Derek Ball

Favourite Thing: running experiments in the laboratory



Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Aberdeen



Work History:

I once worked for the Ministry of Defence working on submarines.

Current Job:

Program Director for Sport and Exercise Science


Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh)

Me and my work

I am interested in how fat cells work

I have a program of study that is looking at how fat cells work. Fat cells don’t just store fat they also release messenger molecules to other parts of the body, they also respond to different hormones and control the absorption and release of fat and carbohydrates. ¬†Our work will provide us with a greater insight into some of the current health problems associated with obesity and diabetes.

My Typical Day

I cover a range of activities depending on the time of year. These could be teaching a class, running a practical class or working in the laboratory with one of my post graduate students.

What I'd do with the money

I would use the money to put on a display at a science centre in Edinburgh.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Inquisitive, energetic, rigorous

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Tom Waits

What's your favourite food?

a nice Sunday roast

What is the most fun thing you've done?

What did you want to be after you left school?

I went into engineering

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

No, I was too shy

What was your favourite subject at school?

Design and technology but I wasn’t very good

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Increased our understanding of the effects of kidney disease on everyday life

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

Tell us a joke.

Other stuff

Work photos: