MAppSc CSU PhD Newcastle
Dr Ross Richards joined the School of Community Health in January 2000 as a lecturer in biomedical science. He graduated Master of Applied Science in 1992 from Charles Sturt University, his dissertation being on the molecular diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency. He was awarded his PhD by the University of Newcastle for a research thesis on the role of erythrocytes in the detoxification of free radicals in 2000. He has held the positions of Discipline Leader in Biomedical Science and Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee and received a Faculty research excellence award in 2010. Dr Richards was the Course Director for the School in 2011 and in 2013 took on the role of Acting Head of School before resuming his role as Course Director. In October 2014 he returned to a role in lecturing. Dr Richards' interests include curriculum design and delivery and most aspects of biomedical science including free radical biology and medicine.
In his capacity as senior lecturer, Dr Richards has been constantly involved in the development of subjects in BMS and improving the content and delivery of subjects that he has coordinated and/or taught. He was also heavily involved in the development of the latest degree in the SCH stable, the Bachelor of Health and Rehabilitation Science. As Courses Director, he is now responsible for the quality of curriculum design and delivery of all subjects and courses provided by the SCH.
As a lecturer, Dr Richards has incorporated a number of innovations into his teaching:
In his role of Courses Director, one of Dr Richards' duties is to improve Inter-professional education in the School. He organised a school retreat on the subject and will be coordinating a combined courses review over the next 18 months.
Dr Richards is published widely in the field of free radical biology and medicine with particular reference to erythrocyte markers of oxidative damage in disease (see publications tab and personal site) with over 40 papers and 15 conference presentations to his name. Dr Richards is a pioneer in establishing the proposition that erythrocytes behave as a sink that serves to remove and detoxify free radicals in vivo. This phenomenon enables them to be employed as markers of oxidative damage by free radicals in disease and provides a link to the ageing process. For more information on this proposition, see Dr Richards' personal site. Currently his research involves the investigation of evidence for oxidative stress in diabetes and other disorders as well as exercise and ageing. Dr Richards has research collaborations with Professor Isaac Ginsburg in Jerusalem, Israel and Dr Uba Nwose in Darwin, NT, Australia.
Dr Richards' research has implications for the general health of the community. Most diseases have an inflammatory component that generates free radicals and which causes tissue damage. Increased inflammation and free radical generation over the lifetime causes damage to DNA and essential proteins that decrease longevity in a variety of ways that include the development of cancer. Demonstration through his research that reduction in oxidative damage can improve longevity can only be of benefit to individuals and the community.