Dr Kerry Gilbert

Dr Kerry Gilbert

Honorary Associate Professor

Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health)



Roles and Responsibilities:
Associate Professor Medical Education and Medical Sciences; Enquiry Based Learning Lead, Peninsula Medical School; Programme Co-Lead 6-Year BMBS with Foundation Y0; Associate Lead for Widening Participation in Medicine; Culture; Equality and Diversity Committee Member; Learning Skills Tutor; Member of Senate and University Teaching Learning and Quality Committee.

I was born and brought up in Leeds, West Yorkshire and my interest in medicine was first fired when, as a college student in Leeds, I found myself on work experience in the Medical School in the Worsley building, where I ended up teaching a medic how to do a radioimmunoassay, he related some of his medical experiences and in return I helped him with the science.

I studied Biochemistry at the University of Wales Aberystwyth and then continued my studies to complete an MSc in Cell and Molecular Genetics. My first research job was as a Research Assistant at the Welsh Plant Breeding Station (IGER) in Aberystwyth investigating the potential consequences of transgenic pollen flow in ryegrasses. Having developed a feel for research, I decided to further my education and went to Bristol University to study natural dye production in plants, a semi-industrial project looking at how plants could be manipulated, agronomically and biochemically, to maximise dye production, to improve their economic viability as an alternative to synthetic dyes. I was awarded a PhD for my thesis on the Production of Indigo from woad in 1997 and was awarded major funding from the Ministry of Agriculture and the European Union to continue the work as a Research Fellow, over a period of 10 years. My work on dye plants led to my involvement in several interesting projects including: setting up a Soil Association standard for the production of organic textiles and advising the Eden Project on their exhibit of dye plants and dyeing in the first years of its existence (the plants are still there!).

Following my research career, I took a short break from science to guide my children through their formative years. As time went on I began to yearn for a professional life and decided to train as a Breast Feeding Peer Supporter for Plymouth Sure Start. This role took me into the Maternity Unit at Derriford Hospital to talk to new mums; to health clinics to lead sessions for antenatal classes, as well as to a committee to establish a breast feeding friendly mark for Plymouth. This reignited my passion for a life in science and education and I consequently applied for the post of Life Science Resource Centre Manager at PCMD, which I started in 2007. As I developed in this role, I worked towards developing my passion for teaching and started to get involved in the discussions about developing the curriculum to improve student experience and produce excellent medics for Tomorrow’s Doctors. I have led a project to assess the value of feedback given by students to their peers; how to maximise e-learning in a medical education and I am currently involved in a project to evaluate the use of 3D imaging in anatomy teaching.

I developed a keen enthusiasm for small-group learning and in particular problem-based learning (PBL), becoming a lead PBL facilitator and latterly the School Lead for both Problem and Inquiry-Based Learning – subtle adaptations of the enquiry driven learning that underpins the independent and integrated learning that must be developed by students – the doctors of tomorrow. We have just completed the re-working the PBL curriculum in medicine and renamed it Enquiry Based Learning (EBL), which better reflects the approach and better serves the evolving needs of our medical students in a technologically and information-rich world.

I achieved senior fellowship of the HEA in July 2016 and consolidated this with promotion to Associate Professor in Medical Education and Medical Sciences at the end of the Academic Year 2017. I achieved a Distinction in my Master of Clinical Education in 2019 for my project on Learning Development in Medicine through Small-Group Learning 

Other Interests:
My interests and hobbies include cycling, reading (fact and fiction), walking.


