Harold obtained his bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Newcastle University. In 1994 he completed his PhD research in the laboratory of George Thomas, which focused on the role of S6 phosphorylation and S6 kinase in the control of protein synthesis and mRNA translation. A mechanism was revealed that controlled the translation of an essential group of mRNAs that encoded ribosomal proteins and protein synthesis elongation factors.
After PhD and postdoctoral studies in Basel he moved in 1997 to Julian Downward’s laboratory at ICRF where he studied Ras, PI3K and Raf signalling. In 2000 he joined Peter Parker’s laboratory at ICRF (which became Cancer Research UK in 2002). There, he was involved in two drug discovery programmes directed at PI3K and PKD which identified promising new compounds for cancer therapy. In addition, a novel and highly specific PIKfyve inhibitor was identified and shown to reduce retrovirus production.
In 2003, he joined the laboratory of Sharon Tooze to study Autophagy. As a principal laboratory research scientist he has been involved in numerous projects elucidating the molecular mechanisms involved in the autophagic process using novel and state of the art molecular and biochemical techniques. Currently he is developing nanobodies to ATG9 for structural-functional work on this important autophagy protein.