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Professor Jo Rushworth (唐非凡)

Job: Professor of Bioscience Education

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Allied Health Sciences

Address: Hawthorn Building 1.18, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 207 8955



Social Media: @bioLOLogy_DMU


Personal profile

Jo Rushworth is Professor of Bioscience Education and a National Teaching Fellow (NTF). Jo won the Biochemical Society's Teaching Excellence Award 2020 and shared a Learning Science Teaching Innovation Award for an escape-the-lab game that was co-created by her dissertation project student in 2021. She is an international expert in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and a leader in co-creation in Higher Education. Jo's co-created website hosts resources for remote teaching, learning, assessment and student support. Jo advocates "lecturer as learner" and has been learning Mandarin Chinese at DMU's Confucius Institute for two years, which informs her pedagogic approach through a student's-eye view. Her current pedagogic interests include inclusive co-creation, developing blended UDL practices, inclusive and more authentic assessment, flipped feed-in to replace feedback, transitions, representing all students in HE, gamification and game-based learning.

Jo co-created De Montfort University's new Post-Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCLTHE) in 2017, building the initial module around the principles of UDL. She designed the Golden Ideas workshops for staff which embody a UDL approach to teaching, assessment and feedback.

Jo's scientific research background is in Alzheimer's disease, which is the most common form of dementia. Her recent research has focussed on developing a portable biosensor as cheap and easy way of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease sooner. Recently, Jo invented a new biochemical method which she named “midland blotting” in homage to her Leicester roots. During her Wellcome Trust-funded PhD at the University of Leeds, she studied the structural and molecular biology of Alzheimer’s disease.

Key research outputs

A novel “capstudy” assessment for bioscience students based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Rushworth JV, Lawson G, Desai, UJ, Juma N and Moriarty A (2020) in: Pratt Adams, Simon, Uwe Richter, and Mark Warnes. Innovations In Active Learning In Higher Education. E-book, Falmer, UK: University of Sussex Library, 2020,

Olfactory Dysfunction as a Global Biomarker for Sniffing out Alzheimer's Disease: A Meta-Analysis
Kotecha AM, Correa ADC, Fisher K, Rushworth JV (2018)  Biosensors. 13:8(2)

Amyloid-β Receptors: The Good, the Bad, and the Prion Protein.
Jarosz-Griffiths HH, Noble E, Rushworth JV and Hooper NM (2016).  Journal of Biological Chemistry. 12;291(7):3174-83

CEA-targeted nanoparticles allow specific in vivo fluorescent imaging of colorectal cancer models
Tiernan JP, Ingram N, Marston G, Perry SL, Rushworth JV, Coletta PL, Millner PA, Jayne DG and Hughes TA (2015) Nanomedicine. doi:10.2217/nnm.14.202

Biosensor Regeneration: A Review of Common Techniques and Outcomes
Goode JA, Rushworth JV and Millner PA (2014) Langmuir. DOI: 10.1021/la503533g

Biosensors for whole-cell bacterial detection
Rushworth JV, Ahmed A, Hirst NA and Millner PA (2014) (JR and AA joint first authors) Clinical Microbiology Reviews doi: 10.1128/CMR.00120-13.

Midland blotting: A Rapid, Semi-Quantitative Method for Biosensor Surface Characterization.Rushworth JV, Ahmed A and Millner PA (2013) Biosensors and Bioelectronics Journal.

A label-free electrical impedimetric biosensor for the specific detection of Alzheimer's amyloid-beta oligomers.
Rushworth JV, Ahmed A, Griffiths HH, Pollock NM, Hooper NM and Millner PA (2013) Biosensors and Bioelectronics. Dec 24;56C:83-90 doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2013.12.036

Novel impedimetric immunosensor for detection of pathogenic bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes in human saliva.
Ahmed A, Rushworth JV, Wright JD and Millner PA (2013) Analytical Chemistry. Dec 17;85(24):12118-25. doi: 10.1021/ac403253j

Prion protein-mediated toxicity of amyloid-β oligomers requires lipid rafts and the transmembrane LRP1.
Rushworth JV, Griffiths HH, Watt NT and Hooper NM (2013) Journal of Biological Chemistry. Mar 29;288(13):8935-51. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.400358 * Awarded Best Paper of the Year 2013 in JBC Neurobiology

Prion protein facilitates uptake of zinc into neuronal cells.
Watt NT, Taylor DR, Kerrigan TL, Griffiths HH, Rushworth JV, Whitehouse IJ and Hooper NM (2012) Nature Communications. 3:1134. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2135.

Linking Alzheimer's Amyloid-β Production, Aggregation, and Toxicity at Neuronal Membranes.
Rushworth JV and Hooper NM (2011) International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, vol. 2011, Article ID 603052, 14 pages, 2011. doi:10.4061/2011/603052

Research interests/expertise

Pedagogic areas: co-creation, UDL and inclusion, lecturer-as-learner, transitions, gamification and game-based learning, flipped assessment and feed-in, summary sheets and unexemplars.

Scientific areas: Alzheimer’s disease and dementia; biosensors; protein aggregation and misfolding.


