Prof. Alastair Goldman – Senior Academic

Senior Academic – University of Bradford

I am a Professor of Molecular Biology and have been Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences at Bradford over the last 5 years. Before that I was head of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in Sheffield, where I was an academic for 18 years. In my academic career I have published in top journals and received prestigious research grant funding from a range of government and charity organisations.

My science training started with a degree in Genetics in Queen Mary College, University of London, and a after a 2 year period of working as a motorbike dispatch rider and travelling in South East Asia and Australia I researched for my Doctorate in Birmingham in a Hospital Genetics Diagnosis Laboratory – my work was ground breaking studies in Genetics of reproduction in people with abnormal chromosomes. After that I worked in the USA for nearly 5 years in the National Institutes of Health, a massive research centre near Washington DC where I lived. From there I went to the University Sheffield to start my academic career.

It all sound fairly good – but what became before my degree?

I was not great at school. As a well below average pupil I did quite a low number of O-levels (GCSEs). My writing and spelling was so poor my English teacher was convinced I would fail English GCSE and bet me a crate of whisky I would not pass. I did pass – and he never paid up. I limped into 6th form and made a mess of A-levels passing only Maths with a D, I did not pass Biology or Chemistry.

I took a year off after school and went to work in Israel on a communal farm for a year and came back to retake my A-levels and did much better getting Bs in Biology and Chemistry. I did want to do Medicine but just couldn’t get into Med School and so off to University I went to study Genetics…… and here I am today a senior academic, been a member of the leading executive team of the University of Bradford and certainly surpassed the predictions of my school teachers who thought I was a little thick.

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Sectors worked in and routes taken:

Career

Hospital, Research Institute and University

     

    Voluntary sector – appropriate adult, homework clubs, youth movement.

    What I would like to get involved in

    Inspirational talk

    Mentoring / Coaching young people

    Visits to my place of work

    Other

    Anything relevant – quite interested in young people who have or are at risk of falling foul of the criminal justice system (they’re often smarter than many others)

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