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Professor Helen Fielding

My research

Our group studies the spectroscopy and ultrafast dynamics of excited states of neutral biomolecules and protein chromophore anions in the gas-phase, using a combination of nanosecond and femtosecond lasers, molecular beams, electrospray ionisation mass-spectrometry and photoelectron spectroscopy. We are just beginning to study ultrafast dynamics of protein chromophores and proteins in the solution phase, using femtosecond lasers and liquid microjet photoelectron spectroscopy. We also carry out complementary quantum chemistry calculations to support our experiments and have strong collaborations with a number of theoretical chemistry groups.

My journey

After the birth of each of our children, I took the maximum maternity leave we could afford before returning to work full time. All three children have attended day nurseries, but we have also employed nannies at various stages to manage childcare after school and in the holidays. I have benefitted enormously from very supportive Heads of Departments who have allowed me to work flexibly. My husband and I now work at home one day a week each and on other days I leave work in time to collect my younger daughter from after school clubs before continuing to work later in the evening.