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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Dr Jayne Dennis


Reader in Biomedical Education, Director of Education for Biomedical Sciences

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5018
Room Number: 3.20, Fogg Building

Undergraduate Teaching

My teaching centres on human genetics, specifically:

  • The genetics of health and disease, especially cancer,
  • Human genomics, and
  • Precision medicine.

I organise two modules: Human Genetic Disorders (BIO227) and Advanced Human Genetic Disorders (BIO324).

I am a tutor for all three years of undergraduate students (on modules BMD100, BIO209 and BIO309), final year research project supervisor and I mentor project skills students. In addition, I am an academic advisor and programme tutor.

In my role as Director of Biomedical Sciences I am responsible for the academic management and oversight of the undergraduate biomedical degree programmes that are co-delivered by SBCS and the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry (FMD). In this role I chair the Programme Teaching Group and sit on the Teaching & Learning Committee (TLC), Science Undergraduate Teaching & Learning Committee (SUTL), and SBCS-FMD Joint Executive.

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, member of the Society for Research in Higher Education, and participate in the Teaching Interest Group and Educational Research (TIGER) committee.

In 2016-2018 I was the Director of Student Experience in SBCS, and chaired the Student-Staff Liaison Committee. In 2014-2016 I was responsible for the undergraduate Ciência sem Fronteiras scholarship programme within SBCS.

Previously I taught at St George’s, University of London (SGUL), where I obtained my Postgraduate Certificate in Biomedical & Healthcare Education. I continue teaching at SGUL as a visiting lecturer on three modules: Human Medical Genetics, Personalised Medicine and Cancer Biology.


Research Interests:

My pedagogic research focuses on metacognition in higher education, especially the teaching practices used by staff to support students’ metacognitive development. I am currently developing staff development workshops designed to equip staff with theoretical knowledge of metacognition and pedagogical knowledge of how to include metacognition in teaching. I have presented my work at the annual conference of the Society for Research in Higher Education and I have been an invited speaker at UK universities.

I recently completed an MA in the psychology of education at the world leading Institute of Education, which is now part of University College London.

My scientific research interests focused on precision medicine - the use of molecular and genetic information in the clinical management of disease, especially cancer. My PhD (University of Glasgow) investigated gene expression profiles in the classification of primary cancers. This work formed the basis of a classification algorithm for Carcinoma of Unknown Primary which is now integral to a Cancer Research UK sponsored clinical trial (CUP-ONE, CRUK/08/006).

Following my post-doc at Imperial College at Hammersmith Hospital I held senior positions in two genomics facilities.


Latham Birt SH, Botham KM, Dennis JL & Wheeler-Jones CP (2016) Effects of model chylomicron remnants on gene expression in human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC). Submitted.

Liu WM, Scott KA, Dennis JL Kaminska E, Levett AJ & Dalgleish AG (2016) Naltrexone at low doses upregulates a unique gene expression not seen with normal doses; implications for its use in cancer therapy. Int J Oncol. 49(2): 793-802

Scott, KA, Dennis JL, Dalgleish AG & Liu WM (2015) Inhibiting heat shock proteins can potentiate the cytotoxic effect of cannabidiol in human glioma cells. Anticancer Res 35(11): 5827-37

Oien KA & Dennis JL (2012) Diagnostic work-up of carcinoma of unknown primary: from immunohistochemistry to molecular profiling. Ann Oncol 23 suppl 10: x271-277

Le Bihan M, Bigot A, Skov Jensen S, Dennis JL, Rogowska-Wrzesinska A, Lainé J, Gache V, Furlong D, Nørregaard Jensen O, Voit T, Mouly V, Coulton G, & Butler-Browne G. (2012) In- depth analysis of the secretome identifies three major independent secretory pathways in differentiating human myoblasts. J Proteomics 77:344-356

Liu WM, Dennis JL, Gravett AM, Chanthirakumar C, Kaminska E, Coulton G, Fowler DW, Bodman-Smith M, Dalgleish AG. (2012) Supernatants derived from chemotherapy-treated cancer cell lines can modify angiogenesis. Br J Cancer 106(5):896-903.

Liu WM, Dennis JL, Fowler DW, Dalgleish AG. (2012) The gene expression profile of un-stimulated dendritic cells can be used as a predictor of function. Int J Cancer. 130(4):979-90

Pathan N, Franklin JL, Eleftherohorinou H, Wright VJ, Hemingway CA, Waddell SJ, Griffiths M, Dennis JL, Relman DA, Harding SE, Levin M. (2011) Myocardial depressant effects of interleukin 6 in meningococcal sepsis are regulated by p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. Crit Care Med. 39(7):1692-711

Cullingford TE, Markou T, Fuller SJ, Giraldo A, Pikkarainen S, Zoumpoulidou G, Alsafi A, Ekere C, Kemp TJ, Dennis JL, Game L, Sugden PF, and Clerk A. (2008) Temporal regulation of expression of immediate early and second phase transcripts by endothelin-1 in cardiomyocytes. Genome Biology 9:R32

Tomlinson C, Thimma M, Alexandrakis S, Castillo T, Dennis JL, Brooks A, Bradley T, Turnbull C, Blaveri E, Barton G, Chiba N, Maratou K, Soutter P, Aitman T & Game L. (2008) MiMiR: an integrated platform for microarray data sharing, mining and analysis. BMC Bioinformatics 9:379

Oien KA, Dennis JL, Evans TRJ (2007) Metastatic adenocarcinoma of unknown origin. In Progress in Pathology 7 (editors N. Kirkham & N. Shepherd), Cambridge University Press, pp 135-162

Dennis JL & Oien KA. (2005) Hunting the primary: novel strategies for defining the origin of tumours J Pathol 205:236-47

Dennis JL, Hvidsten TR, Wit EC, Komorowski J, Bell AK, Downie I, Mooney J, Verbeke C, Bellamy C, Keith WN & Oien KA. (2005) Markers of adenocarcinoma characteristic of the site of origin: development of a diagnostic algorithm. Clin Cancer Res 11:3766-72

Dennis JL, Westra J, Bell A, Montgomery K & Oien K. (2003) The type and quality of paraffin wax is important when constructing tissue microarrays (TMAs) Mol Pathol 56:306

Dennis JL, Vass JK, Wit EC, Keith WN & Oien KA. (2002) Identification from public data of molecular markers of adenocarcinoma characteristic of the site of origin Cancer Res. 62:5999-6005

Griffiths RA, Schley L, Sharp PE, Dennis JL & Román A (1998) Behavioural responses of Mallorcan midwife toad tadpoles to natural and unnatural snake predators. Anim Behav 55(1): 2-7-14

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