Dr Alina Oknianska, FHEA is a Lecturer in Physiology and Pharmacology and teaches across a range of subjects for our MPharm and Biomedical Science degrees. She is a module tutor on PJ1301 Health and Disease course for MPharm students. Alina is an active researcher, collaborating nationally and internationally.
Alina's academic teaching and research has been broadly based covering areas such as human physiology, endocrinology, biochemistry, cell signalling and experimental biomedicine, microbiology and biological applications of novel nanomaterials. Alina is involved in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level . She is also research active and involved in several collaborative projects.
Dr Alina Oknianska has obtained her M.Sc. in Biology from University of Gdansk in Poland. She then completed her PhD in Biomedical Science at the Medical University of Gdansk, Poland, in collaboration with Medical Faculty, Lund University, Sweden. Alina was than awarded Tage Blucher’s fellowship and Wenner-Gren foundations fellowship to continue her biomedical research with Professor Eva Degerman, Division of Diabetes, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Medical Faculty, Lund University, Sweden. Her scientific projects have been focused on cell signalling and experimental diabetes and included projects related to the adipose tissue metabolism and cell signalling in primary adipocytes and differentiated 3T3-L1 cells. She has also participated in the interdisciplinary projects focused on biological characterisation of macroporous biomaterials and their applications in biotechnology and tissue engineering. Moving to the UK Alina continued her research working as a Research Fellow in Endocrine Pharmacology with Professor Noel Morgan, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, where she studied various aspects of pancreatic beta cell biology and was able to undertake collaborative research visit to the Department of Neurology, The Mount Sinai Medical Centre, New York, USA. While at PCMD, Alina was selected by EASD (European Association for the Study of Diabetes) to complete advanced diabetes training course awarded to 15 selected European scientists which took place in Helsinki, Finland. She also contributed to teaching delivered to medical students at PCMD and started to work as an Associate Lecturer for the Open University, Human Biology course. At the University of Liverpool Alina's research focused on the mechanisms of diabetic complications in the eye. She also worked together with an interdisciplinary team of scientists at the Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces, Surface Science Research Centre, University of Liverpool. Hub brings together academia, multinational industries, SMEs and the NHS to advance the science of antimicrobial surfaces, therefore she regularly worked with industry, providing business assist, expertise and proactive resources to a wide range of industrial and health care partners. Alina received AFHEA and later, while working as a Lecturer in Health Sciences, Liverpool Hope University, was awarded FHEA, before moving to work as a Lecturer in Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Central Lancashire.
- PhD in Biomedical science, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland, in collaboration with Lund University, Sweden, 2001, thesis title: “ Purification and characterization of protein serine-threonine phosphatases from adipose tissue”
- MSc in Biology (5 years, full time) University of Gdansk, Poland, 1996, thesis at the Department of Immunology, Institute of Maritime and Tropical Medicine, National Salmonella Centre, Gdynia, Poland. Thesis title: “The examination of immunological properties of Salmonella lipopolysaccharides”
- Fellowship Award, Tage Blucher’s foundation, Helsingborg, Sweden, 2002-2003
- 2004-2005, Fellowship Award, Wenner-Gren foundations, Stockholm, Sweden, 2004-2005
- Research grants from Svenska Läkaresällskapet (The Swedish Society of Medicine), Stockholm (2004) and The Royal Physiographic Society in Lund, Sweden (2003, 2005) for experimental biomedical research at Lund University, Sweden
- Vice Chancellor’s Research and Innovation Fellowship Award, University of Plymouth, Peninsula Medical School, 2007
- Travel grant from the Associate Lecturers Development Fund, the Open University, UK, 2011
- The Novo Nordisk UK Research Foundation grant award for the project: “Regulation of viability in human retinal pericytes exposed to long chain saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids”, 2012
- University of Liverpool Global Health pump priming award for the project: “Membrane anchoring superoxide dismutase mimetics as a novel class of preventive antioxidants in diabetic retinopathy”, 2012
- University of Liverpool Global Health pump priming award for the continuation of the project: “Membrane anchoring superoxide dismutase mimetics as a novel class of preventive antioxidants in diabetic retinopathy”, 2013
- ERASMUS+ academic staff mobility grant (for collaborative research and teaching in Barcelona, Blanquerna URL University, Spain), 2018
- Internal University of Central Lancashire award to employ 2 interns on research project in summer 2020, School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science, University of Central Lancashire, 2020
- Molecular mechanisms of metabolic diseases (diabetes and obesity)
- Biological characterisation of novel biomaterials for medical and industrial applications
- European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), EASD Membership number: 270471, 2007-present
- Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK. Recognition Reference: 50560, 2012
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK. Recognition Reference: PR168631, 2019