International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2021
Read more about some of our amazing female researchers and clinicians from around the College!
"My name is Dr Claire Durrant and I am a Race Against Dementia Dyson fellow working on understanding why connections between nerve cells are damaged in Alzheimer's disease."
Dr Ting Shi is an epidemiologist with a particular interest in global respiratory epidemiology.
She has recently been awarded a Chancellor’s Fellowship to continue developing her career within the important field of respiratory epidemiology and related health services research and modelling.
She will develop and apply innovative research methods to large-scale multi-centre datasets to improve the safe provision, efficiency of healthcare and health service planning for people with respiratory infections.
Professor Wardlaw works for the University of Edinburgh and the NHS Lothian. She is an expert in brain scanning. Her research focuses on trying to prevent stroke, to treat stroke, to find better ways of diagnosing stroke, and to find out more about the causes of different types of stroke.
Because she specialises in brain scanning, much of Professor Wardlaw's research has used different types of brain scanning to answer these questions.
Over the years, she has contributed to research that has led to faster scanning of patients when they come to hospital after a TIA or stroke, to clot-busting treatments for stroke, and now is researching ways of stopping small strokes that can happen without the patient noticing but build up and cause long-term damage to thinking skills.
These studies have changed guidelines for how to treat patients with stroke all over the world.
"I am Lonneke Vervelde, Professor in Veterinary Immunology at the University of Edinburgh, working at the Roslin Institute.
I work on the avian immune system, unravelling how pathogens modulate immune responses to survive and how we can intervene and modulate the immune system to improve disease resistance, health and welfare."
"I am Susan Farrington (at the front in the blue labcoat); I work to identify and understand colorectal cancer risk factors, the interplay between them and to utilise the information to improve diagnosis and prognosis.
Pushing science forwards requires different ways of thinking - girls are great at thinking differently!
This is a picture of six female scientists (myself, cancer geneticist/my student/2 engineers/a medical physicist and a surgeon), who travelled to Lund, Sweden for a meeting with our collaborator on a Cancer Research UK project."
"I am a Professor of Transplant Surgery, combining my academic interests in research and teaching with my role as a kidney and pancreas transplant surgeon.
Women remain a minority in surgery, but that is changing, and it is an exciting and challenging career open to everyone!"
"I am Katrin Ottersbach, Professor of Developmental Haematology, at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine. We are interested in how blood develops in the embryo and how blood cancer in babies initiates pre-birth.
Diversity increases the productivity and creativity of any team. Women and girls are just as capable of succeeding at STEM subjects as men and boys are and should therefore be equally represented."
Here is an image of Dr Fiona Borthwick teaching on a field trip last year on sustainable tea production plantations in Kerala, India as part of the 2nd year Global Agriculture and Food Security ‘Tea Trek’.
Dr Borthwick is programme director of the MSc Global Food Security and Nutrition.
"I am a speciality registrar in trauma and orthopaedics currently taking time out of programme as a Scottish Orthopaedic Research Trust Into Trauma (SORT-IT) Research Fellow.
The research I am carrying out as part of my MD focuses on distal radius fractures in the elderly."
"I am an internal medicine specialist vet who is completing a PhD in Tissue Repair to be able to use the techniques and knowledge gained to continue to work on and improve inflammatory conditions in humans and animals alike.
I am investigating how innate immune cells contribute to acute liver injury and repair to identify methods to improve the repair process.
Our way has been paved by many bright pioneering minds before us, and we shall continue to shine through any adversity to drive scientific discovery and equality."
"I’m a graduate of Clare College, Cambridge, and now Professor of Stroke and Elderly Care Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.
I am a stroke clinician and geriatrician, with responsibilities in the NHS. I'm also President Elect of the British Association of Stroke Physicians, Co-lead of Cochrane Stroke, and Co-Chair of the guideline group of the World Stroke Organisation.
My research focuses on the care needs of people who survive stroke, and how to improve their quality of life.
For example, our group has shown that exercise training reduces disability after stroke; and we have just completed a trial of a cognitive behavioural intervention for post-stroke fatigue that we will report soon.
It’s been a massive privilege to study medicine and to practise as a doctor, and also to make new discoveries through research.
Girls often excel in science at school, and I would strongly encourage girls to consider a career in scientific research or academic medicine. The opportunities that exist for careers in science are immensely exciting and extremely fulfilling."
Katherine Ross Stewart
Kate is a Wellcome Trust PhD Tissue Repair student in the Brittan Mairi Lab and a representative on the University of Edinburgh Doctoral College.
She researches the genes driving zebrafish heart regeneration to improve regenerative medicine strategies for humans after heart attacks.
Sinead conducts research into thinking, learning and mental health in children and young people with neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD, DCD/Dyspraxia and autism.
She works closely with these children and families in engaging them with research.
Sinead is extensively involved in public engagement activities and is the founder of the project 'Research the Headlines'. She is the academic lead for public engagement for Neurosciences in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.
