She studied physics and then biophysics at the University of Bristol, UK, graduating with a Ph.D. in 1987. She held postdoctoral research positions at the universities of Aston and Leeds, UK, and at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, USA and moved from frontline research into her current portfolio career in the late 90s.
She has worked as a part-time lecturer at Birkbeck in the University of London since 1998, coordinating a distance-learning course in the principles of protein structure which forms the first module in an innovative MSc in Structural Molecular Biology. When this course was launched in 2000 it was the first MSc course in the life sciences in the UK to be run fully online. She is also an Associate Lecturer for the Open University, teaching mainly on the MSc Medicinal Chemistry.
Recent innovations on that course include the introduction of an assessed group work project in which remote students work together to design a novel molecule to be tested as a potential drug.
She is one of the initial group of CODE fellows and has served in that capacity since 2005. She is involved in organising conferences and workshops for CODE, particularly the annual RIDE conference, and she regularly blogs these events for the centre website. Her educational research interests include social media, virtual worlds and the role of distance education in development; she has worked as a distance education consultant for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.