Professor Valerie McKelvey-Martin

About Professor Valerie McKelvey-Martin

Professor Valerie McKelvey-Martin, is Head of Engagement and Professor of Molecular Biosciences, Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine (UUC).Professor Valerie McKelvey-Martin graduated with a doctorate in Genetics (DNA damage and repair) from the University of Ulster at Coleraine in 1986. Following three years of Postdoctoral research experience: one year at the Biomedical Sciences Research Centre, UUC and two years at the Northern Ireland Centre for Genetic Engineering, The Queen’s University of Belfast , Valerie joined the University of Ulster as a lecturer in Molecular Biology in 1989. She completed Postgraduate Certificates in Teaching in Higher Education and in Social Research Skills, with commendation and distinction in 1993 and 2010, respectively.

As an academic, Valerie has been involved in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students and in molecular biology research, throughout her career. She has supervised/co supervised 18 PhD, 2 MPhil, 3 MD and 8 MRes students to successful completion, has published more than 40 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals, as well as several book chapters and has contributed to the 1992, 1996, 2001 and 2008 Research assessment exercises at Ulster. Her research group was at the forefront of research in developing the novel Comet-FISH assay for the identification of damage and repair in specific DNA sequences. In 2008 she was Guest Editor for a Special Issue of Mutagenesis on the Advances and Applications of the Comet Assay.

In 2003, Valerie became Professor of Molecular Biosciences and was appointed Head of School of Biomedical Sciences from 2003-2007. Then, as Subject Head for Pharmacy, she played a leading role in establishing the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Ulster, the MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences (2008) and the MPharm degree programme (2009). She also established the Science in Society initiative at Ulster and has directed this programme since it began in 2005. ( Currently as Head of Engagement within the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Valerie chairs the Pharmacy Employers’ Liason Committee, initiated and co-ordinates the Pharmacy Job Shop and also leads the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences’ ConnectED project on Employability. She is currently Principal Investigator on several externally funded research projects: engagement projects, working with teachers and pupils, to promote scientific enquiry in 9-14 year olds, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Astra Zeneca Teaching Trust and a clinical study in adults with the genetically inherited disorder, Neurofibromatosis 1.

Valerie lives in Portrush, which is a beautiful costal town in Northern Ireland, near to The Giant’s Causeway. She is married to Trevor, who is a lawyer, and they have 3 teenage children, Andrew (17 years), Zoe ( 14 years ) and Jonathan ( 13 years ) plus a black and white 3 legged, Tibetan Terrior, called Zanjo.

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