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Our management board

ShARM is overseen by a board of managers that consist of five permanent members (grant applicants), and four investigators elected from the research community, who serve for two years.

All Board members adhere to the Management Board Terms of Reference. If you are interested in becoming a board member, or would like to nominate another member, please contact us. Prior to the election of new board members, users will be contacted in order to vote.

We employ two members of staff - a facility coordinator and an IT manager.

Permanent Board Members

Dr Paul Potter, MRC Harwell - Chair of ShARM Management Board
Paul is group leader of the Disease Model Discovery and Translation group at MRC Harwell, a national facility for mouse functional genomics, providing world-class expertise and tools to generate mouse models of human disease. Paul’s group manages the Harwell ENU Ageing Screen, whose overall aim is to generate new models of age-related disease, thus identifying genes/pathways associated with these pathologies. Paul is a co-applicant on the ShARM Wellcome Trust award and is Chair of the ShARM management board. Paul has expertise in managing facilities, providing logistical and scientific support to a large customer base, and facilitating access not only to colonies of ageing mice but also to a unique resource of mutated tissues.

Professor Ilaria Bellantuono, University of Sheffield - Principle Investigator of ShARM
Ilaria heads skelet.AL, which provides contemporary approaches for the analysis of bone to a large number of users, both within the Centre and externally. Ilaria is a member of the MRC-AR UK Centre for Integrated research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA), and her research interests are in stem cells and skeletal ageing.

Professor Tom Kirkwood, Newcastle University
Tom is Associate Dean for Ageing at the University of Newcastle, and until recently was Director of the Centre for Integrated Systems Biology of Ageing and Nutrition. He is a member of the MRC-AR UK Centre for Integrated research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA), and is interested in the basic science of ageing – how genes and non-genetic factors influence longevity and health in older age. He was specialist advisor to the House of Lords science and technology select committee inquiry into “ageing scientific aspects”. He has published more than 300 papers and won international prizes for his research. Tom is co-applicant on the ShARM Wellcome Trust award and will lead the use of novel systems-biology approaches to analyse large data sets and meta data analysis collected through ShARM.

Professor Thomas von Zglinicki, Newcastle University - ShARM Meta-Analysis Lead
Thomas is Professor of Cell Gerontology at the Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, a member of the Centre for Integrated Systems Biology and Nutrition and of the MRC-AR UK Centre for Integrated research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA). Thomas studies the role of cell senescence in ageing and tries to identify complex biomarkers for the prediction of ageing-related disease. Thomas is co-applicant on the ShARM Wellcome Trust award and is experienced in the management of large scale murine model projects including mouse tissue and human blood banks and analysis of the complex associated data.

Dr Sara Wells, MRC Harwell - ShARM Welfare Lead
Sara is Head of Operations at the Mary Lyons Centre, a national facility for the generation and maintenance of mouse models. Sara was instrumental in the formation of the Centre; she established and now manages the experimental and production wards which house 50,000 mice and provides services for the breeding and establishment of genetically modified mouse colonies. Sara is co-applicant on the ShARM Wellcome Trust award and has more than 15 years’ experience in establishing and managing successful, large scale murine facilities including phenotyping services. Sara contributes to the advancement of animal welfare through the joint Working Group on welfare assessment and will lead the development of new frameworks for managing the welfare of aged mice.

Elected Board Members

Dr Qing-Jun Meng, University of Manchester
Qing-Jun Meng is a MRC Career Development Award Fellow in the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester. Qing-Jun studied medicine and holds an MD and PhD. He now leads a group to investigate the molecular mechanisms and therapeutic potentials of targeting the body clocks to alleviate age-related pathologies.  Using transgenic mouse models, his research addresses the contribution of tissue-specific circadian clock disruptions towards age-related diseases.

Professor Gerald de Haan, University of Groningen
Gerald is co-director of the European Institute on the Biology of Ageing (ERIBA) and head of Department of Stem Cell Biology at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Gerald is interested in ageing of murine haematopoietic stem cells. ERIBA – in collaboration with the Dutch Cancer Institute – have recently been awarded funding to create the Mouse Clinic for Cancer and Ageing to generate and supply aged mice and aged tissues.

Dr Anne Corcoran, Babraham Research Institute
Anne is a group leader in the Nuclear Dynamics Programme at the Babraham Institute. Her research investigates the role of chromatin and nuclear organisation in controlling gene expression during the development of the immune system.


Dr Mandy Peffers, University of Liverpool
Mandy is a Wellcome Trust Veterinary Integrated Research Fellow in the Department of Musculoskeletal Biology, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool. She is a member of MRC-AR UK Centre for Integrated research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA). Mandy is a veterinary surgeon and research fellow. Her research focus is around identifying mechanisms of musculoskeletal ageing with current projects including; ‘A systems biology approach to musculoskeletal ageing’ and ‘The identification of snoRNAs as biomarkers of ageing and osteoarthritis’, both of which are CIMA funded. She is a Sharm ‘user’ and would like to promote its use in order to increase the rate of progress in ageing research and to support the 3 ‘Rs’.

ShARM Staff

Dr Adele Duran, University of Sheffield - Facility coordinator

As ShARM’s facility co-ordinator, Adele is responsible for the day-to-day running of the facility. She gained her PhD in Plant/ Soil Relationships, is experienced in establishing, testing and teaching novel protocols, and has supported and trained researchers using different model systems. Previously she has been working for several enterprises as a customer service representative. She promotes the facility, locates new colonies, manages the biorepository and facilitates the distribution of unwanted tissue from ageing colonies.