disciplinary team to develop ethnicity as a cross-cutting theme within medicine and medical physiology degree programmes.

2- Core concepts of Pharmacology. I am a member of the Research Team for the Core Concepts of Pharmacology project. We have identified the core concepts of pharmacology (see publications) and are in the process of identifying the key misconceptions which limit student understanding of these concepts (two publications submitted July 2024). We are using this knowledge to develop high quality teaching and learning resources to improve pharmacology education globally.

3- Drawing upon my earlier interests in mathematics education in the life sciences, I am developing resources and teaching strategies for teaching the quantitative aspects of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

Recent Publications

Past Research

My early research (1992-2004) focussed on regulation of G protein coupled receptors, in particular analysing internalisation and recycling of somatostatin receptors and muscarinic receptors in terms of mathematical models.

I continued my interests in maths into mathematical education in the life sciences from 2004-present through development of online maths resources and analysis of existing curricula and development of a strong foundation of maths in the secondary school curriculum.

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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