Dr Vivien Rolfe BSc PhD
Up to date list of papers and conference presentations –> http://vivrolfe.com/books-and-publications/
Dr Viv Rolfe is an independent open educator and Director of a number of science open education projects. Her subject specialisms are intestinal physiology, functional foods, and research method expertise includes qualitative and quantitative approaches, plus systematic review. She has worked in medical research, higher education and the food industry. She continues to work on open education projects alongside her current full-time industrial role.
As a researcher, Viv has won several awards for her work. Her PhD attained at the University of Sheffield enabled her to study diarrhoeal disease. In gaining a Research Fellowship at the Institute of Child Health in London, she looked at novel fish oil therapy for inflammatory bowel disease in children, and used fluorescent confocal microscope techniques for filming the absorptive processes in the colon. In this time she was awarded the Glaxo Wellcome Young Investigator Award from the UK Physiological Society and AP Mowat Young Investigator Award from the British Society of Gastroenterology.
This is the surface of the colon (large intestine) that is “live” in an incubation chamber so we can study its properties. The colon is stained with BODIPY phalloidin, a red fluorescent dye, that stains the cell’s own skeleton – called the cytoskeleton. In this photograph we are looking down onto the openings of four crypts of Lieberkuhn, which are glands in the colon that absorb water. (The colon is a bit of a salvage yard, taking up left over nutrients and water from the faeces). The BODIPY dye also lets us see the individual epithelial cells (the cells outlined in yellow) in amazing detail.
After London, she worked as researcher for Mars Inc, Pedigree Petfoods Division. Her team’s research explored novel functional ingredients and their beneficial effects on pet health, including dietary fibre, phytochemical and functional foods. At this time her life began to be taken over by springer spaniels and she took out shares in slippers. Below is Spike.
Transition to open educator
She is Director of three open educational resource (OER) projects sharing science resources with global communities. Having worked in higher education she achieved a number of the most senior professional awards – a UK National Teaching Fellowship (2012) and Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (2015). She was also recognised in the Jisc Social Media Influencers Top 50 list in 2015. In recognition of her digital approaches to learning and teaching, she was awarded the title Learning Technologist of the Year as awarded by the Association of Learning Technology jointly with James Clay (2009).
She passionate about the concept of opening the doors to education and research. Education needs to be made more equitable and accessible, and there is a transparency crisis in research. She directs three OER (open educational resource) projects that share content under Creative Commons open licenses, are well visited globally. Other national work includes: