Prof David Rawson

Professor David Rawson BSc DSc

Professor of Applied Cell Biology

Professor Rawson has been a member of staff of the University, and before that Luton College of Higher Education, since January 1968. He established the first research group – the Sensor Research Group – in the late 1980s that, with developments in cryobiology and environmental monitoring, expanded to become the LIRANS Institute in 1996. He was made Reader (1987) and Professor of Applied Cell Biology in 1989. He has held several posts within the University, including course leader for the country’s first BSc course in Cell Biology, the University Director of Research and External Affairs, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (PVC) for Research. He retired from the post of PVC in December 2006 and retired as Director of LIRANS (now iBEST) in September 2008.

Prof David Rawson

Prof Rawson has research interests in two areas – (i) cell based biosensors for environmental monitoring and toxicity assessment, and (ii) cryopreservation of fish embryos and oocytes, and the impact of cryopreservation protocols on cell survival. These research themes have been funded by a range of funding bodies, including the research councils, DTI/LINK programmes, public and private sector organisations, and charities including the Wellcome Trust. He has over 90 research publications and has supervised 13 PhDs, and five Research Master's.

Externally Funded Research Projects

Investigation of new approaches to the cryopreservation of fish embryos. 2003-2006. (The Wellcome Trust)

Towards the development of technologies for cryopreservation of fish oocytes. 2002-2005. (EU FPV)

Cryopreservation of fish eggs and embryos. 1996-2001. (HEFCE NFF).

Hybrid sensors incorporating biological whole cells for rapid toxicity assessment and biological oxygen demand. 1998-2001. (EPSRC)

Bioassays for ecotoxicological testing, based on transformed fish cell lines. 1998-2001. (DTI/LINK Cell Engineering Programme)

Microbial sensors for toxicity assessment. 1997-1998. (Yorkshire Water).

Sensor systems for process control. 1995-1998. (Kodak, Oxley, Yorkshire Water)

Electrochemical modelling of whole cell biosensor electrodes. 1995-1998. (BBSRC/ROPA)

ON-LINE toxicity assessment. 1995-1997. (Shell Research)

Wastewater plant protection, toxicity assessment. 1994-97. (Zeneca Environmental Laboratories)

Biosensor assessment of yeast vitality. 1993-1995. (Whitbread plc)

BIOTOX - biosensors for toxicity assessment of industrial effluent. 1991-1995. (SERC/LINK)

ATMOS - biosensors for toxic gas detection. 1991-1993. (SERC/LINK)

Development of biosensors for detection of pollutants in surface waters. 1985-1992 (Water Research Centre)

Development of biosensors for fermenter monitoring. 1988-1990 (Anotec Separations)

Bioburden determination on clinical products. 1984-86. (DHSS)

Microbial Toxicology. (ICI Group Environmental Laboratory)


Conference Chair

Chair - Cryoconservation programme, Cryobiological Society meeting, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada, 2007.

Co-Chair - Achievements of fundamental cryobiology, and new approaches to cryo-technologies for reproductive medicine, conservation of genetic materials of plants, animals and cell cultures. International Conference of Conservation of Genetic resources, St Petersburg, Russia, October 2004.

Environment Agency consultation on Toxicity Based Consent - Torquay and Luton, 1997

President - Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (UK) 1993 - 94

EUREKA EUROENVIRON Environmental monitoring workshop - Biological and Biochemi­cal Methods of Monitoring the Aquatic Environment. NPL, London, 1991

EUREKA EU­ROENVIRON Environmental monitoring workshop - Chemical and Physical Methods of Monitoring the Atmospheric Environment. NPL, London, 1991

Committee membership

Member, Frozen Ark Advisory Group, with responsibility for fish species. 2007 – date.

Organiser and chair of the Cryoconservation programme, Cryobiological Society meeting, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada, 2007.

Editorial Board, Cryobiology, 2006 – datet.

Chairman – Organising Committee, Royal Society of Chemistry’s Environmental Toxicology programme for the joint meeting of the RSC and the Society of Experimental Biology, Edinburgh 2004.

Member of Scientific Committee, Royal Society of Chemistry, International Conference - Toxic Impacts of Waste on the Aquatic Environment, Loughborough 1996

Member of Scientific Committee, SETAC Europe Annual Meeting – Environmental Thresholds and Pollutant Stress, Taormino, Sicily, 1996

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