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28 March 2024

Professor Esther Bell delivers IoPPN inaugural lecture

"Hopping into Education: from Frogs to Pedagogues" was delivered by the Professor of Bioscience Education on 06 March 2024

Esther Bell Inaugural
Professor Mark Richardson, Professor Esther Bell and Professor Helen Collins.

On Wednesday, 6 March 2024, Professor Esther Bell delivered her inaugural lecture as Professor of Bioscience Education at New Hunt's House, Guy's Campus.

Professor Mark Richardson, Head of School of Neuroscience and Paul Getty III Professor of Epilepsy, opened the night with a welcome speech highlighting Professor Bell's dual roles "Professor Bell has established outstanding scientific expertise in some of the earliest processes of brain development. She has always been a very strong contributor to education and has developed an education-led career, being one of very few education-focussed professors in our faculty. We are extremely fortunate to have such an effective and committed education leader in our School. It’s wonderful to see so many family members, friends, and colleagues past and present here tonight; a testament to Esther’s popularity and impact on our students and staff.”

Professor Bell first joined King's College London as a postdoctoral researcher with Andrew Lumsden at the United Medical and Dental School (now King's GKT School of Medical Education). She subsequently moved to the Rockefeller University, where she identified the gene Coco, which is essential to make ectoderm. Ectoderm is one of 3 primary germ layers formed in early embryonic development. It gives rise to the skin, nervous system, and sense organs. She has continued to study this gene and its role in neurodevelopment.

Professor Bell returned to King's as an MRC Career Development Fellow with the "Molecular Mechanisms of Ectodermal Specification" project at the Centre for Developmental Neurobiology. The project looks at the mechanisms behind the different fates of ectoderm and how ectoderm develops to become different organs. 

Professor Bell's involvement in neuroscience education started in 2004 when she became a co-module lead for Developmental Neurobiology. She has since held various education roles and is currently the Module Lead for Essentials of Embryology and Programme Lead for Biomedical Science BSc.

The night ended with A Vote of Thanks by Helen Collins, Professor of Immunology & Education, Dean of Bioscience Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Education. She commended Professor Bell for her collegiality, creativity and communication skills in her education work.

It was a great pleasure to give my inaugural lecture and a wonderful opportunity to thank everyone that has supported me on my journey so far. I look forward to continuing my journey in King’s for years to come.

Esther Bell, Professor of Bioscience Education

To view previous lectures and to find out about upcoming lectures in the Inaugural Lectures series, please visit Inaugural Lectures

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Esther bell

Professor in Bioscience Education