David A Bender
- Publications and cv
- Computers in teaching
- Photo galleries
- For amusement
Emeritus Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry, University College London (retired 2011)
2009 - 2011 Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry, University College London
1998 - 2011 Sub-Dean (Education) University College London Medical School.
Education and Qualifications
1965 - 1968 Student at the University of Birmingham:
Honours BSc [Class 2(i)] in Biochemistry
1971 PhD, Biochemistry: University of London (Faculty of Science): Enzymic studies on the decarboxylation of aromatic amino acids in mammalian tissue
1991 Admitted to the Register of Accredited Nutritionists (resigned 2011)
1995 Elected to membership of the European Academy of Nutritional Sciences
2000 Elected to membership of the Institute of Teaching and Learning (now the Higher Education Academy)
1968 - 1970 Research Assistant, The Courtauld Institute of Biochemistry, The
Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London
1970 - 1994 Lecturer in Biochemistry, The Courtauld Institute of Biochemistry, The Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London (now University College London)
1994 - 2009 Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, University College London
2009 - 2011 Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry, University College London
University of London
1977 - 1979, 1981 - 1983, 1984 - 1986 Elected representative of the Recognised
Teachers Group on the Academic Board of The Middlesex Hospital Medical School
1973 - 96 Member of the Board of Studies in Biochemistry, University of London
1982 - 96 Member of the Board of Studies in Nutrition and Food Science, University of London
1988 - 95 Representative of the Board of Studies in Nutrition and Food Science on the Special Advisory Committee in Health Studies, University of London
1992 - 96 Chairman, Board of Studies in Nutrition and Food Science, University of London
1996 - 2006 Member of the Subject Area Panel on Nutrition of the University of London
1998 - 2006 Member of the Subject Area Panel on Health Sciences of the University of London
1969 Elected to membership of the Biochemical Society
1975 - 1978 Committee member of the Neurochemical Group of the Biochemical Society
1977 - 1978 Secretary of the Neurochemical Group of the Biochemical Society
1995 - Member of the London Regional Group Committee of the Biochemical Society
1997- Chairman, London Regional Group Committee of the Biochemical Society and member of Professional and Educational Committee of the Biochemical Society
1973 Elected to membership of the Nutrition Society
1991 - 95 Committee member, Micronutrient Group of the Nutrition Society
1981 - 92 Committee member of the British Study Group on Tryptophan
1983 Appointed a member of the local organising committee and Treasurer, for the 5th meeting of ISTRY, the International Study Group on Tryptophan Research, 1986
2007 - 2013 Honorary Publications Officer of the Nutrition Society.
1983 British Council Short Term Visiting Lecturer, Department of Biochemistry,
University of Ghana Medical School (1 month)
1984 IUB-sponsored Visiting Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Khartoum Medical School, Sudan (1 month)
1985 British Council Short Term Visiting Lecturer, Department of Biochemistry, University of Khartoum Medical School, Sudan (1 month)
1987 British Council Short Term Visiting Lecturer, Department of Biochemistry, University of Nairobi, Kenya (1 month)
2006 Visiting Professor, St George’s University Medical School, Grenada (1 week)
1998 - 2000 External examiner for first and second year MBBS, BDS and BSc Biomedical
Sciences, Queen Mary Westfield College, London
2000 - 2004 External examiner for Part 1 MBBS, University of Leeds
2001 - 2004 External examiner for Part 1 MBBS, University of Birmingham
2003 - 2006 External examiner for final year honours BSc Nutrition and Dietetics, King’s College London
2005 - 2008 External examiner for first year MBBS course at Queen Mary University of London
2005 - External examiner for various MSc and PhD theses from the Dept of Biochemistry of Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya (all by post, no oral examinations involved)
2009 - 2012 External examiner for first year BDS, University of Birmingham
2012 - 2015 External examiner for first year MBBS, Newcasatle University
2012 - 2015 External examiner for BSc Nutrition and Dietetics, Robert Gordon's University, Aberdeen
Membership of Advisory Bodies and Editorial Boards
1988 - 1991 Member of the Vitamins Panel of the Working Party on Reference
Nutrient Intakes of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Nutrition (COMA) of
the Department of Health / Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
1989 Member of the ILSI-Europe Working Party on Recommended Daily Amounts of Vitamins.
1990 - 1992 Ad hoc expert, Working Party on Recommended Daily Amounts of Nutrients of the Scientific Committee for Food of the Commission of the European Communities.
