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Prof Dianne Ford

Pro Vice-Chancellor

Until 2016, Dianne was at Newcastle University, where her leadership roles were in the area of Postgraduate Education and included Director of PhD Studies and most latterly Associate Dean for Taught Postgraduate Studies in the Faculty of Medical Sciences.  Her research career developed from an interest in nutrient transport mechanisms, which was the focus of early postdoctoral studies, and the metabolism of dietary components implicated in promoting better health. She led a research group of postdoctoral researchers and PhD students from 1998.

Dianne led work on the Athena SWAN agenda at Newcastle University, including the award made in 2014 to the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences.

Dianne is a graduate in Biochemistry (BSc 1988, PhD 1991, University of Bristol)

 As Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Dianne leads the largest of Northumbria University’s four faculties, comprising approximately 12,000 students and 600 members of staff.  The Faculty consists of the departments of Applied Sciences, Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Psychology, Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, and Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing. 

 All aspects of the University’s strategy and key objectives feed into or have a route in the four faculties. Dianne represents the  Faculty of Health and Life Sciences in her role on University Executive and works closely with her fellow Faculty PVCs and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor to implement and achieve the University Strategy through the work of academic faculty staff and faculty-aligned professional support colleagues.

 Dianne is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Fellow of the Physiological Society.  She has a record spanning over 10 years of serving on research and advisory panels for the Biosciences and Biotechnology Research Council – one of the nine councils of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) - and has served on several international research funding committees, including in Portugal and France. She collaborates with researchers in the UK and worldwide, including Italy and Australia.

Dianne Ford

Campus Address

NB262, 2nd Floor, Northumberland Building
E210, Coach Lane Campus West


Dianne’s research is focused on zinc, dietary polyphenolic compounds and the role of dietary molecules in ageing and their effects on epigenetic modification.  This work has been funded largely by BBSRC, and Dianne has been a member of BBSRC research grants committees and other advisory panels since 2008. 

Her current research is focused on how diet may promote a longer span of good health.  The work includes human intervention studies and also research on cultured human cells and involves measurement of a range of molecular indicators of intervention in pathways known to be involved in the ageing process.

Dianne has held 6 BBSRC research grants totalling £2.55m (4 as PI) between 2000 and 2018.  She has received £0.25m in research funding from Unilever and is currently funded by Nuchido Ltd (£~95K) for research in cell models and in human participants on the use of food supplements aimed to increase NAD as an intervention to slow aspects of ageing and age-related disease.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Influence of maternal folate depletion on Art3 DNA methylation in the murine adult brain: potential consequences for brain and neurocognitive health, Kok, D., Saunders, R., Nelson, A., Smith, D., Ford, D., Mathers, J., McKay, J. 1 May 2024, In: Mutagenesis
  • The use of a systems approach to increase NAD+ in human participants, Henderson, J., Quigley, S., Chachra, S., Conlon, N., Ford, D. 1 Feb 2024, In: npj Aging and Mechanisms of Disease
  • Use of zinc deposited in deciduous teeth as a retrospective measurement of dietary zinc exposure during early development, Wahono, N., Wakeling, L., Dirks, R., Banks, D., Shepherd, T., Ford, D., Valentine, R. 24 Feb 2023, In: Frontiers in Oral Health
  • A systems-approach to NAD+ restoration, Conlon, N., Ford, D. 1 Apr 2022, In: Biochemical Pharmacology
  • Impact of in Utero Folate Exposure on Dna Methylation and Its Potential Relevance for Later‐Life Health – Evidence from Mouse Models Translated to Human Cohorts, Kok, D., Richmond, R., Adriaens, M., Evelo, C., Ford, D., Mathers, J., Robinson, N., McKay, J. 1 Feb 2022, In: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
  • Antileukemic Effect of Palladium Nanoparticles Mediated by White Tea (Camellia sinensis) Extract in Vitro and in WEHI-3B-Induced Leukemia in Vivo, Othman, H., Rahman, H., Mohan, S., Aziz, S., Marif, H., Ford, D., Abdulsamad, N., Amin, K., Abdullah, R. 19 Aug 2020, In: Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • Metabolic reprogramming of glycolysis and glutamine metabolism are key events in myofibroblast transition in systemic sclerosis pathogenesis, Henderson, J., Duffy, L., Stratton, R., Ford, D., O’Reilly, S. 1 Dec 2020, In: Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
  • Ribosomal heterogeneity – a new inroad for pharmacological innovation, Ford, D. 1 May 2020, In: Biochemical Pharmacology
  • The presence and response to Zn of ZnT family mRNAs in human dental pulp, Wahono, N., Ford, D., Wakeling, L., Valentine, R. 1 Mar 2019, In: Metallomics
  • Maternal Red Blood Cell Folate and Infant Vitamin B12 Status Influence Methylation of Genes Associated with Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Potter, C., Moorman, A., Relton, C., Ford, D., Mathers, J., Strathdee, G., McKay, J. 1 Nov 2018, In: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research

  • Sophia Quigley Use of a nutritional supplement with the aim to increase NAD+ and influence downstream markers of ageing in human participants and the D. melanogaster model Start Date: 11/02/2019 End Date: 23/06/2023
  • John Henderson The interplay between NAD+, SIRT1 and circadian rhythms in cellular ageing and fibrosis Start Date: 01/10/2016 End Date: 26/10/2021

Biochemistry PhD April 04 2016


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