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Jelena Gavrilovic

My research

We investigate how cells interact with their surroundings (other cells/extracellular matrix components) and how these associations are modulated through the action of cell surface and matrix-degrading proteinases. We work in several normal and disease situations where inflammation plays a key role, including multiple sclerosis and impaired skin wound healing in conditions such as diabetes. Recently our work has become more translational and interdisciplinary which is both challenging and exciting.

My journey

I had some great mentors who helped me to build my career alongside having children. I was also hugely supported by my husband (working from home, but travelling frequently), Judy (our daughters' wonderful child-minder) and some great colleagues in my lab. But like all Mums (or primary carers), I felt a bit anxious when unexpected schedule changes at school/work surfaced. Being able to spend lots of time with our children when they were young was ideal for me and continuing at 80% time later on meant I felt I could spend more time with my parents during their later years - something that I still treasure.