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Meet our Tribe – Emma Lofthouse @Emlofthouse

We believe our Customers aka Our Tribe are the most awesome people out there changing the world through their passions of Science, Technology, Maths or Engineering.

This week’s #ChangeTheFace #FollowFriday shares a glimpse into the life of Emma Lofthouse

Emma Lofthouse - Stereotypeclothing Blog

Name: Emma Lofthouse

How can people follow you? @Emlofthouse (twitter) @emmalofthouse89 (instagram)

Degree: Biochemistry. PhD in placental membrane transport

 

What do you currently do as a job?

I’m a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Southampton in Human Development and Health.

I study how nutrients, drugs and toxins are transferred across the placenta to the developing fetus.

My current project investigates how bile acids alter placental function in cholestasis pregnancies.

 

Who or what inspired you to become a scientist?

I’ve always loved science since school.

My science teachers were a massive inspiration for me and I like to think I now inspire students with my outreach and public engagement.

 

What excites you about your passion right now?

Science is full of ups and downs but I always try to be a positive person. At the moment I’m quite excited about a drug transporter called OATP4A1 in the placenta.

It transports all sorts of stuff but I’m focusing on its ability to transport bile acids.

Normally, bile acids go from the fetus to the placenta and back to the mother to avoid toxicity.

However, in a condition called cholestasis, the mother has very high levels of these bile acids so this gradient is reversed and all the bile acids build up in the fetus.

Unfortunately, in severe cases this can result in the fetus dying in the very end stages of pregnancy.

My work has discovered that OATP4A1 plays quite a key role in transferring these bile acids to the baby so it’s a potential target for therapy.

 

What’s been your greatest scientific achievement to date?

Success in science appears to be determined by high impact papers and grant money! I’ve not got any grants yet but I have published several papers in the Journal of Physiology and the American Journal of Physiology.

I’ve currently got a massive paper underway which, if it ever get published, will hopefully be amazing.

I’m also very proud of my –a-MAZE-ing placenta project (look on Twitter, you can’t miss it!). it’s a wooden maze game where the maze represents the placenta and the ball is a nutrient which you have to get to the baby’s umbilical cord in the middle of the maze.

Along the way, obstacles representing pregnancy problems have to be negotiated!

 

Who are you most inspired by today?

Wow that’s difficult.

Science is hard and I am in awe of everyone that manages to maintain a healthy work life balance and bring up a family.

I think I’d also have to say all the women in STEM that are doing amazing work to break down stereotypes and stand up for themselves.

 

What do you see yourself doing in ten years time?

Hopefully, I’ll be a lecturer, which is wear my strengths have always been; teaching.

Before I did my PhD I almost became a teacher so maybe I’ll be able to have the best of both worlds. It would be nice to be able to teach and maintain a research career.

 

If you could sum up being a scientist in one sentence, what would it be?

The constant quest for knowledge and understanding while building up a rhino skin that can take failure after failure and learn from it!

Meet our Tribe - Lisa Jones - Stereotype Clothing

Meet our Tribe – Lisa Jones @lisa_inascienceworld @inascienceworld

We believe our Customers aka Our Tribe are the most awesome people out there changing the world through their passions of Science, Technology, Maths or Engineering.

This week’s #ChangeTheFace #FollowFriday shares a glimpse into the life of Lisa Jones.

Meet our Tribe - Lisa Jones - Stereotype Clothing

Follow Lisa at:

Science blog website: https://inascienceworldblog.wordpress.com/

Instagram: @lisa_inascienceworld

Twitter: @inascienceworld

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inascienceworld/

 

Here is her story  in her own words and why she is proud to be a Scientist, looking effortlessly cool in our Black Scientist Jumper with white writing.

Degree: BSc (Hons) Physiology
What subjects did you need to do at school for that? 

Biology was definitely the main one I needed at A-Level. I studied mathematics as well which universities liked but it wasn’t compulsory.

So I’m a bit of an odd case really. I never set out to go into science when I started my A-Levels.

