What do you do?
I am a researcher. Currently, my research spans molecular, clinical neurobiology and medical genetics. I am leading a project on ALS/FTD and in my spare time I am also a Research Consultant for a wearable tech company, where I help design collaborative projects and wellness products to improving lives. My PhD will research neuroinflammation underlying dementia.
Why did you choose this field?
I initially thought that I would go to medical school to become a doctor. After training as a nursing assistant, and working with people with dementia, I was shocked by the limited treatment options open to them, I decided I wanted to find out what was happening in the brain and do my part to help understand and prevent this terrible disease. I am a first generation scholar/PhD so I was never really exposed to academic role models, I took the Alevels I thought
I needed for medical school and discovered neuroscience from there and decided I could do more to help more widely in research.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I was bullied in school for being a “boffin”, “nerd” etc. I used to play down my intelligence to fit in. My two biggest achievements so far are probably 1) getting a 1st Class Hons BSc and being awarded a scholarship for my masters and 2) completing my MRes at the top of my class and being awarded the School Prize for the best performance in Neuroscience at my graduation. I would tell younger me that my intelligence is not a weakness, it is my strength.
Why do you love working in STEM?
It is exciting. I like that no two days are the same, you get to be creative and given the ability to continually grow. I learn something new everyday and I hope I never stop learning. I am so lucky to have a job I look forward to going to every day. I particularly enjoy dissection, immunohistochemistry and imaging beautiful brains.
Best advice for next generation?
Working in STEM is one of the very few work sectors which allow you to learn every day, constantly improve yourself and your knowledge, inspire others and leave something behind - by contributing to the existing sum of human knowledge. If you want to make a difference with your life, work in STEM.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
“I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy” - Marie Curie