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Professor Susan Duthie

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Susan Duthie

Associate Head of School

Post Nominals PhD, MSc, BSc (hons)
Biography Professor Duthie is the Associate Head of School (AHoS) for Pharmacy & Life Sciences (PaLS) at the Robert Gordon University (RGU). PaLS has a staff complement of more than 100 people (academics, researchers, technical support staff, administrators); an undergraduate on campus-student population of over 1000; and a postgraduate student body of more than 30 doctoral students. PaLS brings approx. £11.8m to the University each year with an annual income from research and commercialisation of around £1.5m. As a Senior Manager, she is a principal member of the School Senior Team (ST) driving the strategic direction for the School, and of the School Executive Group that develops the business plan for the School and manages, implements and delivers all operational aspects of School activities including staffing, budgetary management, staff development, governance and health & safety.

As the Lead for Translational Research within the School, Professor Duthie is responsible for developing and supporting strategic direction for research within the organisation. This includes identifying and developing key research themes, managing a robust School Research Committee (SRC), initiating peer-review and pump priming strategies and a mentoring process for early career researchers (ECR). In addition, she works with the School Research Degree Coordinator (RDC) who is responsible for all aspects of postgraduate student progression and enhanced research culture. Professor Duthie also personally support the Readers within PaLS and provide mentoring support to all research-active core staff.

Professor Duthie is REF coordinator for PaLS, responsible for leading on the School REF2021 submission. This involves assessing the quality of all research outputs across 3 research areas (Practice, Biological & Chemical Sciences) via the formation of an internal quality over-sight panel (Professoriate), external assessment (external experts) and matrices analysis (SciVal). She also leads the development of several impact case studies.

At an institutional level, Professor Duthie is a core member of the RGU Research Committee, responsible for advising the university on strategic direction, priorities and activities; monitoring performance against institutional research targets; ensuring compliance with ethics and governance; and supporting research career development and progression. She is also a member of the RGU Ethical Review Committee and RGU 3R’s Champion (both animal welfare).

Professor Duthie is an honorary Professor at the University of Aberdeen.

Professor Duthie currently serves on the UK Government Food Standards Agency (FSA UK) Advisory Committee for Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP), which makes recommendations to the UK Government (and through them the EU) on food safety issues. Selection to this committee is by ministerial appointment.

She is a member of the board of the Aberdeen Science Centre (ASC; 2015-present) and, together with the rest of the board, is responsible for leading a £5m redevelopment of ASC, “A Lifetime with Science”, funded by Wellcome Foundation, ONE, AC and ACC. Her input is primarily on the Life Sciences and Food & Drink, providing support for increasing STEM education in the local community.
Research Interests Professor Duthie’s area of expertise is how diet affects human health and particularly how nutrition influence cell function and genomic stability. She has determined mechanistically how specific dietary agents (including flavonoids, antioxidant vitamins and folic acid) influence DNA damage and DNA repair.

Her primary research interests are:
Mechanisms of action of dietary nutrients on human health and disease.
Impact of plant compounds including phytophenols, flavonoids and anthocyanins on human health; cancer and vascular disease.
Effect of micronutrients on cancer risk; differential effects of diet and supplements on malignant transformation.
Impact of B vitamins and antioxidants on cognitive function and dementia in the elderly.
Therapeutic impact of natural products from underused ethnic sources on human health.

Professor Duthie is recognised nationally and internationally as an expert in the field of nutrition and human health, particularly with regards to folate and DNA stability related to CVD and cancer. She is well published in high impact journals with total citations in excess of 9000, a citation rate of over 300 per year and an average citation rate per publication of over 50. Indices of external impact are an H index of 47 (Scopus) and a Research Gate impact score of 48. Professor Duthie has more than 100 publications (peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and reviews), and since taking up appointment at RGU in 2014, she has continued to publish in collaboration with colleagues at the Rowett and at other Institutions. Professor Duthie has been an invited or plenary speaker at more than 30 national and international conferences. Her attendance at these conferences was by invitation and was fully funded by the organising committee of these events. She has also been invited to chair sessions at international symposia and to organise conferences on diet and health. Professor Duthie also delivers public lectures on various aspects of diet, most recently on the advantages and disadvantages of nutritional supplements (RGU Public lecture 2017). With regard to commercialisation, Professor Duthie has generated (while at the Rowett) and in collaboration with national and international colleagues, external grant income in excess of £3.5m. Since appointment at RGU she has secured financial support for a postdoctoral researcher (Spanish Government; 2 years), grants from Tenovus UK, Friends of Anchor and EU COST action hCOMET, and has hosted visiting researchers and students from Italy, Spain and France. To date, Professor Duthie has supervised 5 successful PhD students as principal supervisor and more than 50 undergraduate or Masters project students. She currently have one international PhD student writing his thesis.
Teaching and Learning As AHoS Professor Duthie is strategically involved in all aspects of ensuring teaching and academic quality and student experience, including student support (student staff liaison committee, personal tutor); professional body accreditation (e.g. GPhC, AFN, IFST, RSB, CSFS, IBMS and HCPC); course design and development and course re-accreditation; chairing of assessment and appeal boards, misconduct hearings, Fit to Sit panels, Fitness to Practice panels; and dealing with student complaints and grievances. She is also a member of the Faculty Management Group.

While teaching is not a substantial part of her current position, Professor Duthie takes an active role in lecturing both within RGU and at the University of Aberdeen (mechanisms of carcinogenesis; epigenetics; OMIC-technologies; diet and disease), and engaging with students via a number of formats including project supervision, dissertations and tutorials.
Scopus Author ID 7004272202
Je-S ID 10854