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Prof. Philippe B. Wilson

Professor

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Academic Division Animal and Equine

Role

Prof. Wilson is Professor of Animal Science and Bioinformatics at Nottingham Trent University, and Head of Conservation at the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

Career overview

Farming cattle, sheep and poultry from an early age in Somerset, Philippe quickly developed an interest in native livestock. He obtained a Masters in Chemistry with First Class Honours from the University of Bath in 2014, and went on to carry out a PhD in Bath under the supervision of Professor Ian H. Williams, completing this in 2016. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education in 2018.

He moved to an Early Career Academic Fellowship at De Montfort University in late 2016, with a lectureship in 2017 through to becoming Associate Professor in 2019.  Throughout this time, Prof. Wilson pioneered the use of benchtop nuclear magnetic resonance instruments in the analysis of human and animal biofluids, whilst developing his work in native breed conservation and genomics. In 2020, Philippe moved to a Chair at Nottingham Trent, in the position of Professor of Animal Science and Bioinformatics.

Philippe sits on the Farm Animal Genetic Resources Committee within the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), as well as the Committee on Toxicity within the Food Standards Agency. He is a Policy Expert under the European Regional Focal Point in Animal Genetic Resources, and Chairman of the Royal Society of Biology East Midlands Branch.

As Head of Conservation at the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Philippe is responsible for the conservation strategy and its implementation in order to safeguard the key genetic resources of our native livestock breeds. As such, he works with key stakeholders in government, the equine, bovine, ovine and linked agri sectors, and academic colleagues.

Philippe was named in the Forbes 30 under 30 listing in Science and Healthcare in 2018, and in 2019 awarded a place amongst the top 118 young chemists by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry in their Periodic Table of Younger Chemists. In 2019, he was awarded the Joseph Black Medal by the Royal Society of Chemistry for his work in pedagogical approaches in bioanalytical chemistry. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, and a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. He has delivered invited lectures internationally.

Prof. Wilson has received funding from Cancer Research UK, The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, The Science and Technology Facilities Council, The Royal Society, and commercial contracts.

Research areas

Philippe's research spans the bio- and chemical sciences in applications of computational techniques to key problems in these fields.

In 2017, the group implemented low-field, benchtop NMR (bNMR) analysis, linked with metabolomics-based computational intelligence algorithms with the potential to impact significantly upon biomedicine and biomedical imaging; allowing for the rapid monitoring and identification of biomolecules and their concentrations in biofluids for a range of diseases and disease states in humans and animals, and the development of robust, machine learning approaches to improve bioanalytical procedures and inform interpretation and diagnosis.

Furthermore, following the successful award of a Cancer Research UK - EPSRC -STFC grant to the ‘Quantum Leapers’ consortium led by Prof Mel Mather (Nottingham) and Prof. Philippe Wilson in 2018, the use of novel diamond sensors in early detection is being explored. A strong collaboration between The Universities of Nottingham, NTU, Leicester and Queen Mary London is at the heart of this project which seeks to take advantage of nitrogen vacancies within diamond frameworks to understand the early stages of breast cancer development.

Philippe's main activities as Head of Conservation at RBST lead to a wide breadth of native breed research. Projects span all species of native livestock, including genomic conservation work on endangered equine breeds, bioinformatics techniques applied to genetic analyses, and novel cryoconservation technologies.