Bsc (Hons), MSc, PhD, MClinEd(Distinction), SFHEA

Professional membership

Senior Fellow of HEA (Now Advance HE)

Aurora Women's Leadership Alumni (2019)



Teaching interests

Biochemistry, Physiology, Molecular/Cell Biology, Small group learning, Module Lead: FY0 Learning Skills for Medicine



Research interests

Medical Education: Particularly, Small Group Teaching and Learning, Peer Assessment and Evaluation of learning tools



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted


Neve H, Lloyd H, Gilbert K, Bull S, Mattick K (2017) Evaluation of an innovative evidence-guided PBL approach. The Clinical Teacher, 14: 1–7

(available online: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.plymouth.idm.oclc.org/doi/10.1111/tct.12656/full)

Gilbert KG (2023) 'Learning journeys – student learning development in the first years of a medical degree: an analysis of student conversations' Frontiers in Sociology 8, Publisher Site , DOI
Burr S, Martin T, Edwards J, Ferguson C, Gilbert K, Gray C, Hill A, Hosking J, Johnstone K & Kisielewska J (2021) 'Standard setting anchor statements: a double cross-over trial of two different methods' MedEdPublish 10, (1:32) 1-13 Publisher Site , DOI Open access
Neve H, Bull S, Lloyd H, Gilbert K & Mattick K (2017) 'Evaluation of an innovative, evidence-guided, PBL approach' Clinical Teacher Author Site , DOI Open access
Neve H, Bull S, Lloyd H, Gilbert KG & Mattick K (2017) 'Evaluation of an innovative, evidence- guided, PBL approach' The Clinical Teacher , DOI Open access
Sales E, Kanhonou R, Baixauli C, Giner A, Cooke D, Gilbert K, Arrillaga I, Segura J & Ros R (2006) 'Sowing date, transplanting, plant density and nitrogen fertilization affect indigo production from Isatis species in a Mediterranean region of Spain' Industrial Crops and Products 23, (1) 29-39 , DOI Open access
Gilbert KG, Maule HG, Rudolph B, Lewis M, Vandenburg H, Sales E, Tozzi S & Cooke DT (2004) 'Quantitative analysis of indigo and indigo precursors in leaves of Isatis spp. and Polygonum tinctorium' Biotechnol Prog 20, (4) 1289-1292 Author Site , DOI Open access
Angelini LG, Campeol E, Tozzi S, Gilbert KG, Cooke DT & John P (2003) 'A new HPLC-ELSD method to quantify indican in Polygonum tinctorium L. and to evaluate beta-glucosidase hydrolysis of indican for indigo production' Biotechnol Prog 19, (6) 1792-1797 Author Site , DOI Open access
Gilbert KG, Garton S, Karam MA, Arnold GM, Karp A, Edwards KJ, Cooke DT & Barker JHA (2002) 'A high degree of genetic diversity is revealed in <i>Isatis</i> spp. (dyer's woad) by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP)' THEORETICAL AND APPLIED GENETICS 104, (6-7) 1150-1156 , DOI
Gilbert KG & Cooke DT (2001) 'Dyes from plants: Past usage, present understanding and potential' PLANT GROWTH REGULATION 34, (1) 57-69 , DOI
Gilbert KG, Hill DJ, Crespo C, Mas A, Lewis M, Rudolph B & Cooke DT (2000) 'Qualitative analysis of indigo precursors from woad by HPLC and HPLC-MS' PHYTOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS 11, (1) 18-20 , DOI Open access
Gilbert (nee Stoker) KG, Hill DJ, Crespo C, Mas A, Lewis M, Rudolph B & Cooke DT (2000) 'Qualitative analysis of indigo precursors from woad by HPLC and HPLC-MS' Phytochemical Analysis 11, (1) 18-20 , DOI
Stoker KG, Cooke DT & Hill DJ (1998) 'An Improved Method for the Large-Scale Processing of Woad (Isatis tinctoria) for Possible Commercial Production of Woad Indigo' Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research 71, (4) 315-320 , DOI Open access

Neve H, Gilbert K, Lloyd H (2018) Is PBL itself a threshold concept? The findings of an audio-diary research project, accepted for inclusion in Threshold Concepts I Problem Based Learning, edited by Maggi Savin-Baden

Gilbert K G (2016) 69: Secondary Products: Dyes. In Encyclopedia of Applied Plant Sciences. Editors: B Thomas, D J Murphy and B G Murray.