I absolutely loved art and graphic design when I went through high school so my plan was to be a graphic designer!

My main subject choice was therefore graphic art and I also chose geography as I found it really interesting and was given the opportunity to start it a year early.

Biology and maths were my final choices.

Turns out I discovered a love and curiosity for science!

 

What do you currently do as a job?

I’m a final year PhD student in developmental physiology at the University of Southampton, UK.

My research is investigating the effect of maternal diets (high-fat and vitamin D deficient) during pregnancy on the baby’s muscle function in later life.

I’ve completed all my laboratory research and I’m now running through lots of statistical analysis in order to write this thesis, so a lot of desk work!

To break it up I also write a science blog.

I’m a keen science communicator so I love working on this!

As a side to my PhD I’m currently doing a science communication internship which was been really interesting and I’ve learnt lots of new skills from it.

My main role has been to film and edit interviews I conduct with other academics in my institute, all with the aim to increase the public’s understanding of the science we do here.

 

Who or what inspired you to become a Scientist?

I didn’t have that one person I was inspired by, it just sort of happened.

As I said before, I always thought I was going to pursue a more creative route.

However, I fell in love with biology at A-Level, which lead to me completing my undergrad in physiology.

During this time, I found the endocrinology and reproductive modules so fascinating, and that lead to my masters of research in maternal and fetal health.

I enjoyed my masters but I still wasn’t sure of my career direction.

One day whilst I was writing my MRes dissertation I saw an email about the PhD I’m now doing.

It sounded like such an exciting project, I just had to apply!

And here I am soon to be Dr. Jones.

 

What excites you about your passion right now?

My current passion is science communication. Since starting my science blog I’ve discovered the amazing world of sci-comm and I’ve interacted with other inspiring people I wouldn’t have otherwise.

I realised that making the science in the lab isn’t my jam, but communicating the complex science to the public is what I really love!

One of my main blog features involves me sharing PhD SOS tips. I love to share my experiences and dish out advice.

Those posts always get a good amount of engagement, so it’s great to know I’m helping others too.

There are so many avenues science communication could take me, which is exciting in itself. I think it’s a vital part of the science world.

Science research is government-funded so it’s only fair we share our findings with the public, and I’m excited to be a part of that process.

 

What has been your greatest achievement to date scientifically?

My first scientific journal paper has recently been published!

This was work from my MRes (four years ago!) all about using therapeutics to target the placenta in order to enhance its function.

Any scientist will understand the pure excitement when you get your first publication! I actually wrote a blog post explaining it in an easy to digest way (find it here).

 

Who are  you most inspired by today?

All the wonderful science bloggers and communicators I’ve come across!

There’s now a wealth of scientists sharing their PhD/STEM journeys on social media which is fantastic.

I learn a lot from these other scientists every day, we have interesting conversations and there’s always another person who can relate to a problem you may have.

The scicomm world is an extremely supportive one, especially all the wonderful ladies part of @thestemsquad.

 
What do you see yourself doing in 10yrs time?

Oh tricky question.

Right now I definitely see myself somewhere in the science communication sector, but who knows where exactly that will take me!

Maybe I’ll be a science writer, maybe I’ll be in a mentoring role inspiring the younger generation to follow a career in science, or maybe I’ll be the next Brian Cox!

Let’s see what the future holds.

 
If you could could sum up being a Scientist in one sentence, what would it be?

The creator of new knowledge with the role to share it with the world.

 

Thanks Lisa for your answers!  Excited to watch you shine in the coming years!

Meet our Tribe – Rebecca Dewey @rebecca_penguin @UoNresearch @UoNPressOffice @hearingnihr

We believe our Customers aka Our Tribe are the most awesome people out there changing the world through their passions of Science, Technology, Maths or Engineering.

This week’s #ChangeTheFace #FollowFriday shares a glimpse into the life of Rebecca Dewey.

Follow Rebecca at:

Twitter: @rebecca_penguin

Here is her story  in her own words and why she is proud to be a Scientist, rocking our Grey Scientist Jumper with Pink writing as her personal favourite design.

