08 March 2019
#WomenOfKings - Alexandra Santos
Celebrating and elevating King’s women for International Women's Day.
It's International Women's Day on Friday 8 March – a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year's theme is Balance for Better, which calls for a more gender-balanced society. From the board room to the government, media coverage to employment, gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.
To celebrate International Women's Day, we spoke to women from the Faculty of Life Science & Medicine King's about their careers, inspirations and what drives them.
"I hope that we can stop the allergy epidemic and find curative treatments for food allergy and prevent its development in the future"
Dr Alexandra Santos is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Paediatric Allergy from the School of Immunology & Microbial Sciences and the School of Life Course Sciences.
What are you proudest of in your career?
Securing £1.85 million in MRC funding about one month before giving birth to my son and returning from maternity leave to start an exciting new project in my new role as Senior Clinical Lecturer. These were major steps in my career and in my personal life and an example that one can succeed both at work and at home. It was a very busy but extremely rewarding time!
Why did you decide to go into this field of study/research/work?
I have always been passionate about research, even before I decided I wanted to study medicine. My fascination with immunology and my love to work with children made me decide to go into paediatric allergy and to become a Clinical Academic combining clinical and laboratory research into food allergy.
What would you tell women who want to study in your field?
To anyone who wants to study paediatric allergy, I would encourage them as allergies are increasing at a pace that is not commeasured by that of training of clinicians and that research is a need raised daily in the clinic by patients and their families that we must address to improve the standard of care we provide.
Who or what made you want to work in this field? How has your field changed since you started, and where do you see it going in the future?
The focus of my research is food allergy. Since I started, there have been a lot of exciting new developments with new diagnostic tests and new treatments emerging and making the transition to clinical practice. The number of publications, scientific meetings and clinicians and researchers in the field has increased significantly, which is very positive. I hope that we can stop the allergy epidemic and find curative treatments for food allergy and prevent its development in the future.