Career Overview
I have worked as a post-doctoral research scientist, with five research different research groups across several disciplines including pharmaceutical drug delivery, neuroscience, optometry and cancer biology. The common strands through my career have been cell and molecular biology combined with the establishment of new techniques and approaches. My career has been based within Cardiff for reasons of geographical choice, though I have been fortunate to have worked with many researchers of international standing.



2012 – present: Researcher. Cardiff Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Wales, U.K.

Current project – development of 3D cultures as potential cancer models for therapeutic screens. Based within the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University.

2008 – 2012: Post-Doctoral Scholar. School of Biosciences, Cardiff University.

Current Project: “Development of a platform to generate clinical grade neural progenitors for transplantation in Huntington’s disease”.

Initial Project: “Stem Cells for Therapeutics and Exploration of Mechanisms in Monogenic Diseases”.

2006 – 2008: Post-Doctoral Scholar. School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University.

RoFAR funded Project: “Exploring the role of Erythropoetin and other neuroprotective agents in rodent models of autosomal dominant optic atrophy”.

2003 – 2006: Post-Doctoral Scholar. Centre for Genome-based Therapeutics, Cardiff University (3 appointments).

Projects funded by Cancer Research UK, and the British Heart Foundation.

2001 – 2002: Post-Doctoral Scholar. Drug delivery, Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University.

BBSRC funded project: “Investigation of the potential role of caveolae in uptake of nanoparticulate gene delivery systems”.


1997 – 2001: Doctor of Philosophy (Drug Delivery), Welsh School of Pharmacy, University of Wales Cardiff.

Thesis title: “Caveolin in alveolar cell differentiation and embryogenesis”.

1995 – 1997: Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science). University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.


Scientific techniques

  • Familiar with a broad range of life science research techniques (such as cell culture, proteomics, genomics, QPCR, cloning).
  • Robust knowledge of methodological development and application, evidenced through the Protocol Online methods database website (http://www.protocol-online.org), which lists a number of methods I produced while working with the Welsh School of Pharmacy.
  • Experience with numerous computer packages; including word-processing, spreadsheet, image, presentation, statistical, and web design packages.

Research dissemination

  • Involved with production of articles for publication.
    • 19 peer reviewed research articles (for full details see my subpage “Published Scientific Articles”, or visit PubMed www.pubmed.gov and search “hollins aj”).
    • Published 20 peer reviewed abstracts, presented at meetings around the U.K., Europe and the U.S.A. Plus, 3 other non-peer reviewed abstracts.
  • Conference attendance / presentations
    • Network of European CNS Transplantation and Restoration (NECTAR) meeting (2011), Cambridge, United Kingdom.
    • The joint American Society of Neural Therapy and Repair (ASNTR) and International Neural Therapy and Repair (INTR) conference (2011), Clearwater, Florida, The Unites States of America.
    • The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), 7th Forum of European Neuroscience (2010), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    • British Neuroscience Association, The Spring Symposium (2010) “Towards a regenerative medicine for the brain”, London, United Kingdom.
    • Network of European CNS Transplantation and Restoration (NECTAR) meeting (2009), Cardiff, United Kingdom.
    • European Association for Vision in Eye Research (EVER) conference (2006), Villa Mora, Portugal. Invited presentation titled “Neuroprotection in OPA1 inherited optic neuropathy: strategies towards retinal ganglion cell rescue”.
    • British Pharmaceutical Conference (BPC), Manchester, U.K (2005). Short talk titled “Drug delivery system induced gene expression changes in cells in vitro and in vivo”.
    • British Pharmaceutical Conference – Manchester, U.K. (2004); Harrogate, U.K. (2002); and Birmingham, U.K. (2000).
    • American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS) Conference, New Orleans, U.S.A. (1999).
  • Refereed research articles for the Journal of Drug Targeting, and Pharmaceutical Research.
  • Production of a laboratory website within the Cardiff University pages, and maintenance of profile page.
  • Advised post-graduates on “Careers in Life Sciences and Research” as part of Careers-4-Scientists (2007).


  • Lectured as part of module OP1106 “Embryonic development and development of the eye” (Ocular Anatomy and Physiology) of the Optometry undergraduate degree scheme (Cardiff University, 2008).
  • Lectured on “Cell and Organ Culture” within the PhD techniques lecture series run within Optometry & Vision Sciences (2007).

Research Supervision

  • Actively contributed to the training and guidance of Ph.D. candidates throughout my time as a post-doctoral research associate.
  • Providing day to day support and advice on the requirements of various elements required to complete aspects of their training, from organisation to writing / presentation skills.

Research Management

  • Frequently responsible for day to day running the lab, including organization, ordering (including gathering and appraising quotes), and aspects of general safety and maintenance.
  • Acted as the coordinator of a fortnightly seminar series within Visual Neuroscience and Molecular Biology research group.
  • Former member of the Biomedical and Life Sciences Graduate School management group.