Mandarin Chinese HSK2 (June 2021)
Mandarin Chinese HSKK Basic (June 2021)
Mandarin Chinese HSK1 (June 2019)

Honours and awards

  • April 2021 - Biochemical Society Teaching Excellence Award 2020
  • February 2021 - Learning Science Teaching Innovation Award winner
  • April 2019 - Award for Excellence in Research-Informed Teaching: finalist (DMU)
  • August 2018 - National Teaching Fellowship (NTF; Advance HE)
  • June 2016 - Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award (DMU)
  • May 2014  - DMU Teacher Fellowship
  • March 2014  - Jean Corsan Prize for best neuroscience paper by a PhD student (Alzheimer's Research UK)
  • January 2014  - Best in year JBC Neurobiology 2013 award for research paper
  • July 2012 - First prize for best poster at PCB Net meeting, Sheffield
  • June 2011 - First prize for best poster at international FASEB summer conference, Colorado, USA
  • December 2010 - First prize for best talk for lay people at the university-wide Leeds Postgraduate Researcher Conference
  • December 2009 - First prize for best poster at the Leeds Neuroscience Away Day
  • October 2008 - Shared departmental National Good Schools Awards for my students’ GCSE and A level Chemistry results
  • June 2005 - Frank Happold Prize for the highest final degree mark
  • June 2003 - National Gatsby Plant Science undergraduate scholarship

Membership of professional associations and societies

Biochemical Society

Conference attendance

Keynote: "Inclusive co-creation: building a more flexible and authentic first year experience" HUBS Learning and Teaching Workshop Series, University of Warwick (online). July 16th 2021.

Keynote: “Bringing UDL to life across a University: from paper to people”
INIP Inclusive teaching and learning in Higher Education conference: theory and practice. 
June 22nd 2021.

Keynote: "UDL-ifying an institution: providing staff with the tools to dismantle walls and build inclusive curricula." UDL and Inclusive Practice Symposium: Reaching out to all. Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland. June 9th 2021

Invited talk: "Creating student-centric, flipped assessment and feed-in for a remote future". Rushworth JV, Spibey F and Cassambai S. HUBS and HUCBMS Joint Workshop: Co-creating assessments for the remote world. June 4th 2021.

Invited Biochemical Society Teaching Award Lecture: “Covid-directed evolution of molecular bioscience education: let’s analyse the mutations together!”
April 3rd 2021.

Interactive workshop: “Student lecturers are the future of Higher Education” Rushworth JV, de Gusmao Araujo P, Bridge H, Cornish R, Ganatra N, Gulati H, Patel M, Shobaloju S and Wan K. Advance HE Teaching and Learning Conference 2021: Teaching in the spotlight: What is the future for HE curricula? July 7th 2021.

Workshop: "Summary Sheets: a scaffold for more effective, active note-taking and cognitive processing of (remote) lectures." Rushworth JV, Cornish R, Gulati H and Patel M. Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference. June 29th 2021.

Poster: “The STAR approach: re-thinking undergraduate science teaching with notes from the Suzuki Method of music education” Sherwood L, Clemson H, Hamilton A, Oakley T, Daly N, Spathaky F and Rushworth JV. Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference. June 29th 2021.

Workshop: “Student lecturers are the future: Come and meet us to find out why!”
de Gusmao Araujo P, Bridge H, Cornish R, Gulati H, Kumaraguru V, Patel M, Shobaloju S, Wan K and Rushworth JV. DMU’s Learning and Teaching Conference “The University of Tomorrow”, February 5th 2021.

Talk: “Let’s tune up our remote learning: five transformational ideas from the Sherwood-Suzuki approach.” Sherwood L and Rushworth JV. Teaching, learning and mentoring: a virtual mini-conference. DMU; September 11th 2020.

Talk: “Lecturing, learning, and labs online.” Rogoyski B, Moore T and Rushworth JV. Teaching, learning and mentoring: a virtual mini-conference. DMU; September 11th 2020.

Hands-on workshop: “Gamification of cell biology using the PlayStation game Little Big Planet” Charlesworth S and Rushworth JV. Playful Learning Conference, July 10th 2019. Press release here.

Poster for staff and the public: “A lecturer’s feedback box: enhancing learning and teaching, staff confidence and the student experience.” DMU’s Learning and Teaching Festival 2018.

Workshop: “What happened to Ashley Tailor? An interactive, problem-based capstone assessment based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).” Active Learning Conference 2017, Anglia Ruskin, UK.

Round-table discussion: “Translating UDL into tangible guidelines for academic staff.” UDL: It’s Time to Talk About the Why? (AHEAD Conference; Dublin, Ireland)

Talk: “The cellular prion protein as a receptor for amyloid-beta oligomers” Prion Chemical Biology (PCB) Net Meeting 2012, Sheffield.

Talk: “Conformation-dependent neurotoxic properties of Alzheimer’s amyloid-β oligomers” FASEB summer conference: The Basic Origins and Medical Consequences of Protein Aggregation 2011, Colorado, USA.

Lay-person's talk: “Alzheimer’s disease: does a brain bodyguard backstab the brain?” Postgraduate Researcher Conference 2010, University of Leeds, UK (First prize)

Talk: “The shape of Alzheimer’s disease: is a fibrillar conformation key to amyloid-beta oligomers binding the cellular prion protein?” Alzheimer’s Research Trust Annual Scientific Meeting 2010, Sheffield, UK

Key articles information

[Add key research outputs information here] 

e.g ‘Outputs, e.g. selected publications’ produced since January 2008


Impedimetric Biosensors for Medical Applications: Current Progress and Challenges.
Rushworth JV, Hirst NA, Goode JA, Pike DJ, Ahmed A and Millner PA (2013)Impedimetric Biosensors for Medical Applications: Current Progress and Challenges. Biomedical & Nanomedical Technologies (B&NT): Concise Monographs Series. Publisher: ASME. ISBN: 9780791860243 

Media interest and publicity

New biosensor test for Alzheimer's disease:

Yorkshire post - newspaper article

International Business Times - article

Red wine and green tea extracts interrupt a key process in Alzheimer's disease:

ITV news - website article

Le Figaro - French newspaper article



Grants and funding

PI: £78,000 (RCIF bid, 2014) to purchase equipment to set up a Cell Imaging and Analysis Facility at DMU

Prof Jo Rushworth