1998 - 2000 Member of the Department of Health COMA Panel on folic acid dietary reference values
1999 - 2007 Member of the editorial board of Nutrition Research Reviews, Editor-in-Chief from January 2003 - 2007
2003 – 2004 Member of HEA working party on external examining
2004 - Member of executive editorial board of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
2012 - 2014 Member of the working party on tolerable upper levels of micronutrients, Food Safety Authority of Ireland
1983 Awarded the Agnes Ogden Memorial Prize of the Middlesex Hospital Medical
2008 UCL Provost’s Teaching Award
Invited participation in scientific meetings
1974 Invited speaker at the Linderström-Lang conference on neurotransmitter
metabolism in Oslo, Norway, speaking on Aromatic amino acid decarboxylase
1977 Invited speaker at a national meeting of the Schizophrenia Association of Great Britain, in London, speaking on Tryptophan and serotonin in schizophrenia.
1977 Invited speaker at a Nutrition Society meeting on nutrition and the brain, in London, speaking on Regulation of 5-hydroxytryptamine synthesis.
1981 Invited participant and session chairman, International Congress of Nutrition, San Diego, California.
1983 Invited participant and session chairman, 4th meeting of ISTRY (International Study Group on Tryptophan Research), Munich, Germany.
1984 Invited speaker at a Biochemical Society meeting in Galway, Ireland, speaking on Regulation of kynurenine hydroxylase.
1986 Invited speaker at a meeting of the Group of European Nutritionists in Bonn, Germany, speaking on Uptake of tryptophan into the brain and dietary influences on serotoninergic function.
1989 Invited participant at the 6th meeting of ISTRY (International Study Group on Tryptophan Research), Baltimore, USA.
1992 Invited speaker at the 7th meeting of ISTRY (International Study Group on Tryptophan Research), Nagoya, Japan, speaking on Tryptophan metabolism in vitamin B6 deficiency.
1993 Invited speaker at a Nutrition Society meeting on new functions of nutrients in Cork, Ireland, speaking on Novel functions of vitamin B6.
1994 Invited speaker at the IUPAC-IUB meeting on vitamin B6 and carbonyl catalysis, in Capri, Italy, speaking on Nutritional aspects of vitamin B6.
1994 Invited participant and discussant at a meeting of ISFE, the International Foundation for Nutrition Education and Nutrition Research, on recommended intakes of nutrients, in Bonn, Germany.
1995 Invited speaker at the 7th meeting of ISTRY (International Study Group on Tryptophan Research, in Padua, Italy, speaking on Tryptophan and niacin nutrition.
1998 Invited speaker at a Nutrition Society meeting on Optimum Nutrition, in Cork, Ireland, speaking on Thiamin, biotin and pantothenic acid.
2002 Invited speaker at International Congress on vitamin B6 and carbonyl catalysts, Southampton, speaking on Vitamin B6 requirements and recommendations.
2004 Invited speaker at international conference on computers in teaching and replacement of animal experiments, Isparta, Turkey.
2005 Invited speaker at Euromedlab conference in Glasgow, speaking on antioxidant supplements.
2011 Invited speaker at Symposium on Dietary proteins for human health, Auckland, New Zealand
Supervision of graduate students:
1979-82 Bahieldin Magboul, PhD 1982. Supported by a scholarship from the Government
of Sudan. When last contacted he was Deputy Director of the Food Research Institute
in Khartoum, Sudan.
1982-85 Jean-François Bowden, PhD 1985. Supported by an SERC studentship. Worked until 2007 as a consultant to the Government of British Columbia on information technology in clinical chemistry laboratories; died November 2007.
1982-85 Gwyn McCreanor, PhD 1985. A member of technical staff of the Courtauld Institute of Biochemistry, and partially supported by a grant from ISFE the International Foundation for Nutrition Education and Nutrition Research. Now Consultant Clinical Chemist at Kettering Hospital.
1983-86 Martyn Page, MPhil 1988. Supported by an SERC studentship. Current whereabouts and activity unknown, although he went into school teaching after leaving the department.
1987-90 Eliud Njagi, PhD 1990. Supported by a British Council studentship. Currently Professor of Biochemistry at Kenyatta University, Kenya.
1986-88 Stephen Coppinger, MS 1997, supported by a grant from Baxter Healthcare Ltd. Currently Consultant Surgeon in New Zealand.
I have written and developed a suite of computer programs that are simulations of laboratory exercises in biochemistry; the most recent versions are presented as a Virtual Laboratory, used in the Phase 1 MBBS course, with extensive theory screens. Versions of these programs are used in some 30 universities around the world, and are included in the CD that accompanies the 5th edition of Introduction to Nutrition and Metabolism. These programs have been adopted by InterNICHE, the International Network for Humane Education, for use in their international lending library of alternatives to animal experiments in education. See the link to "computer programs" above.