Neve HA, Gilbert K & Helen L (2018) 'PBL as Learning Vehicle, Threshold Concept or Capability? Audio-Diary Research in Medical Education' Threshold Concepts in Problem-Based Learning Leiden, the Netherlands Brill - Sense 49-64
Neve H, Gilbert K & Lloyd H (2018) 'Threshold Concept or Threshold Capability? Using audio-diaries to explore PBL in medical education' Threshold Concepts in Problem-based Learning Brill/Sense 49-64 , DOI
Gilbert KG (2017) 'Secondary Products: Dyes' in Thomas B; Murphy DJ; Murray BG Encyclopedia of Applied Plant Sciences CRC Press Open access
Conference Papers

AMEE Annual Scientific Meeting, Basel, Switzerland, August 2018: Neve H, Gilbert K (presenter)

How hybrid PBL can support students to manage cognitive load: findings from an audio-diary study

IHC Methodological Innovations Conference, Plymouth, June 2018: Gilbert K Student Learning Stories: Socio-cultural adaptation to learning medicine can contribute to healthcare intervention development?

BSA SouthWest Regional MedSoc, Plymouth, February 2018: Gilbert K Student Learning Stories: Socio-cultural adaptation to learning medicine.

Vice-Chancellors Teaching and Learning Conference 2017, Plymouth University: Gilbert K and Trimble P. Lawyers and Doctors: delivering integrated interdisciplinary and Interprofessional learning for undergraduates

ASME Annual Scientific Meeting, Exeter, June 2017: Gilbert KG and Trimble P. Improving students’ understanding of ethico-legal issues in health through and innovative law-medicine PBL case.

Association of Law Teachers (ALT) Annual Conference, Portsmouth, April 2017: Trimble P and Gilbert KG, Lawyers and Doctors: Reflections on delivering integrated inter-disciplinary and inter-professional learning for undergraduates in a law and medicine collaboration.

AMEE Annual Scientific Meeting, Barcelona, August 2016: Gilbert KG, Neve H and Lloyd H. Using Audio-diaries to Understand Enablers to Learning Troublesome and Threshold Concepts in a Problem Based Learning Programme (Presentation)

6th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference, Nova Scotia, Canada, June 2016: Neve H, Gilbert K and Lloyd H. “Our diagram helped us see how all the elements linked together”: using audio-diaries to understand enablers to learning troublesome and threshold concepts in a Problem Based Learning programme (Presentation)

PU PSMD Assessment Conference 2016: Gilbert, KG and Neve, H. Diversity in Small Group Assessment (Workshop).

Ottawa Assessment Conference, Perth WA, 2016: Gilbert KG, Chatterjee A and Toms N. Team-based learning as a formative assessment tool for consolidation week at Plymouth Peninsula School of Medicine (Poster)

Gilbert KG, Neve H & Lloyd H (2016) 'AMEE 2016' AMEE Annual Conference 2016 Barcelona 8-/-0/20168-/-0/2016Open access
Gilbert KG, Chatterjee A & Toms N (2016) 'Team-based learning as a formative assessment tool for consolidation week at Plymouth Peninsula School of Medicine' Ottawa 2016 Perth Western Australia 3-/-0/20163-/-0/2016Open access
Gilbert KG, Neve H, Lloyd H, Mattick K & Bull S (2014) 'Aargh Public Health! Problem-based learning as a vehicle for promoting public and population health learning: successes barriers and opportunities' ASME 2014 Brighton
Neve H, Gilbert KG, Bull SA & Lloyd H (2014) 'Promoting Integration and transfer of concepts in learning: Practical approaches for problem-based and other learning activities' ASME 2014 Brighton Open access
Gilbert KG, Lloyd H, Neve H, Bull SA & Mattick KJ (2014) 'The Challenges of applying theory and evidence to PBL: findings from an in-depth mixed-methods research study' ASME 2014 Brighton Open access
Presentations and posters
Gilbert KG, Lloyd H, Neve H, Bull SA & Mattick K Gilbert KG, Lloyd H, Neve H, Bull SA & Mattick K 'Aargh Public Health! Problem-based learning as a vehicle for promoting public and population health learning: successes barriers and opportunities' Open access