 

Degree: Masters in physics (MPhys) and PhD
What subjects did you need to do at school for that? 
At GCSE, IT and maths were the most useful, besides science.
Then I took AS levels in physics, chemistry, maths and further maths. For A level, I dropped chemistry as our school only let you do 3 subjects.

 

What do you currently do as a job?

I’m a research fellow in brain imaging.

I use MRI scanners to answer questions about how the brain works. Typically I take on a project that lasts 3 years.

The project I’m on at the moment is looking at the way noise exposure affects how our brains process sounds. This means that I first needed to design an experiment that I think will answer my question.

Having done that, I am now carrying out my study – I need to find 90 people, all with a very specific set of hearing abilities, and covering a wide range of noise exposures. I test their hearing and record their brain activity in response to some sounds.

When I’ve got all 90 people, I will need to analyse the data and try to draw some conclusions about whether it’s answered my question or not – whether noise exposure does affect how our brains work.

 
Who or what inspired you to become a Scientist?
 

I was really lucky that as a kid, I watched things like the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on television and was inspired by people like Nancy Rothwell and Susan Greenfield.

I could relate to what they were telling me. I am super nosey and wanted to be the first person to find out new science – like scientific gossip!

These women made me realise that a girl could expect to achieve that, and how fun it could be travelling around the world being an action scientist!

 
What excites you about your passion right now?
I want to make everyone realise that science isn’t just for academics in universities.
Science is really useful and could help you improve your quality of life, beat your illness, climb a mountain, invent a cool gadget, see the world and live forever.
Science really is for everyone, honest! Nothing should stop you from finding your area of interest and immersing yourself in it.
What has been your greatest achievement to date scientifically?
An MRI scanner can take all different kinds of pictures depending on what you tell it to measure.
There are probably millions of different measurements you can use it to make. I love it when I manage to get the MRI scanner to take exactly the picture I want it to: sometimes I need a tool I can use to compare different people’s brains, or watch the effect of a drug on a person’s brain or whatever.
Getting that really perfect kind of picture with the right contrast and signal is so exciting.
Who are  you most inspired by today?

I’m so inspired by the new generation of scientists – they’ve got all their excitement to come.

They really are a blank slate and can be anything they want to be. I’m also really inspired by people who do science in the face of adversity.

People in the developing world, and women in countries where it’s a taboo to be an academic or a scientist as well as being female. I can’t imagine what that’s like and I’m so proud of you.

 
What do you see yourself doing in 10yrs time?

I don’t have a plan, I’m afraid. I hope that doesn’t sound disorganised, but in my experience the best career steps are often unplanned.

I want to be an opportunist and embrace whatever life throws at me.

I definitely see myself in science. I want to be inspired by and inspiring women and girls everywhere to do the things they find the most rewarding.

I want to unleash the inner scientist in everyone.

 
If you could could sum up being a Scientist in one sentence, what would it be?

I want to know all the things!

 

Thanks Rebecca for your answers!  We want to know all things too!

Meet our Tribe – Sophie Arthur @sophtalkssci #ChangeTheFace

We believe our Customers aka Our Tribe are the most awesome people out there changing the world through their passions of Science, Technology, Maths or Engineering.

This week’s #ChangeTheFace #FollowFriday shares a glimpse into the life of Sophie Arthur.

Follow Sophie at:

Instagram: @soph.talks.science

Twitter: @sophtalkssci

Blog: https://sophtalksscience.wordpress.com/

 

Here is her story  in her own words and why she is proud to be a Scientist, rocking our Black Scientist Tshirt with White writing as her personal favourite design.

 

Degree:  Molecular and Cellular Biology
What subjects did you need to do at school for that? 
I knew that I would have to study Biology, Chemistry and Maths at A-Level to do this degree. I love science hence why I am still doing it now.
But this was all a bit science heavy, so I thought I would break up the STEM a bit during my last years in school by studying another A-Level which was another one of my passions – languages – so I studied French too as sort of my ‘chill’ subject to get me thinking in a different way and breaking up the coursework and experiments with science. In fact, French was the A-Level that I got my highest grade in, but I still opted for science.

