Briefly, tell us about your background and career up to this point?
I grew up in a village in North Wales, living a quiet and relatively sheltered life before going away to university. As a scientist, I’ve enjoyed an interesting and varied career working on the interface between academia and industry. Before starting at KCL, this has included employment in big-pharma as a post-graduate, the usual well-trodden territory of PhD and post-doc positions, and directing a small company spun out of an academic discovery I conceived to complete my journey.
What is a typical day like for you?
Rise and shine with coffee as a must (my brain works best early and caffeinated), followed by an hour-long, adrenaline-charged cycle to campus. The diverse tasks of an academic make ‘typical’ difficult to describe, but it would invariably include reading and writing papers, putting together funding applications, communicating with collaborators, teaching, assessment and administration. I should also mention that the memorable days include the paper that finally gets published, the funding that is awarded (sometimes in the timeliest fashion), the students I know I have inspired, and unexpected scientific discoveries (serendipity).
What do you do with your time outside work?
One of my favourite things to do is letting my hair down and playing the drums or going to a gig. I love to travel, play board games with my kids and have an interest in art which means galleries, exhibitions and studios are all on my agenda, and sometimes even picking up a paint brush myself.
What is something positive that has happened to you in 2021?
At the start of 2020 I had three principal, life-changing goals; this turned out to be exceptionally optimistic when combined with a pandemic! One of these goals was to explore alternative employment opportunities. I happened across the perfect position in early 2021 at KCL which I applied for; the most positive thing to happen later the same year was an offer for this position.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Being the first in my family to obtain a PhD and making my mum proud.
What is your favourite thing about working at King’s?
Among the great, many positives of working at KCL is the collaborative nature of my colleagues. This provides a fantastically unique and positive atmosphere to work in, with opportunities aplenty.