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Professor Cait MacPhee

My research

I am Biological and Soft Matter Physicist, which means I study things that are soft and 'squidgy', a definition that covers most things biological, as well as paints, toothpaste and foods (including ice cream). My biological interests focus on proteins and protein self-assembly, which has applications in human disease, nanoscience, and bacterial biofilms. I started my career in the biosciences but was always a frustrated physicist at heart, so I gradually migrated across.

My journey

Combining a career with family life has involved much juggling. My husband is also a scientist, but one who works in industry which means he has better-defined but also less flexible hours. My career took a bit of a hit after having children as I couldn’t travel to conferences (we have no family close by), so I disappeared from the world stage for a bit. That said, an academic career does offer enormous flexibility, so that when the children fell ill I was normally able to provide cover. Now my husband handles the day-to-day when I am travelling.