OXFORD University has admitted it has made changes to its safety procedures after an academic smuggled cyanide out of a lab to kill herself.

The institution confirmed that no hazardous chemicals have ever been allowed to leave the site, despite the fact that Erin Shepherd was able to take some and use it to poison herself at her home in Magdalen Road, Oxford, on January 20, prompting a major response from emergency services and the closure of the entire street.

An inquest at Oxford Coroner’s Court on Wednesday heard Miss Shepherd, an academic in the chemistry department, committed suicide despite apparently being happy with her transition from a man and new life as a woman.

University spokesman Stephen Rouse said yesterday: “The Department of Chemistry reviewed the procedures for hazardous materials after Erin’s death and is currently introducing some modifications to an already robust process.

“We would stress that Erin’s actions presented no risk to the public. The university’s deepest sympathies are with her friends, family and colleagues.”