One of my most rewarding times was receiving a You’re Valued award from students for the support I gave them during COVID-19 Lydia Hanna, taken June 2021

Lydia Hanna


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Personal profile

Personal profile

I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2008 with a BSc (Hons) in Neuroscience with Year in Industry, spending a year at the Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly. In 2012, I obtained a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Bristol (in collaboration with Eli Lilly), where I studied the pharmacology and functions of the group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (in the rodent brain). From the field of learning and memory, I used my neurophysiology skillset to then investigate the neurocircuitry underlying circadian rhythmicity and later on, energy homeostasis/food intake, as a postdoc working at the University of Manchester and the University of Exeter, respectively. In 2018 as Lecturer in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, I taught undergraduate pharmacy students at the University of Reading, before joining the team here at Royal Holloway in 2019 as a teaching focussed (TF) Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences.


At Royal Holloway I am tasked with teaching Physiology content (which I love to do!) and I am always looking for ways by which I can enhance the student learning experience. One of my main teaching aims is to promote active learning through (good old) social interaction and use of 'real-world' case studies. Moreover, I also like to incorporate the student voice and perspective into the (co-)design of various learning activities that I run in-class. Finally, the use of online (anonymous) polling software, such as Vevox, is a regular feature in my lectures, something which the students enjoy participating in (as evidenced from their feedback).

Adminstrative roles:

  • Module leader and main lecturer for:
    • BS0999: Foundation Project (Biosciences) (Level 3).
    • BS1061: Introductory Animal Physiology (Level 4).
    • BS1062: Introduction to Human Physiology in Health and Disease (Level 4).
    • BS2050: Human Physiology in Health and Disease (II) (Level 5).
  • Deputy Chair of Departmental Assessment Board (DAB) and Academic Misconduct (AM) Liaison for the Biological Sciences Department.

Teaching qualification(s):

  • FHEA (Fellow) status: awarded a Pass with Commendation (Jan, 2022).
    • Extended essay titled: 'Evaluating the use of Labster during COVID-19: can virtual laboratory simulations enhance the student learning experience?'

Other work

Science communication, interacting with the public and talking about what/why we do what we do, is I believe a really important thing. Along with my colleague Dr Philip Chen, we organised the very first Physiological Society outreach event at RHUL, to celebrate #PhysiologyWeek 2023. See the YouTube link here

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education