Tell us a bit about your role
My primary job is lab-based research, investigating viral infection and how cells fight against it to control viral replication. Alongside my research, I also supervise a DPhil student, teach other lab members lab techniques and help manage the lab ordering, storage and organisation. While not officially part of my job, I am the current chair of the RDM Researcher Association which involves overseeing organisation of social & academic events to bring members of the community together.
I previously completed a PhD in Cancer Sciences at the University of Southampton graduating in 2016. I moved straight into this postdoc position and have now been here 4 years.
As a researcher within Medical Sciences I am helping to progress science and research to understand viral control. Particularly in the current climate, my research has shifted to focus on control of SARS-CoV-2 virus investigating how we can improve vaccine design against this virus in the future.
What is the most meaningful aspect of your work?
The most meaningful aspect to me is teaching other researchers and students and helping them to understand the complexities of immunology. This is the aspect of my job that I enjoy the most and I feel it is an important part of my job.
Can you tell us about something you've done, contributed to that you're most proud of?
I have been involved with the RDM Researcher Association since its inception in 2018. Since then, we have run several successful events, however the event I am most proud of was a ‘Mindfulness Morning’ we ran in January 2020. At this event, which I spearheaded and organised, we focussed on supporting researcher’s mental health by running mindfulness sessions and highlighting all of the support available through Medical Sciences, as well as providing free coffee & pastries. This event was well attended and received excellent feedback. I think mental health in academia is something that needs to be highlighted and addressed regularly and I am hopeful we can run similar events in the future to help improve people’s experience at work.
What changes would you most like to see in the Medical Sciences in the next 100 years?
While there is now more diversity within Medical Sciences I would like to see this continue to be a key area of improvement in the future. I think this can only be achieved through changes in how science is funded and allowing people to feel stable and supported within their roles in order to focus on scientific advances.