IMSE people – Jessica Govey-Scotland, MRes alumna

It’s time to meet another alumna of the IMSE Molecular Science and Engineering MRes. This week, we speak to Jessica Govey-Scotland, who studied at IMSE in 2020-2021.

Jessica Govey-Scotland outside the Royal Albert Hall on her graduation day from the IMSE MRes
Jessica Govey-Scotland outside the Royal Albert Hall on her graduation day from the IMSE MRes

Jess’s career to date

Jess studied Chemistry at the University of Kent in Canterbury. After completing a computational research project in her final year, she developed an interest in molecular modelling and optimisation of processes. She joined the IMSE Molecular Science and Engineering MRes to develop this.

On the MRes in 2020-21, she developed in vitro dermal absorption methods for screening hazardous cosmetics. This work was supervised by Dr Mark Friddin and Dr Connor Myant, as a collaboration between the Dyson School of Design Engineering and the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. She won the IMSE Prize for Excellence in her year.

As part of the course, she did a 9-month placement at OPSS to complete her research project. Then she moved to the global consumer brands company Reckitt to work in their Global Safety Assurance department. She collects and calculates toxicological and safety data from chemical databases to assist in safety assessments and supports business compliance relating to the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH).

What’s your core scientific interest?

My core scientific interest is understanding the skin and various skin conditions. I explore how new approach methodologies (NAMs) could be applied to assess the effects of chemicals in products via dermal absorption.

How did the IMSE MRes prepare you for what you do now?

The IMSE MRes prepared me for my current role as it allowed me to work at the interface between science and regulation. The research project and industry placement were particularly valuable as I was introduced to regulatory toxicology. I was able to be creative and explore innovative ideas to current challenges with the development, validation, and application of NAMs within chemical risk assessments and the importance of harmonising scientific innovation and regulations.

Jessica Govey-Scotland
Jessica Govey-Scotland

What attracted you to this work?

The opportunity to develop my expertise in regulatory toxicology really attracted me to my current role as a REACH Safety Associate. This built on my research project during the IMSE course. Understanding REACH requirements and future opportunities to contribute to and advocate for regulatory changes, such as those relating to animal-free testing in chemical safety assessments, is particularly exciting.

What do you think the next generation of students need to know before they apply to the MRes?

The IMSE MRes is definitely challenging as it introduces many areas outside of your primary degree. However, the interdisciplinary approach that IMSE adopts is invaluable. I would definitely make the most of learning from course members.

This is IMSE making a difference

We are very proud of all our alumni and always very excited to find out what they go on to do in their careers. You could develop your career at IMSE – find out about our MRes here.

Read about more of our alumni here:

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