I attended Howell’s School in Cardiff from 2000-2007, then the University of Birmingham in 2007-2011 (with a year studying in the south of France during that time) to get my degree, and finally the University of Manchester doing my PhD from 2011-2015
I have a university degree (BSc) in Biology from the University of Birmingham, and a doctorate (PhD) from the University of Manchester
After I finished my PhD I worked for Cancer Research UK. Then I moved to Copenhagen and started working at Orphazyme and soon I will start working for a bigger company called LEO Pharma.
Communication and Engagement Manager
Communication and Engagement Manager – Orphazyme ApS
Orphazyme is a small biotechnology company which specialises in ‘orphan’ diseases. These are rare diseases, often affecting young people, which don’t have a cure. We are working on developing medicines for some of these rare diseases, to hopefully save people’s lives.
My role in the company is to help people to understand what our scientists and clinical researchers are doing, and the results they are producing. Developing drugs is extremely expensive, so we rely on investors to pay for the research, and I help to show them why investing in our science is a good idea, using data and evidence to present the best possible case. Also, I interact with groups who represent the patients suffering from these terrible diseases, to keep them up-to-date with our progress and help understand how we can meet their needs.
My Typical Day
…goes best when there’s a steady supply of tea
I get up at seven every morning, and the first job of the day is to walk the puppy.
In Copenhagen, the most common way to get about is by bike, so once I’ve cycled to the office, I have a cup of tea and eat my breakfast at my desk.
I spend a lot of my time answering emails and preparing talks or presentations. I also help my colleagues who don’t speak English as their native language to phrase things in the best possible way.
After eating lunch with the entire company, I often have skype meetings with patient representatives or other professionals around the world (sometimes I have to stay late, or get up early to talk to them, depending on their timezone).
I have an afternoon cup of tea and then try to get any remaining jobs finished before I head back home to the puppy 🙂
What's the best thing you've ever done in your career?
Presenting Orphazyme’s research to a group of families in China who are all affected by a very rare disease. I was able to help them see that there are scientists and drug developers out there who care about this very rare disease.
What advice would you give someone who wants to be in the same career as you?
Science communication is a growing field, but there are more people interested in the area than there are jobs. To stand out from the crowd I found it helped to have lots of useful experience on my CV, so volunteering was a great way to add that vital experience.
What other sorts of jobs can you do with your qualifications?
With qualifications in biology you could go into: research (either in academia or in industry), lecturing/teaching, patent law (or regular law), finance (my company’s CEO is a former assistant professor who then started working for an investment bank), business, environmental science, medicine and the care services, the food industry, government and politics… anything really!
What don't you like about your current job?
Almost all of my colleagues are Danish, so I don’t always understand what they’re saying if they’re talking to each other in Danish. Usually that’s not a problem, but occasionally that has meant that I have missed out on important information.