I’m a joint PhD & MBA student studying reproductive biology at Edinburgh University. I’m interested in public engagement and entrepreneurship. I love dinosaurs, food, 80s rock and old Nintendo games
I decided to get into public engagement to help me build upon my communication skills. Also its also way more fun than lab work, you get to make stuff like you did at school and I get free music festival tickets.
I think I’m doing pretty well with my public engagement work. I won the Society for Applied Microbiology science communication award this year (2012) and I’ve been writing for New Scientist and completed an internship at the BBC. I think that’s a win!
I co-founded the Egg and Sperm Race with Gemma. I look after the financial side of things such as budgets and fund raising. So far I’ve managed to get us 3 public engagement grants, go me! I also put a lot of effort into writing our business plan that helped us secure our MRC grants. I enjoy the communication part of the project, making the posters, games and writing the science articles. For the majority of it we split everything right down the middle. Usually we’re on the same page and we try to make it as much fun as possible.
I am a joint PhD and MBA student at the MRC Center for Reproductive Health. I was lucky enough to win two prestigious scholarships in one year to allow me to do this. It’s a little crazy I know but I hope the hard work pays off.
My PhD research focuses on endometriosis, a condition where a condition where the cells that line the womb, known as the endometrium, are found on the surface of other organs within the pelvis. These endometrial cells still act like endometrium and each month they thicken and bleed, but unlike in the womb the cells can’t leave the body at the end of each cycle so they just keep growing. In time these cells grow to form lesions on the organs and can interfere with the organ functions and irritate nerve endings causing chronic pelvic pain. We still don’t know what causes this but I’m looking at a protein called TGFbeta which we know is increased in women with endometriosis. If I can show that the increase in TGFbeta is responsible for the development of endometriosis the my research ahs potential to inform new treatments for this disease. I work in Dr Andrew Hornes lab and have input from Prof Hilary Critchley and Prof Philippa Saunders too.
When/if I graduate I plan to move to the US to pursue a post-doctoral position in the field of endocrinology or infectious diseases (not sure what is winning yet). I am also interested in working with academics to help them industrialize their research findings, combining my PhD and MBA experience to do this. I’ve also got a few business ideas of my own I want to pursue.
Before joining Edinburgh University I worked at Lab901 as an R&D technician for 3years, completed an MSc in Biomedical Science and Drug Design (distinction) and a BSc in Microbiology (2:1).
My online CV is available here.