 

What do you currently do as a job?
I am heading into my final year as a PhD student. So I get all the perks of still being a student, but I basically have a normal job doing research in the lab.
It’s a great way to still cling onto student life before having to enter the real world of work. My research looks at stem cell metabolism and how it keeps my stem cells pluripotent; or keep them as stem cells, where we can hopefully apply this knowledge to create a better source of cells for future regenerative medicine applications.
I spent most of my days setting up and analysing experiments that I’ve done in the lab, but I am also a really enthusiastic science communication so I have a bit of a side hustle doing that through my social media and connecting what I do in the lab with the general public.
 
Who or what inspired you to become a Scientist?
This is going to be a really uninspiring answer, but I don’t have that one person or that one moment that made me realise I wanted to be a scientist.
Science was what I was good at at school and science was what I enjoyed most at school. So it was a natural progression for me. But I initially wanted to be a doctor because my naivety when I was younger was not aware that I could have a job as a scientist.
I thought the only science based career that I could have was being a doctor, but as my studies have progressed I have been introduced to so many different options. I still don’t feel I can call myself a scientist and still not sure that I want to continue being a scientist.
Not because I don’t like it because I love scientific research, but because I am now more aware of the opportunities out there that involve science and I’m still finding the right way for me. I guess the answer to your question is that science inspired me.
I love working out the intricate details of whats going on in your cells and then sharing that with anyone who will listen. 
 
What excites you about your passion right now?
Science communication. I’m not sure if it’s because I am more aware of the online scicomm community now or because it has boomed recently.
I love sharing my science and other research across social media and my blog to inspire future scientists, to support other grad students and also to help the public feel more confident talking and learning about science, but I also love learning from the other science communicators out there.
It is really exciting to see this blossoming community that are breaking down big science stories and making science exciting for everyone, especially due to the whole science funding, science policies and public support vicious circle at the moment. Hopefully if we can get the public more interested in science, the funding situation will improve.
Plus I am absolutely loving science communication and all the exciting opportunities its bringing me.
 
What has been your greatest achievement to date scientifically?
I am currently writing up all the data I’ve collected during my PhD into a few different publications.
It might not sound like the most exciting achievement in the world but I am super proud of myself that I have generated all this new and exciting data by myself that is good enough to share with the rest of the scientific world. I also feel quite proud of the fact that I have been allowed to teach and mentor students in the lab and also that I have reached the stage where I can have full on conversations with my supervisors about where to take my research in my final year of PhD study and designing and troubleshooting experiments.
Little things I know. But science is all about celebrating the small wins!
 
Who are  you most inspired by today?
I would have to say Sammantha Yammine aka @science.sam. She is one of these incredible science communicators I have gotten to know online and she inspires me every day! I love the way she shares her life as a neuroscience PhD researcher and I love her passion for sharing science with anyone that wants to listen to her.
How she manages to do all her PhD research with what is basically another full time in science communication and do it to such a high standard whilst also having a life outside of science is mind boggling to me! She works so incredible hard and is so passionate about everything she does and she should get the recognition she so thoroughly deserves.
But Sam’s passion and work inspires me every single day!
 
What do you see yourself doing in 10yrs time?
Honestly! I am really not sure!
I love being a researcher but I am really excited about this science communication adventure I have started.
So, I will either be a full time science communicator – hopefully the UK version of Science Sam, or in my dreams the level of Bill Nye – or I will still be in research and doing scicomm as my side hustle. I honestly don’t know and not sure I am ready to give up my research completely.
Only time will tell!
 
If you could could sum up being a Scientist in one sentence, what would it be?

One of the only careers in the world where you can make world-first discoveries! What could be more exciting than that?

 

Thanks Sophie for your answers!  We love your passion and message and keep it up!

Follow Sophie at:

Instagram: @soph.talks.science

Twitter: @sophtalkssci

Blog: https://sophtalksscience.wordpress.com/

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