I have written and developed a computer program that permits nutrient analysis of foods and diets, to accompany Food Tables and Labelling. It is used by some 3000 schools and colleges in Britain, and was adopted in 2003 for use across Northern Ireland in the Classroom 2000 package used in all schools and colleges in the province. The program has received a very favourable evaluation by Schoolzone for the Dept of Education Curriculum OnLine. An expanded version of this program, with a larger database of foods and nutrients, is included in the CD that accompanies the 4th edition of Introduction to Nutrition and Metabolism. See the link to "computer programs" above.
I have written and developed a computer program, Testme, that permits students to answer true/false multiple choice questions and see explanations of why they were correct or not. The program presents students with a random selection of questions, each of which is a statement to be marked true or false, from a bank associated with each chapter in the 4th edition of Introduction to Nutrition and Metabolism. The total question bank contains some 1600 questions. The program is flexible, and will permit anyone to write additional questions, or edit the question bank, using only word-processing software. For each question the student has not only to decide whether the statement is true or false, but assess his / her confidence in the answer. The level of confidence affects the positive mark for being correct and the negative mark for being incorrect. See the link to "computer programs" above.
I have developed a set of interactive on-line tutorial exercises in nutrition
and metabolic biochemistry, based on case presentations and data interpretation.
See the link to "computer programs" above.
I have been involved in development of the medical curriculum since about
1975, with an increasing input at each major curriculum revision; I was very
deeply involved in the development and eventual implementation of the new curriculum
for the Royal Free and University College Medical School, and carry much of
the responsibility for ensuring the delivery, assessment and quality management
of the course. I was greatly relieved to take early retirement in 2011, just as as major review of the medical curriculum was about to begin. During 2011/12 academic year I was employed part-time, and while I attended many meetings on curriculum revision, I srtuck by something I had said many years earlier, that people whoi will not be teaching the new course may offer advice, but....
I was involved in the development of the Biological Sciences aspects of the Project 2000 Diploma in Higher Education for Nursing students at UCL, and also the Health Sciences BSc courses for Podiatry and Physiotherapy. I was also involved in the development of the 3 year BSc Podiatric Medicine course.
I developed the C28 (Nutritional Biochemistry) and C31 (Biochemistry of Human
Disease) half course-units, and the C41 (Biochemistry of Health and Disease)
full course unit for final honours year students.
Enabling teaching and learning
Departmental Tutor to Medical students (1994 - 2001).
Assistant Faculty Tutor (Faculty of Life Sciences), including coordination of examination results (1994 - 2011).
Sub-Dean (Education) UCL Medical School, with responsibility for ensuring the introduction, delivery, assessment and quality assurance of the new curriculum ( 1998 - 2011).
In my role as Sub-Dean (Education) I had a major role in quality assurance, and in the design and implementation of assessment exercises and examinations, through the first two years of the MBBS programme.
I was a member of the team that prepared the documentation, and attended the meetings, for the Medical School Internal Quality Audit and the Subject Programme Review (1999), and had a central role in the preparation of documents for the GMC visits to the Medical School in 2001 and 2005.
Non-University Teaching, Learning and Enabling activities
I was a governor of John Kelly Girls’ School in Brent for several years; the pressure of the development and introduction of the new curriculum forced me to relinquish this activity.
I am on the Biochemical Society Biology4all list of people willing to give scientific lectures to schools and other organisations, and have done so several times.
As part of my role as a member of the Medical School Deanery I attended about a dozen careers fairs, interview fora and similar activities in schools each year.
As part of the UCL / City and Islington College Partnership for Excellence in the Cities, I organised a student selected component for medical students to act as peer tutors in biology for students at City and Islington College. I am also involved in the City and Islington College activities to raise the aspirations of their students and help them to apply to read medicine (and other subjects) at UCL (or elsewhere).
I am a committee member and secretary of HealthWatch, a charity dedicated to ensuring rigorous testing of conventional and complementary therapies. I maintain the HealthWatch web site, which includes a complete indexed archive of newsletters and position papers. (http://www.healthwatch-uk.org).
My research career began with studies of aromatic amino acid decarboxylase, an enzyme involved in the synthesis of catecholamine and indoleamine neurotransmitters. This led on to a more specific interest in tryptophan metabolism, initially in relation to psychiatric disease, and later in relation to the tryptophan / niacin deficiency disease pellagra, and disturbances of tryptophan (and other amino acid) metabolism in schistosomiasis.
My interest in tryptophan metabolism led to an interest in vitamin B6, because of the central role of vitamin B6 in tryptophan metabolism, and then to the interactions between vitamin B6 and oestrogens, initially because of the effects of oestrogens on tryptophan metabolism. This led to the elucidation of the role of vitamin B6 in terminating the actions of steroid hormones.
This page updated November 14, 2014