Professor of Immunology
Radcliffe Department of Medicine – MRC Human Immunology Unit
Nuffield Department of Medicine-CAMS Oxford Institute
Tell us a bit about your role
I am an immunologist studying an important subset of immune cells call “killer T cells” which are responsible for mopping up the virus infected cells or cancer cells in our body.
I came to Oxford with my husband in 1993 who at the time had a DPhil scholarship in the physical Chemistry department. I got a job as research assistant at the Oxford immunology group soon after I arrived, and then got a scholarship and started a part-time DPhil, moving on to a postdoc in 1998, research lecture in 2007 then professor in Oxford in 2014.
I would like to see myself as one of the “T cell expert” in MSD and other research networks: understanding these cells is critically important to have a comprehensive understanding of disease . COVID-19 is a typical example of how well MSD scientist with different expertiseworking together as one team and reacting and contributing to solving COVID crisis so quickly.
What is the most meaningful aspect of your work?
Understanding the disease and translating this knowledge to therapy as well as training and mentoring young and talented scientist.
Can you tell us about something you've done, contributed to that you're most proud of?
Made use of my knowledge built up on studying T cells in virus and cancer to COVID research, and generated useful reagents and tools and knowledge to this new virus in a very short time, making these available to the wider immunology community nationally and internationally. I'm very proud that my team did our bit and have and will continue to contribute with many others in MSD until we find a way to control the disease.
What changes would you most like to see in the Medical Sciences in the next 100 years?
This is a question I need to think about more; I guess see more women scientist get recognised at senior level, and more funding to encourage young scientist to presuming their career in medical science.