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Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dr. Annwyne Houldsworth   (nee Williams )

Dr. Annwyne Houldsworth (nee Williams )

Lecturer in Biomedical Science

 College House G.00


College House, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


I am an experienced, effective and enthusiastic university lecturer with an international research reputation in both biomedical science and medical education, possessing extensive skills and knowledge in education. She obtained an MSc at Plymouth Postgraduate Medical School, where several specialist consultants delivered elements of the course in neuroscience (genetics and autoimmunity), molecular biology, immunology, clinical immunology, immunotherapy, medical statistics, and tumour pathology modules and also has a PhD from Exeter University, with an in-depth understanding of genetics, immunology, virology, hepatology, molecular biology, antioxidant enzymes, research methods and medical statistics, as important elements of this research project. I am keen to apply my own findings of translational research and knowledge in a ‘bench to bedside’ manner, contributing to advancements in the understanding and treating of disease.

She is a keen musician who sings regularly in choirs and in bands. I also play a guitar and have grade 6 piano playing. I have conducted choirs and arranged choral music.  I am extremely interested in art, both as an observer and enjoy painting.

Annwyne has travelled widely for both business and pleasure and has many international networks, including the Middle East and Europe.

Enthusiastic volunteer and team leader in facilitating group discussions in HMP Dartmoor Prison chaplaincy with offenders and in education in Exeter Prison. Trained key holder and training in prison security.


  • PhD Genetic Study of Innate and Immunological Mechanisms of Protection against HCV Infection in Man
  • MSc in Biomedical Science
  • BSc Chemistry
  • FHEA
  • FRSC
  • Chartered Scientist RSC

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Research interests

Early research interests for Dr Houldsworth began with investigating chromium potentiation of insulin in gestational diabetes, with a particular interest in organo-inorganic compounds. She found significant differences in chromium levels, and loss, in those patients with gestational diabetes. The focus of research then shifted to investigating susceptibility genes to diabetic complications such as nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy, regarding antioxidants, such as, superoxide dismutase and catalase polymorphisms and gene expression, that may affect their antioxidant function by reducing oxidative stress (OS) induced by the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated during hyperglycemia.

The investigation of antioxidant genes led to an interest in immune responses to viruses, hepatitis C, and other genetic aspects of immune response to the virus, including cytokines, especially IL-12 and other immune responses. This genetic study of innate and immunological mechanisms to viruses generated several publications, which are well received in the academic community.

She has published on arthropod transmission of HCV and possible zoonotic transfer of transmittable disease.

During the COVID 19 global pandemic, previous understanding of inflammatory immune responses to viral infection resulted in the publication of a review about SARSCoV-2 hyperinflammatory immune responses.

Other areas of research interest and academic publications include reviews on key educational competencies in medical education and interprofessional learning as well as reviewing student-lecturer relationships.

Research projects

  • Student experience during lockdown and transition to normality
  • Reviewing the role of ROS in neurodegenerative diseases and inflammation regarding antioxidant genes
  • Mast cells and transplantation of solid organs

Research networks




Khalifa Uiversity, UAE

Ras Al Khaima Medical School, UAE

Research grants

  • 2018 Erasmus Charter for Higher `Education
    ACEs High, adverse children experiences. The project introduced and developed collaboration between stakeholders, such as schools, police, healthcare professionals in the welfare of children who expericence difficult circumstances.

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External Engagement and Impact


Erasmus+ 300,000euros for interprofessional learning grant (Adverse Childhood experiences; improving life chances through interprofessional collaboration)

Sir Bob Wilkins medical school doctoral student prize for 2004.

Above and Beyond Awards x2 

Committee/panel activities

  • Gender and diversity equalities committee, PUPSMD
  • Plymouth University Governing Body, student member
  • Immunopathology Task Force lead

