My research is focused on understanding the unique relationships between the mother, placenta and foetus, with the ultimate goal of improving the long-term health of women and their families. I study the environmental and genetic control of the placenta, an organ that develops to transfer oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the foetus and that secretes signalling factors into the mother with suspected physiological effects. We hope that by understanding placental regulation we may identify key gate-keeper molecules and biomarkers of materno-fetal health with the goal of translating our findings to humans for the development of diagnostic tests and therapies for pregnancy complications.
I have had to finding a way to maintain both a healthy family life and an ambitious research career without family support in the UK. Through my Fellowship I have the option to claim back time spent on parental responsibilities so that I can continue my research at an international level without the added stress. Moreover, by having a supportive partner and surrounding myself with colleagues and collaborators, I am able keep the experiments going even in the event of a spontaneous family emergency. The process of becoming a mum and running a laboratory has taught me a lot about being persistent, becoming efficient and believing in yourself!