Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

Email: karen.english@mu.ie


KAREN ENGLISH is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Maynooth University. She leads the Cellular Immunology Laboratory and the major focus of her research is the mechanistic understanding and translation of cellular therapy for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. She has published many international peer reviewed papers in this area and has attracted significant research funding from SFI, HRB, EI, EU as well as a prestigious Laureate award from the Irish Research Council. She was awarded the 2018 Irish Research Council Early-Career Researcher of the Year award and the 2018 Maynooth University Early Career Research Achievement Award. Karen is also passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion and successfully led Maynooth university’s first departmental Athena SWAN Bronze award application as chair of the Biology department’s Athena SWAN self-assessment team.


I am passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and although I currently try to include some aspects of EDI and social justice in my teaching of Biology modules, I would like to learn more about how to do this well.  From experience, I know that students tend to engage better with topics where there are real life examples.  Moreover, in my opinion today’s students are more socially aware but perhaps are not fully aware of social justice aspects of the Biology they are studying.  While focused on delivering the Biology content, we can forget to discuss the social justice aspects of that content.  I look forward to giving great consideration to how best to include a social justice element to my teaching and to developing new tools, structures and approaches to facilitate this.

  • To enhance my knowledge and understanding of social justice in Biology
  • To develop new and innovative teaching skills and resources that facilitate a thoughtful inclusion of social justice aspects in my teaching
  • To enhance student awareness of social justice aspects in Science


To learn more about Karen’s course development and planning for the Spring 2020 semester, please choose from one of the links below.


To learn more about Karen’s pedagogical orientation and approach as well as her experiences of participating in the DISCs Project, please click on one of the links below.

What is the purpose of Higher Education?

What does it mean to incorporate social justice principles into my teaching?

Reflections on the DISCs Project