Editorial responsibilities

  • Exploring medical students’ early experiences of interacting with the multi-disciplinary team (MDT): A qualitative study [version 1] James Ainsworth PUBLISHED 02 Feb 2021
  • The Experience of One Academic Medical Center Rapidly Transitioning Medical Student Clinical Teaching Using Video Telemedicine: Lessons Learned and Recommendations [version 1] Brian Kwan, Stacy Charat, Darcy Wooten, Deanna Hill, Nivedita Restaino, Lawrence Friedman PUBLISHED 19 Jan 2021
  • Effect of Reflective Exercises on Academic Performance and Course Evaluations in a Biomedical Sciences System Course [version 1] Tobias K. Boehm PUBLISHED 15 Jan 2021
  • Don’t sleep on history-taking: reflections from student and teacher in the telehealth era [version 1] Mark Brahier, Nancy Barr PUBLISHED 12 Jan 2021
  • Working class role models in academic medicine – Professor Philip Quirke [version 1] Penelope Sucharitkul, Ugonna Anyamele, Mohammed Abdul Waduud PUBLISHED 11 Jan 2021
  • We “R” capable of leading CPD in challenging times: A suggested framework for CPD management during COVID-19 and beyond [version 1] Samar Aboulsoud PUBLISHED 11 Jan 2021
  • Reflection on the effect of COVID-19 on medical education as we hit a second wave [version 1] Abha Jodheea-Jutton PUBLISHED 11 Jan 2021
  • Problem-based learning: a strategy for building resilience [version 1] Virginia Inclán-Rubio, Raúl Sampieri Cabrera Published 23 Dec 2020
  • Reinvigorating the Role of Spirituality in Patient-Centered Care: Islam as a doorway to increased understanding of patient spirituality [version 1] Paul Bennett, Abu Bakr Sirajuddin Cook, Najeebullah Soomro PUBLISHED 04 Dec 2020
  • The Contemporary Hidden Curriculum in Medical Education [version 1] Vijay Rajput, Anuradha Lele Mookerjee, Consuelo Cagande PUBLISHED 12 Sep 2017
  • Twelve tips for promoting professionalism through reflective small group learning [version 1] Hilary Neve, Rachel Morris PUBLISHED 06 Mar 2017
  • The Specificity of TC99 Sestamibi Scan in Primary Hyperparathyroidism and Low Vitamin D Population. International Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders 2017
  • Correlation among oxidative stress markers and total antioxidant status in type -2 diabetic patients with nephropathy. African Journal of Biochemical Research 2016
  • Association of polymorphisms in the MyD88, IRAK4 and TRAF6 genes and susceptibility to type 2 diabetes mellitus and diabetic nephropathy in a southern Han Chinese population. Congcong Guoa, Liju Zhanga, Lihong Nieb, Na Zhanga, Di Xiaoa, Xingguang Yea, Meiling Oua, Yang Liua, Baohuan Zhanga, Man Wanga, Hansheng Linc, Guang Yangd, and Chunxia Jinga, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 2016
  • Polymorphism of manganese superoxide dismutase gene in blighted ovum Asiyeh Moshtaghi, Hamidreza Vaziri, Reyhaneh Sariri, Houriyeh Shaygan, Avicenna Journal of Medical Science. 2015
  • The Association Between Vitamin D Receptor Gene Polymorphisms (TAQ1 and FOK1), Type 2 Diabetes and Micro/Macrovascular Complications In Postmenopausal Women. Maia J, Silva AS, Carmo RF, Mendonça TF, Griz LHM, Moura P, Bandeira F. Application of Clinical Genetics 2015
  • Susceptibility of Patients with Manganese Superoxide Dismutase Ala 16 Val Genetic Polymorphism to Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and its Complications in a Sample of Lebanese Population. Abir M Zahreddine, Mohamed E Moustafa, Hala A Chamieh, Journal of Genetics and Genome Research 2015

Invited lectures

  • Conscious Competence in Interprofessional Learning in Healthcare Education (presentation). Houldsworth A Educating the future healthcare professional and the roles of the teacher. Association for Medical Educators in Europe (2018)
  • Interprofessional Learning (presentation). Houldsworth A Teaching in the spotlight: Learning from global communities (2018)
  • A Reflection on Some Key Pedagogical Competencies, Valuable to the Role of the Medical Educator, Ras Al Khaimah University Medical School. Houldsworth A Guest Presentation, November, 2017
  •  Genetic Study of Innate and Immunological Mechanisms of Protection against HCV Infection in Man. Harper Memorial Hospital, Menouf, Egypt. Houldsworth A Guest Presentation January, 2014
  • PBL for healthcare students. Hudiksvalls kommun - Lärandeförvaltningen , Sweden, Houldsworth A  Guest Presentation, 2012
  • SOD-2 gene polymorphism and Diabetes mellitus complications, Harper Memorial Hospital, Menouf, Egypt. Guest Presentation, October 2002.
  • CD81 sequence and susceptibility to HCV infection, Houldsworth A, Metzner M, Rossol S, Kaminski E, AG, Demaine AG, Cramp ME., GUT supplement no.11, vol. 54, 179, page A47 British Society of Gastroenterology, Birmingham UK. (2005)
  • IL-12B gene polymorphism and the outcome of HCV infection. Houldsworth A, Metzner M, Rossol S, Kaminski AG, Demaine AG, Cramp ME. Hepatology; 38 (supplement 1):314 (2003) Presented at- American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, Boston US; British Association for the Study of Liver; South West Gastroenterology Group, Thurlston, UK and Science, Engineering and Technology for Britain, House of Commons, London, UK.
  • Relationship between the degree of insulin resistance, serum chromium level/BMI, renal function and birth weight during pregnancy, Houldsworth A, Williams R, Fisher A, Millward BA Diabetic Medicine, Journal of Diabetes UK, Annual professional meeting, supplement 2 (2002) Presented at- Diabetes UK Birmingham UK 2001; Science, Engineering and Technology for Britain, House of Commons, London, UK
  • Genetic Differences in the Antioxidant Genes May Affect the Intracellular Antioxidant Function of Enzymes in Patients with Diabetes and with Diabetic Complications.  Houldsworth A, Hodgkinson A, Millward BA, Demaine AG. Anglo Dutch Danish Diabetes Group, 2001

Media Coverage

The National, Abu Dhabi -The Body Museum and White Coat ceremony for opening of Khalifa University Medical School.

The Herald, Plymouth – Presentation in the House of Commons of PhD research.

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Cancer immmunotherapy

Neurodegeneration and oxidative stress





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