PhD Biomedical Engineering candidate
Place of work / study:
University of Reading
Area of research:
Dementia, depression and music (EEG correlates)
How is your work funded?
University of Reading – no external funding
Tell us a little about yourself:
I laugh out loud because it makes me feel good (I will try and refrain from this tendency during the podcast).
Research is a career change for me – ex-teacher of science. I am trying to find the career path from which I can derive the most pleasure. Research is as close as I can get to that aim.
I do not believe in glass ceilings. For example, completing a MSc in Clinical Language Sciences with neuroscience having no experience or learning regarding linguistics or neuroscience. Now, I am attempting an engineering PhD without an engineering background. Learning numbs the pain.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I have climbed Mount Sinai in Egypt – I enjoyed going up but not coming down. The camel and I had a disagreement. He wanted me off and I resisted.
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
Short answer – I cannot pinpoint why. My mother died from cancer and my father had a massive stroke which left him completely paralysed one side of his body and he lost 96% of his speech. I should, in theory, have wanted to conduct research in these areas. However, dementia caught my attention in a random way and I have just wanted to continue learning since then. I saw a dementia friendly sign in the town where I live and decided to find out what made the town ‘dementia friendly’. I decided to complete a MSc in Clinical Language Science (neuroscience stream) and signed up for a project involving the analysis of speech output from people with dementia for my dissertation. From there, I worked as a dementia advisor for Andover Mind. I was emailed a clip from ‘Alive Inside’ and had to know how music affects the brain in dementia and how we can use this more effectively. My PhD is a result of that clip.