Dr Mark Burkitt

Dr Burkitt's background is in the investigation of the fundamental chemistry underlying the actions of dietary components - including metals (iron and copper), antioxidant vitamins (E and C) and fats - in the human body. He has particular expertise in the investigation of free radicals (extremely short-lived, reactive species) in disease processes, including cancer and diseases of the cardiovascular system (heart attacks and strokes).


Key areas of interest include:


Dr Burkitt's research on free radicals began when studying for his Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of York. He has since worked in a number of other leading research institutions, including the Free Radical Metabolite Work Group of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (USA), the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm), The Rowett Research Institute (Scotland), Lund University (Sweden) and the Gray Laboratory Cancer Research Trust (Cancer Research UK Free Radical Research Group).

His research papers and reviews have been published across a wide range of leading chemical, biochemical and medical journals, including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, The Journal of the American Chemical Society, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Chemical Research in Toxicology, Molecular Pharmacology, Clinical Biochemistry, Blood, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, The Biochemical Journal, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Free Radical Biology & Medicine, Free Radical Research and Nature Biotechnology.

At the invitation of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Dr Burkitt has also published two 'Specialist Periodical Reports' on the medical aspects of free radicals. Dr Burkitt has served on the Editorial Boards of Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics and Free Radical Biology & Medicine; he has also acted as an expert referee for several other scientific journals and major research-funding organizations, both in the UK and the USA. He has given invited lectures at many international conferences, including a series of lectures given at the major universities in Japan (under the auspices of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science).

Dr Burkitt has served as an external lecturer at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine and at Aberdeen University. Since qualifying as a teacher, he has taught in a number of secondary schools in both the independent and maintained sectors (including two Buckinghamshire grammar schools, in one of which he was nominated for a National Teaching Award). Dr Burkitt is an examiner/moderator in GCSE Science and a Specialist Marker in A-level Chemistry. He has recently been appointed to Qfqual's List of Experts.

Dr Burkitt has received several awards, including a Visiting Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health (USA), a Young Investigator Award from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, an award for exemplary service on the Editorial Board of Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics (upon which he served for 10 years) and the K. M. Stott Award for Chemistry (University of York). He is a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.