All biological processes are fundamentally inter-molecular interactions. In order to understand, and hence control, biomolecule structure and function, methods are required that probe biological systems at the molecular level, ideally with those molecules being in their native environment. My research programme has at its core the development and application of ultra violet and visible light spectrophotometric techniques for this purpose. In particular circular dichroism, linear dichroism and the newly invented Raman Linear Difference and fluorescence detected linear dichroism spectroscopy and also absorbance, fluorescence and light scattering. The spectroscopy is complemented by theoretical analysis to interpret measured data in structural terms.
My career, with hindsight, seems a logical progression to my current multidisciplinary research and training and administration. At the time, however, it was driven by a mix of working on fascinating subjects and jobs for my husband Mark and me – we pretty much took it in turns to choose where to move. I had five years with an 80 mile commute, during which time Elisabeth was born. She went to a nursery close to the University of Warwick so I didn’t have to worry about traffic going home and we often stopped off en route for food or drink, and made good use of audiobooks. If I needed to travel Mark used to have to take the day off, work at home, or work at Warwick. When Rowena was born we realised we couldn’t cope with that commute with two children, and so started job hunting! Mark moved to University of Warwick where he is a Chemistry Professor and Director of the Centre for Scientific Computing. Our girls’ secondary school is now a seven minute walk from home.