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5 minutes with Claire Steves

We recently caught up with Professor Claire Steves, who has been appointed as the new Head of the Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology. Claire shares insight into her inspiration, background and goals alongside a quick fire round covering everything from her favourite season to a typical coffee order.

Professor Claire Steves 780x450

What is a typical day at King’s like for you?

I start my day in a whirlwind sending three children off to school. It’s almost a break when I jump on the train and start the day checking my long list of emails on my journey to the department. Once I arrive my schedule is then full with back to back meetings with my team so I can provide them with the advice and support they need to ensure that the many projects we have on the go progress well. I also meet with collaborators from all over the world to incentive our research further and present our work at various conferences to disseminate our research not just to the science community but also to the general public.

What do you do with your time outside academia/work?

In my free time, I love playing with my kids and explore the world with them not just physically but intellectually.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I am looking forward to developing, together with others, our new Centre for Ageing Resilience in a Changing Environment for which we have just been awarded funding.

Who inspires you most and why?

I am constantly inspired by the people I work with; their energy and drive and how they bounce ideas from each other. I am also in awe of our twinsuk cohort of volunteers. Over the years, the twins have given their free time, data and samples which led to many important research discoveries and advanced science. I am looking forward to continuing to work with them so we can progress science further.

What is something positive that happened to you in 2023?

My second child started secondary school this year and is thriving. I am really happy that he’s flourishing after this new step in the wider world.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

It will have to be leading the TwinsUK team.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

My current goal is to grow our capacity to deliver impactful research for older people and empower the next generation of researchers to cultivate their passion for science and focus on not just treating illness but to ensure we get to prevent them too. I see myself as just one member in a big team with the skills and talent to continue to further this important research field.


Favourite season: Autumn – I love mushrooms and chestnuts

Favourite book: The Aubrey–Maturin series by Patrick O’Brien

Favourite scientist: Marie Curie

Favourite cuisine: Indian food

Coffee order: Cappuccino with chocolate on top

One thing you could not go a day without: Morning cuddles from my children

Describe yourself in three words… Positive, energetic, kind

Most-used emoji: Smiley face

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