“We get to work alongside independent African research groups and communities rather than taking over and making decisions for them. As a Black Brit, I am proud to be a part of that.”
Since finishing my postgraduate degree in Molecular Medicine I have been using my genetics and bioinformatics skills in my role as research technician. More recently, I have been a minor sounding board for mental health awareness, the technician’s registration programme and disability positivity.
What I like about my workplace is the increasing representation. I enjoy discussing differences and similarities between customs and educating colleagues about Nigerian delicacies and traditions. It was great to work with someone from the same tribe as myself which, sadly, isn’t commonplace in my line of work….yet!
My current role allows me to get creative. I do a lot of genetic cloning within mosquitos amongst other techniques to help reduce their ability to transmit diseases such as malaria. As this is important work, my lab had to minimise but continue day-to-day work during the pandemic. Assisting my lab manager with the running of the lab has been insightful. I believe we are one of the largest at Imperial – around 25 scientists, postdocs and PhD students coming together and collaborating with groups around the world.
“During lockdown I volunteered for Sikh charities providing supplies and meals to care homes and homeless shelters.”
Joining Imperial was a dream come true for me as I had previously applied for over 50 courses and jobs here. My inspiration was Imperial’s (supposedly) first Sikh scientist, Professor Narinder Singh Kapany, who is known as “the father of fibre optics”. I believe that I might be the second proud Sikh scientist with a PhD in natural sciences to work at the College. I previously worked in industry for a successful startup company that tested ammonia toxicity in blood.
My current project on nuclear waste treatment is part of a national consortium on nuclear decommissioning. I am investigating the capabilities of phosphate-coated magnetic nanoparticles to adsorb radioactive uranium from nuclear waste using tiny magnetic particles. This is an exciting project that is vital to the UK government’s 2030 and 2050 goals to decommission nuclear power plants and tackle climate change.
“My EDI work includes a recent initiative using TikTok, funded by the College’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Seed Fund.”
“I actually did my PhD at Imperial and then, after gaining some postdoctoral experience, moved into industry to research Alzheimer’s disease. A few years later, I became a senior research scientist with my own group focussing on synapse loss in Alzheimer’s disease. After eight years, I decided to leave industry and move back to academia – a slightly unusual move!
“My current role involves leading the UK Dementia Research Institute’s Multi-‘omics Atlas Project, setting up my own group and being the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Lead for the Department of Brain Sciences. MAP is an initiative to map the cellular pathology in Alzheimer’s disease in post-mortem human brain tissue. My research focus is how synapses (the connections between brain cells) are affected in the human disease and identifying ways of rescuing those that are lost.
“When I was four or five, I moved from Leeds to Keighley, a small town about twenty miles away. It was a challenging place to be. At the time, the National Front had a strong presence there. I didn’t encounter it a lot, but the fear was always there, and there were places around town to avoid.
“My family is Muslim, however, me and my two elder sisters went to Catholic school. It wasn’t a choice based on religion, but rather on how we as a working-class family could get the best quality state education available – something my Mum felt our local Catholic school was best at providing for us. I wasn’t properly confirmed or anything, but I was an altar boy!
“There were other schools in the area that had more Asian people and also there was a Muslim community. But I was kind of kept away from that. So for me, I didn’t have much of a cultural or religious identity growing up. I saw culture and religion as being hand-in-hand; I saw them as the same thing. My school life was this strange dichotomy of being Muslim and Catholic, but I found it really helpful because it made me learn about different religions. Quite often, when people think about religions, it’s from the outside, but here I was an outsider in two communities – two very similar monotheistic religions. But people tend to focus on the differences, I guess.”
“To me, Colombia means happiness. There’s such amazing food, and on Sundays, we usually have a family gathering with our grandma. We don’t do this that often now because we don’t all live together, but whenever I go back home there is always a time where around 30 of us will gather and eat, drink and laugh.
“Colombians also love dancing – especially Cuban and Colombian salsa! As a nation, we’re really successful in international dancing competitions. Colombia is also a very religious country. During Christmas, there is an event called novena, where for nine days before the 24th you pray each night. Each of those nine nights is hosted by a different house/family and includes food and drinks.(more…)
“I have always been passionate about engaging students through innovative digital learning technologies.”
I am a medical doctor-turned-teacher with a research background in neuroscience. I studied medicine in Lahore, Pakistan, and after practising there I moved to Trento in Italy where I did an MSc in cognitive neuroscience. I really enjoyed working with patients and data and this led me into research, which ultimately paved the way for me to take on teaching roles at the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham.
I joined Imperial as a Teaching Fellow in the National Heart and Lung Institute in September last year. It was difficult at the beginning as the whole interview process was online, and even now, I have only met people on Microsoft Teams! (more…)
“I’ve been able to combine my twin passions of air quality and digital technology to design and develop several air quality apps over the years.”
I suffered from asthma as a child and always had a Ventolininhaler in my pocket from primary school, so I was always interested in lungs and breathing and what would trigger an attack.
I studied Environmental then Computer Science at Stirling University and was keen to pursue a career in science but ended up in the School of Public Health’s Environmental Research Group (ERG) somewhat by accident after I saw a job advertised in the back pages of New Scientist – which I picked up by chance in Tesco on South Clerk St in Edinburgh. I never imagined I’d end up living and working in London, but I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have landed in ERG.(more…)
“One piece of advice I give to students is to try to separate your work and living spaces as much as possible.”
I came to the UK to do my postgraduate study, choosing Imperial because it looked like some interesting things were being done here. I did my Master’s and PhD here and now I am conducting post-doctoral research within the Department of Materials. I also teach in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and am a postgraduate mentor to students in the department.
Lockdown has affected both my teaching and research but in slightly different ways. Most of my research is computational based and to begin with, my colleagues and I had some issues carrying it out remotely. However, we have worked closely together and looked at new ways to collaborate remotely as well as new software we could use. We can now use our computers in the lab remotely from our homes so are able to continue our modelling work. (more…)
“I’m really grateful to all the colleagues putting in extra effort to limit the impact of the pandemic for our students and their research.”
I’m a researcher and an engineer with a deep interest in User-Centred Systems, Internet of Things, and Applied Machine Learning. I enjoy designing and building systems that enable better use of our digital footprint, while protecting our data privacy/security. I studied at UCL andCambridgeand have worked as an engineer/scientist at BT, Sony, Intel, AT&T, and Brave.(more…)
“I enjoy mentoring the next generation of neuroscientists: respect, knowledge, enthusiasm and experience are essential in creating an excellent learning environment.”
I am an Italian neuroscientist, a Senior Teaching Fellow and a Principal Investigator within the Computational, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory (C3NL). Before joining the College, I was a Teaching Fellow at King’s College London, where I completed my PhD and a brief postdoc.
I am a very social person with several interests, ranging from art exhibitions to football, from going to the Royal Opera House to travelling. All things I could not do during the lockdown, which I also spent away from my family.(more…)