Dr Jennifer Cusiter

UKRMP Engineered Cell Environment Project Manager, University of Edinburgh

And - MBA, Open University

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Find a good female mentor and be part of a network - it is all about who you know.

What do you do?

I project manage a £5m multi-disciplinary collaborative project funded by the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform. UKRMP is addressing the key translational challenges of regenerative medicine.

Why did you choose this field?

I always loved STEM subjects at school. I chose to go to the University of Strathclyde for my undergraduate as they offered a 5 year Masters degree including a 12 month industrial placement. As well my core science subjects, I studied “French for Scientists & Engineers” and got the chance to do an exchange year at the University of Montreal. All my classes and exams were in French: it was hard work but a great experience and it opened my eyes to a potential career path. I did my industrial placement working for Servier (French pharmaceutical company) in Paris. It was an amazing year working with a synthetic chemistry team on an Alzheimer’s project.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I recently graduated from the Open University with an MBA. It took me 5 years but seeing as I also had my 2 children (Murray, 5 and Eilidh, 3) at the same time I think I did pretty well! I would have never thought that I could have done this if you had suggested it me when I was younger but I was motivated and inspired by successful female managers, mentors and colleagues who told me that everything is possible.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love working with people who are passionate about their research and I look forward to helping them source funding to follow their research ideas and pursue translation of their research outputs into treatments for patients. Everyday is different.

Best advice for next generation?

Do something that you enjoy and that makes your life fun - think about a multidisciplinary degree as this has the chance for you to make an impact on society. I’m a massive geek who also loves shoes, bags and getting my nails done and there is nothing wrong with that. Anyone who tells you otherwise is jealous! Find a good female mentor and be part of a network - it is all about who you know!

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

I really enjoy cooking to relax (no-one leave my house hungry!) which is a science in itself!

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