I am a doctoral researcher in the Maternal and Fetal Health Research Group, Developmental Biology and Medicine at The University of Manchester under the supervision of Dr Mark Dilworth and Dr Susan Greenwood.
My research aims to understand more about how nutrients are transported by the placenta during pregnancy. This is important because problems with the placenta can lead to a disorder called Fetal Growth Restriction (FGR), where the baby does not grow to its full potential and is at increased risk of stillbirth.
My current work assesses placentas from normal and FGR pregnancies (human and mouse models) to understand more about the relationship between placental function and pregnancy outcome. This knowledge is essential to enable researchers to develop ways to treat babies that aren't growing as well as they should.
I have extensive experience in patient and public involvement and engagement. My contributions range from the promotion of science online via blog posts and short films; engagement with young people as a Widening Participation Fellow and a PhD tutor with The Brilliant Club; to oral science communication such as the 3 Minute Thesis (The University of Manchester Winner 2016) and FameLab competitions.
Frustrated with the way science is portrayed in the media, I co-developed the Have You Heard? project in 2017. Have You Heard? aims to clear the haze that often surrounds scientific discoveries in the headlines, through face-to-face sessions with local community groups, and the development of an easy to use infographic which lays out the easy steps to reading research in the news.
I have also co-ordinated and contributed to large-scale public engagement events, most notably Pint of Science Festival (which brings science to a public audience in the pub) and ‘Before You Were Born’ – where more than 230 attendees learnt about what the placenta is and what it does, whilst taking part in a host of interactive activities.
As a member of the Maternal and Fetal Health Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement steering group, I have contributed to the establishment of a Patient Panel to inform our research, and have facilitated face-to-face sessions with members of the public.
I have given invited talks about my research at events such as Pint of Science festival 2018 and Science Uncovered at Manchester Museum.
My work has led to a plethora of accolates including the Outstanding Contribution to Society and Best Research Film awards.
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science, 1st Class, Edinburgh Napier University
International Exchange, 2.95 GPA, University of Vermont
Memberships of committees and professional bodies
The Physiological Society
European Placenta Group
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
I am one of two elected Early Career Researcher representatives for the International Federation of Placenta Associations (IFPA)
I am Postgraduate (PGR) Representative for the Division of Developmental Biology and Medicine. In this role I initiated the collation, and development of, resources specific for postgraduate research (PGR) students (Wellbeing flyer, online resources). I am a member of the Doctoral Academy Wellbeing working group and contribute to the Faculty's PGR-focused wellbing initiative.
I am a member of the student-led Medical Research Council (MRC) Committee committee responsible for the organisation and development of training opportunities, keynote talks and seminars.