During the COVID-19 pandemic I have been working with i-sense on understanding COVID-19 related data sets, drawing out policy relevant narratives around mobility and cases rates, and the importance of local level engagement.
I am currently on secondment to the Joint Biosecurity Centre, which is the COVID-19 data hub in government. I have also started new role as UCL Public Policy Engagement Facilitator.
As a PhD student I was affiliated to the i-sense IRC, working on using atomic force microscopy to detect and investigate the action of antimicrobials. One project uses the AFM to carry out high resolution imaging of the action of novel antimicrobial compounds on live bacterial cells. AFM allows us to visualise what happens to individual cells in real time with nm resolution, providing mechanistic insights unobtainable using other methods. Another project uses the AFM as a sensor to detect the nanomechanical fluctuations of bacteria. These can rapidly provide information regarding antibiotic susceptibility which could be used for improved diagnostics. I am looking at applying this to detecting uropathogenic E. coli and also to M. tuberculosis.
During my PhD I took time out to work at the Government Office for Science (GO Science) where I worked on the Areas of Research Interest (ARIs), which are a mechanism for improving public policy engagement with academia and the research community.
My undergraduate and masters background is in molecular and cellular biochemistry, but I have also studied bioscience and medicine from a societal perspective, including health economics and policy. Prior to starting my PhD studies, I worked at the academic journal Scientific Reports (part of the Nature Publishing Group family), where I was involved in developing and implementing editorial biosecurity policies for research of dual-use.