Dr Joanna H Sier MISct RSci

Dr Joanna H Sier MISct RSci


I currently work as Biological Research Technician within the School of Food Science supporting a wide range of Biological research activities carried out across our molecular biology, proteomics and cell culture facilities. I oversee the maintenance and training on all associated equipment (inc. QPCR, Immunobloting, DSC, cell culture) and support BSc, MSc degree project students, along with PhD and Post-Doctoral Researchers.  I am also actively involved with the STEM outreach in MAPS, assisting with the festival of science roadshow and engaging students at both primary and secondary level with food science; including DNA and food, the importance of food and colour, energy and food, as well as the states of matter.  I also work with the social mobility foundation providing support to college students in the process of applying for university.

I completed my BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry in 2010 at the University of Surrey, for which I carried out a year's professional training placement (2008-2009) at the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquacultural Sciences (CEFAS) in Weymouth, Dorset. I spent the year working with the shellfish hygienes - molecular microbiology team carrying out routine sampling and analysis of norovius and bacterial strains present in Bivalve molluscs. Alongside this I worked with Dr Craig Baker-Austin in developing methods for fecal source contamination identification in shellfish harvesting area samples.

After catching the bug of carrying out lab based research I went on to do my PhD with a BBSRC-CASE award supported by Pfizer, looking into the role of ATP Binding Cassette (ABC) transporters in the metabolism and disposition of estradiol in hepatocytes.  With the support of my PIs Professor Nick Plant and Dr Alfred Thumser, I utilised a wide range of molecular and cell biology techniques alongside LC-MS/MS and in silico modelling to look at ADME in estradiol biology; https://bmcsystbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12918-017-0520-3.

After completing my PhD I remained at Surrey and worked as a senior research technician for 12 months followed by a position as acting research lab manager for 9 months, providing support to the research activities within the department of nutrition and metabolism. I supported the running and management of the health and safety within the lab, assisting users in writing their COSHH and risk assessments and training of students and research staff of all levels in the use of our clinical lab analyser, plate readers, cell culture facilities and our carcinogen room. I also worked on multiple research projects and supported the running of the metabolomics facilties during my 9 month management position. 

I moved to Leeds in 2016 to take up a postdoctoral research position in the School of Food Science within the Obesity research group. During my 2 years I assisted in setting up the new molecular and proteomics facilities with FS&N and carried out work looking at the molecular characterization of NAFLD. As a visiting research fellow at the University of Sheffield, I worked with group collaborators to set up high content imaging assays for measuring liver cell responses to fat and sugar treatments.

Techniques: molecular cloning, QPCR, protein SDS page gels, Western Blotting, mammalian and primary human cell culture, visible light, fluorescent, laser confocal microscopy, LC-MS/MS.




  • Deputy H&S Lead


  • PhD Biochemistry and Physiology
  • BSc (Hons) Biochemistry

Professional memberships

  • Institute Science and Technology