#HumansOfMedsci with Associate Professor Malcolm Tingle
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 7/10/2018
Pharmacology is in this Professors blood and his passion to the core. He is known for his sense of humour, passion for educating students, and has a lot of wisdom to give so read on! Remember, all our featured Professors are keen researchers so if you are inspired and want to know more, email them for potential research opportunities!
What is your background? Where did you grow up? Youngest (third) child. Both parents were pharmacists. Tingle family had chemist shops/pharmacy in a town called Stockton-on-Tees for over 90 years (3 generations). Stockton has a very large chemical industry, so I had strong exposure to science and drugs. Stockton-on-Tees is the town with England's biggest gap in life expectancy, according to Public Health England (https://www.bbc.com/news/health-44985650). I left when I was 18, which may account for why I am still alive. Maybe if I went back and taught them about pharmacology and toxicology, some of them could live a little longer (https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/deadly-drug-10000-times-more-13420641)
What are your interests outside of university life? Are we allowed interests outside work? If so, definitely tramping would be up there, as well as possibly conservation these days.
What was your education pathway? Pretty standard (for UK): local comprehensive school until 18 (mixed ability, co-ed), University of Southampton (one of furthest universities in England from home) to do BSc Honours Biochemistry with Pharmacology, then on to University of Liverpool to do PhD in Pharmacology
What are you working on right now? Trying to understand why perhaps as many as 3% of patients taking clozapine (an anti-psychotic drug) develop heart problems. The studies involve psychotic patients when they start taking the drug and also has a post-mortem component, when the drug has been implicated in causing their deaths. For light relief, I also undertake studies looking at the metabolism and kinetics of other drugs: currently running trials investigating the impact of mucking around with dosing schedules on the kinetics of a ‘natural’ drug, cytisine, used for smoking cessation.
What drew you to your field of interest? Was there a particular moment you knew that this topic would be your focus? I spent my youth hanging around or working in pharmacies, with pharmacopoeias as interesting reading. Always going to be something to do with drugs. My father was pretty determined that I should not be a fourth generation pharmacist. A love of biochemistry coupled with an almost innate interest in drugs kind of made this inevitable.
A paper you have contributed to of which you're most proud? Oooh: first was biggie, just because it was the first! Actually remain proud of most of them because I would like to think that they are ok and along the way possibly the proudest thing for me has been paying back and helping lots of postgraduate students of mine get their first publications: always a cause for many, many beers.
If you could give your undergraduate self any advice, what would you tell them? Drink slightly less, work a lot harder.
Many thanks to Associate Professor Tingle for his interview responses! If you're interested in finding out more, email him to discuss research opportunities!