It is estimated that over 11% of human cancers are caused by viral infections; human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for almost half of these cancers. I am interested in how HPV manipulates the cellular environment during infection and how HPV infections persist and cause cancer. We use 3-dimensional human skin cultures combined with biochemistry, bioinformatics and high-resolution microscopy to study important events in the HPV life cycle and better understand the molecular events that lead to cancer development.
Our first son was born in America, which meant very little maternity leave. We found it difficult to leave him in day care so my husband, Sam, reduced his working hours to spend more time at home. When we returned to the UK, Sam chose to stay at home full-time. After seven years as a stay-at-home Dad, he returned to work and we now juggle the school runs between us. I am lucky to have the support of my husband and children, which, combined with the flexibility of academic life, has allowed me to develop my independent research career and my family to flourish.