What do you do?
I am using cells and biomaterials to create a model of vascularised breast cancer to test drug compounds and study the tumour microenvironment.
Why did you choose this field?
At school I really enjoyed science, particularly biology, so I chose to pursue this further at university studying biomedical sciences. My Master's project was focused on developing a bioreactor for studying blood flow in arteries, which introduced me to the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. This sparked my interest and passion for experimental research and made me realise I wanted to pursue a PhD.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I never thought I would be doing a PhD right now, so I wish I could tell younger Helen how far she's come!
Why do you love working in STEM?
You never have the same day twice, so you never get bored. One day I could be in the lab doing experiments and the next I could be networking at a conference. You're constantly being challenged and mentally stimulated so you don't lose focus. You're surrounded by a team of like-minded people who you can bounce ideas. I look forward to doing an experiment and (hopefully!) get some really exciting data which can help further our understanding.
Best advice for next generation?
Never think you're not good enough or not clever enough.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
“I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say ‘yes, women can’."