Research leadership

Professor Heather McLaughlin
Pro Vice-Chancellor Research

 Heather McLaughlin November 2021

Heather McLaughlin is Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Academic Staff Development and Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law.  Previous roles have included Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at Coventry University,  Director of the Business School at Canterbury Christ Church University, Director of the Centre for International Transport Management at London Metropolitan University, Head of Consultancy for the Global Policy Research Institute, and a professional career as a Chartered Accountant.

As a Professor of Management and International Transport, she has published extensively in a range of international academic journals, and maintains excellent contacts with the maritime and wider logistics industry. She served as a Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee for Transport, and has been a member of a number of international expert panels on maritime transport.  She is a currently on the editorial board of ‘Research in Transportation Business and Management’ and ‘Maritime Policy and Management’ of which she was editor for 10 years. As a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of World Traders’ livery, she remains well connected in the business community. She is also a member of the Council of Chartered Association of Business Schools.

Professor Deborah Cartmell
Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research)

Deborah Cartmell

Deborah Cartmell is Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research). Her most recent publication is Adaptations: Critical and Primary Sources (3 volumes), edited with Imelda Whelehan (Bloomsbury 2022).

She is founder and co-editor of two international journals, Adaptation (Oxford University Press) and Shakespeare (Routledge), series editor of the Bloomsbury Adaptation Histories, founder and former chair of the Association of Adaptation Studies and founding trustee of the British Shakespeare Association. She received the Jim Welsh Award for Excellence in Adaptation Studies in 2016.

Professor Cartmell has supervised a number of PhD students who are now in successful professional and academic careers in the UK, US, Australia and Indonesia and welcomes PhD applications in Shakespeare and Adaptation Studies.

Professor Siobhan Keenan
Associate Dean of Research for Art, Design and Humanities


Siobhan Keenan is Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities and a Professor in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature. Her latest publication is a monograph for Oxford University Press on The Progresses, Processions, and Royal Entries of King Charles I, 1625-1642 (2020), and her next project is a study of early Shakespearean actor, Richard Burbage.

She is an elected member of the Malone Society Council and a member of the Editorial Board for the journal Shakespeare (the journal of the British Shakespeare Association), published by Routledge.

Professor Keenan has supervised a number of PhD students who have gone on to successful careers in and beyond academia and she welcomes PhD applications on Shakespeare, Renaissance drama and early modern theatre history. 

Professor Jo Richardson
Associate Dean of Research for Business and Law


Jo is Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Business and Law, and she is Professor of Housing and Social Research. Jo is a member of the Local Governance Research Centre (LGRC).

As a qualitative social researcher, she focuses on using co-production methods within local communities in many of her projects. Jo's broad interests cut across management, social policy and public policy disciplines.  Key areas include:

  • Social housing, including community-led initiatives and approaches
  • Negotiation, conflict resolution, emotion and resilience in accommodation provision and management
  • Discourse analysis and control of marginalised groups
  • Gypsy and Traveller accommodation, sited delivery and management
  • Identity, space and place

Professor Raffaella Villa
Associate Dean of Research for Computing, Engineering and Media

R Villa (2)


Raffaella Villa is Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media. Raffaella graduated from University of Milan, where she also did her PhD in applied biological catalysis. Raffaella worked at Exeter, Stirling University and Cranfield University before joining De Montfort in 2019.  

Raffaella has researched on microbial bioengineering for the last 20 years. She has adapted her particular expertise in microbial and enzymatic processes to the environmental sector, and delivered teaching and research in waste, wastewater and resource management as part of the global sustainability agendas. Her current work includes: improvement of anaerobic digestion systems for renewable energy production, bioenergy from algae and sewers’ bioremediation. During her career Professor Villa has been successful in securing substantial funding from government agencies and industry; she has supervised more than 20 PhD students and has over 80 peer-reviews articles and book chapters. She is the Editor in Chief of Environmental Technology Reviews and member of the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Water Management.

Raffaella is also active in outreach activities to promote women participation in STEM subjects such as Soapbox Science, New Scientist Live and radio/TV programmes.



Professor Anwar Baydoun
Associate Dean of Research for Health and Life Sciences


Professor Anwar Baydoun is a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society and currently the Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at De Montfort University.

He has served on the International Steering Committee for the Pan-Asian International Conference on Science and Technology 2015 and on the International Steering Committee for the International Heart Forum (2005-2010). He was on the Editorial Board of the British Pharmacological Society (2002-2006) and is on peer review panels for several international journals.

Professor Baydoun is a Cardiovascular Pharmacologist and an accomplished researcher in the field of cell signalling, applying his work to understanding physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms that may generate novel targets for drug development. He is most widely known for his work on nitric oxide and cationic amino acid transporters but also researches into the mechanisms that regulate the differentiation of stem cells into cardiomyocytes as well as those that regulate the process of vascular calcification in kidney and/or cardiovascular disease states. He collaborates extensively with clinicians and with pharmaceutical industries in developing in vitro models for drug screening and of disease states.