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Professor Essi Viding

My research

I co-direct the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit at UCL, together with Professor Eamon McCrory. We use multiple methodologies in our research, including  brain imaging and quantitative genetic methods. Our group focuses on investigating different developmental pathways to persistent antisocial behaviour, as well as the neurocognitive consequences of childhood maltreatment. We collaborate with researchers within and outside UCL, including colleagues at the Yale Child Study Center, where we both hold adjunct appointments.

My journey

I was already a PI with a grant when my first child was born. This made it easier to keep going with research as my team were happy to come to my house for meetings or for me to rock up at UCL with a baby in tow. I met with my students/post docs throughout both maternity leaves, as I cannot imagine taking a long break from research – I would have died of boredom. I feel very lucky to have a job where there is much more flexibility with working hours than in many other professions. My husband develops software and has similar flexibility, which means that we have both been able to progress in our work, whilst also being involved in childcare. This has been particularly helpful as we have dealt with our son's medical needs. Throughout we have also outsourced childcare to wonderful nannies and nurseries . There is no doubt that the juggling act can be tiring, but I never expected either research or children to be low maintenance. Both are fun though!