Dr Paul McKeegan


Lecturer in Human Physiology

Role at Hull York Medical School

I contribute to research, teaching and learning across HYMS undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

I develop and deliver physiology teaching across the undergraduate curriculum. I am Module Lead for MBBS Gateway to Medicine Human Biology I. I am also a tutor for MBBS Gateway to Medicine Human Biology II and MBBS Phase I in metabolism, nutrition, reproductive biology, and physiology, including leading physiology BioPracticals.

As the Deputy Chair of the Postgraduate Board of Examiners, I have oversight of postgraduate assessments, student progress and outcomes across HYMS postgraduate programmes.

I am the Interim Programme Director for the MSc Clinical Anatomy (and Education) programmes and co-lead the Embryology and Clinical Neuroanatomy module, as well as leading the research project module across postgraduate taught programmes. My research projects have covered varied topics from developing and assessing novel interactive teaching methods and approaches to systematic reviews in education, developmental anatomy, and anatomical variations.


I completed my BSc (Honours) in Biochemistry in 2009 and a PGCE (Chemistry) in 2010 at the University of York. After teaching chemistry in a secondary school, I undertook PhD research in Metabolic Regulation During Early Embryo Development at HYMS with Prof Roger Sturmey and Prof Henry Leese, graduating in 2015.

This was followed by postdoctoral research in oocyte metabolism during ovarian follicle activation at the University of Leeds with Prof Helen Picton, going on to test the impact of novel microfluidic culture devices during in vitro embryo development with Prof Picton and Dr Virginia Pensabene. I also taught on the MSc programmes in Clinical Embryology and Assisted Reproduction Technologies and supervised several MSc projects in embryology and reproductive biology topics.

In 2019, I joined HYMS as a Lecturer in Human Physiology, as part of the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences based in the Loxley Building at the University of Hull. In this role I became responsible for physiology teaching across MBBS Gateway to Medicine and Phase I, as well as The Research Project Module for MSc Clinical Anatomy and Education. In 2021, I became Deputy Chair of the Postgraduate Board of Examiners and in 2023 I was recognised by Advance HE as a Senior Fellow.


My research interests are focused on the lifelong impacts of metabolic regulation and dysregulation during preimplantation development. Using highly specialised technologies and methodologies, we can push the limits of sensitivity to examine the metabolic profile of individual mammalian oocytes and preimplantation embryos. This metabolic profile has been linked to outcomes, and also links to the impacts of 1) culture conditions and 2) the impact of gestational and non-gestational parent nutrition and physiology on the offspring.

Current research projects are focussed on optimising methodologies and advancing our understanding of mitochondrial metabolism during oocyte and preimplantation embryo development.

My pedagogic interests include student-centric physiology and biology curriculum design, incorporating technology enhanced active learning tools.

Current projects include student-led MBBS physiology curriculum review and development and design of new teaching tools in physiology and anatomy.

I supervise and support undergraduate, MSc, PhD and MD students to develop research skills, and am keen to continue to facilitate the development of early career researchers, having benefited from excellent support myself.


Module Lead

  • Human Biology I (MBBS Gateway to Medicine)
  • Embryology and Clinical Neuroanatomy (MSc in Clinical Anatomy and Education)
  • The Research Project (Postgraduate Taught Programmes)


  • Human Biology I (MBBS Gateway to Medicine)
  • Human Biology II (MBBS Gateway to Medicine)
  • MBBS Phase I Lectures - Physiology, Reproduction, Metabolism and Nutrition
  • MBBS Phase I Physiology BioPracticals (including ECG, EMG, Spirometry)
  • The Research Project (Postgraduate Taught Programmes)

View Paul's publications on ORCID.

Selected publications

McKeegan, P.J., and Sturmey, R.G. (2019). Metabolomic screening of embryos to enhance successful selection and transfer. In: G.T. Kovacs, A.J. Rutherford and D.K. Gardner (Eds). How to Prepare the Egg and Embryo to Maximize IVF Success (pp. 295-304). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781316756744.025

Colucci F., McKeegan P., Picton H., Pensabene V. (2018) Mouse embryo assay to evaluate polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) embryo-toxicity. Conf. Proc. IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2018

R Pennock, E Bray, P Pryor, S James, P McKeegan, R Sturmey and P Genever (2015) Autonomous cell reprogramming by controlled autophagy Scientific Reports 5

JLMR Leroy, RG Sturmey, V Van Hoeck, J De Bie, PJ McKeegan and PEJ Bols (2014) Dietary Fat Supplementation and the Consequences for Oocyte and Embryo Quality: Hype or Significant Benefit for Dairy Cow Reproduction? Reproduction in Domestic Animals 49, 353–36

F Guerif, P McKeegan, HJ Leese and RG Sturmey (2013) A Simple Approach for COnsumption and RElease (CORE) Analysis of Metabolic Activity in Single Mammalian Embryos PloS ONE 8 (8)

Paul J McKeegan and Roger G Sturmey (2012) The Role of Fatty Acids in Oocyte and Early Embryo Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development 24(1) pp59-67

Postgraduate research supervision

Please contact me regarding research project opportunities including:

  • PhD in Medical Sciences
  • MSc (Research) in Biomedical Sciences
  • The Research Project (MSc in Clinical Anatomy and Education)
  • INSPIRE MBBS Research Projects
  • MBBS Phase II SSIP
  • Elective Teaching and Research Projects
External roles

I am an External Examiner for Surrey International Study Centre’s Life Sciences International Foundational Year

I am an active member of:

  • Society for Fertility and Reproduction
  • Physiological Society
  • Biochemical Society