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Fellows returning to Medical Sciences

Dr Nicola Farrer

Following degrees from the University of Cambridge I undertook postdoctoral research at the University of Warwick. I then took a three-year break to have two sons before restarting my career with a Daphne Jackson Fellowship in the Chemical Research Laboratory of the University of Oxford in October 2014. My aim is to use physical methods to achieve controlled delivery of novel metal drugs (more detail here http://research.chem.ox.ac.uk/nicola-farrer.aspx.)

The application and interview process for the Daphne Jackson Fellowship is much more flexible and constructive than for traditional fellowships. The training course in media skills has aided me when I’ve been approached by journalists to provide comment on published papers in my field. In conjunction with the supportive environment in Oxford, the Fellowship has given me chance to re-establish myself, obtain exciting new results in a worthwhile field of research, and hopefully attract subsequent funding.

Host: University of Oxford
Sponsors; Royal Society of Chemistry & MRC

Dr Gretel Finch

Gretel Finch gained her first degree in Food Science and her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Reading (Institute of Food Research).  After a 10 year career break to raise a family, Gretel was awarded a Daphne Jackson Fellowship at the University of Bristol.  She is working in the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit (NBU) investigating factors affecting maternal eating behavior using quantitative and qualitative measures.  Recent National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidelines have outlined that postpartum weight gain can significantly increase the risk of future obesity.  Gretel has gained experience in qualitative skills, NHS ethical approval, and novel psychophysical techniques to measure eating behavior.  She has also completed a Breastfeeding Specialist course and is gaining clinical practice to qualify as a Lactation Consultant.  Highlights of the Fellowship include forging independent collaborations with a multidisciplinary team, refreshing and learning new research skills, and realizing her potential and gaining confidence.


Host & Sponsor: University of Bristol


Dr Elaine Hunter

Elaine Hunter (nee Flynn) began her research career investigating the interplay between membrane potential, calcium stores and contractility in vascular smooth muscle. She carried out her PhD at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, USA. Where her PhD research programme, with Professor Kenton Sanders, investigated “Ionic Conductances Involved In The Electrical Activity Of The Canine Gastrointestinal Tract”. Elaine has also worked with Dr. J. McCarron investigating Ca2+ handling in smooth muscle, and Professor Alison Gurney on the regulation of hypoxia in the pulmonary vasculature.

Elaine is now returning to research with a Daphne Jackson Fellowship, working with Dr Stuart Cobb and Dr Mark Bailey at the University of Glasgow. She is interested in the pathophysiology of Rett Syndrome and in particular, the relationship between neuronal excitability and mitochondrial function, and the contribution of mitochondrial defects to the peripheral pathophysiology of Rett Syndrome.

Host: University of Glasgow
Sponsor: Medical Research Scotland

Dr Anna White

I am an immunologist with 9 years research in the field of autoimmune diseases. After completing my PhD at Lund University Sweden and postdoctoral fellowship at King’s College London, I took an 8 year career break to look after my two children. Now they are both settled at school, I can re-focus on my scientific career.
In February 2014 I started the Daphne Jackson fellowship in the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Bristol University. The aim of my project is to unravel the role of a discrete subset of human interleukin 10 secreting T lymphocytes in preventing the development of multiple sclerosis.  
This Fellowship is an excellent way to refresh my scientific knowledge and to learn new techniques.  The support I receive from my supervisor, work colleagues and family has given me a tremendous confidence boost, and I look forward to the challenges ahead.

Host & Sponsor: University of Bristol

Dr Jamuna Selvakumaran

Jamuna joined Royal Holloway University of London as a post-doctoral research fellow in 2013 after eight years of career break to look after her children. Before the career break she worked as a research associate at Imperial College London and before that completed her PhD at University of Surrey. She was able to return to her research career with the help of a Daphne Jackson Fellowship funded by the BBSRC. The Fellowship allowed her to change her field of research. Her research focuses on developing an induced pluripotent stem cell based in vitro model of the human blood brain barrier to test therapeutics. She is also involved in gene therapy using viral vectors to restore nerve function after spinal injury funded by the Spinal Research Trust. The Daphne Jackson Trust also helped her by offering courses to develop her presentation and professional skills.

Host: Royal Holloway, University of London
Sponsor: BBSRC