Sonja Vermeren's lab works on cross-talk P13K and small GTPase signaling and how this underpins neutrophil and endothelial cell function.
"My lab is all female at the moment; and I recently created this image for the lab Twitter account homepage. I thought it was a nice representation of these strange times where we all have to wear face coverings and work in isolation while still being a (distanced) team."
"I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences where I investigate Huntington's Disease and how this disease causes defects at the presynaptic terminal of neurons."
"My name is Heather Mathie and I’m a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Roslin.
I’m currently studying the response of dendritic cells (a type of immune cell) to various vaccines, with the aim of identifying changes that take place in these cells when protection is achieved."
"I am a Consultant Hand Surgeon at St John’s Hospital, NHS Lothian and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Edinburgh University.
In my Hand Surgery Practice, I champion trainee’s career progression through my role as Educational Supervisor. In my University role, my research interests are Wrist Biomechanics and dart throwers motion and tissue engineering flexor tendon to bone constructs, through my supervisor of PhD and other students.
In my free time enjoy country walks and photography."
"I am Professor of Regenerative Neurology and honorary Consultant of Neurology here.
I run a research group in the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Institute of Regeneration and Repair. My research group investigates diseases of the brain including multiple sclerosis and vascular dementia.
In my research group, there are 12 women out of 14 members, which is great, but we still need to encourage women into the more senior roles. It is happening, but we need to keep working at it!"
"I am interested in understanding the neurobiology of learning and memory, such as why we remember some events yet forget others, how the brain encodes memories and subsequently transfers them to long term memories.
Whilst you may remember details of what you ate, or what you wore, during a romantic dinner-date many years ago, you are much less likely to remember similar details from a more recent, yet random dinner.
I hope that, through my research, we gain a better understanding of how our brains learn new information and store this information.
If you are passionate about something, stay curious and go for it!"
Ruth Fowler and Cristina Soare
Dr Ruth Fowler and Dr Cristina Soare are both members of the MSc Food Safety online programme team.
In this image they are pictured alongside their colleague, Dr Alex Seguino, preparing for a meat inspection demonstration to undergraduate vets.
Professor Evi Theodoratou’s group works on genetic and molecular epidemiology methods in colorectal cancer and other chronic diseases.
To the right you can find a photo of her fantastic group: Theresa Kirkpatrick (study co-ordinator), Ines Mesa-Eguiagaray (statistical geneticist), Xue Li (research fellow), Wei Xu (PhD student), Xiaomeng Zhang (Phd student), Jennifer Devlin (research midwife), Lijuan Wang (research associate) and Evi Theodoratou (principal investigator).
"I am a neuroscientist, research group leader at the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh. We are studying how neuronal circuits in the brain process visual information.
Enjoying scientific freedom, creativity and discoveries every single day!"
"I am a PhD student in Neuroscience, researching the mechanisms that drive localisation of ion channels in neurons. These are necessary for proper signal transmission within the nervous system."
Here is Rosie Mcmanus, a current PhD student, becoming a commercial drone pilot for her PhD project.
Professor Lisa Boden is Rosie's supervisor - Lisa recently co-hosted the World One Health Congress in 2020. The University of Edinburgh was the local partner for this event.
There were 44,456 users of the WOHC website, with 1090 abstracts, 156 oral presentations and 934 posters.
Generation Scotland Team
I am a recruitment co-ordinator for Generation Scotland and led in the communications for RuralCovidLife. A survey looking to understand the health and wellbeing of people in Rural Scotland during COVID-19 lockdown.
I recently joined Generation Scotland as a research fellow. I analyse the responses to our CovidLife survey, with a particular focus on how COVID-19 has impacted health and wellbeing.
I am a data collection officer for Generation Scotland and created the CovidLife survey. I work with other health researchers to decide what to include in our surveys.
I’m the Generation Scotland administrator. I am the first to respond to volunteer emails and I help to manage access to Generation Scotland data.
I’m a Research Support Officer for Generation Scotland. I manage the finance and all ethics applications for the study.
I am a recruitment co-ordinator for Generation Scotland and manage all communications for the study. I really enjoy engaging with our volunteers and want them to feel included in our research.
I’m the Generation Scotland Operations Manager and am responsible for all the different projects the team work on.
I work in communications for Generation Scotland. I am responsible for our social media and our website.
Here is the fantastic all-female Miron Lab at work! Read more about Dr Veronique's lab and their research projects using the link below.
"Science is not just about field work and publishing papers. It’s critical to disseminate findings to policy-makers and the general public.
Women should be represented on all conference panels & invited to speak, particularly on topics that impact women – such as environmental pollutants."
Lindsay is here speaking in January 2020, just before the pandemic, at a conference in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Divya is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh supervised by Dr. Lindsay Jaacks.
She is studying sustainable agriculture practices in India, and says, "Women and girls in science are crucial because good science cannot happen without all perspectives at the table."