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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Blizard Profile: Bethany Hughes

International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11th February, recognises the critical role women and girls play in science and technology. To celebrate, we catch up with Bethany Hughes, Blizard Institute PhD Student and Committee Chair of Women in Science and Engineering – WISE@QMUL

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Beth Hughes

Bethany Hughes

Name: Bethany Hughes
Role: PhD Student, Chair of WISE@QMUL
Centre: Cell Biology and Cutaneous Research

Congratulations on your recent appointment as Committee Chair of WISE @ QMUL. Please can you tell us more about the Network and your role?

WISE@QMUL is a network of PhD and early career researchers who are passionate about improving the experiences of women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine). We aim to provide role models and networking opportunities for women in STEMM, and to spark discussion around the current status quo. We are aligned with the official WISE campaign, and as a university we have access to a wide variety of resources that the national campaign offers - Visit www.wisecampaign.org.uk.

In my role as Committee Chair, I’m responsible for arranging and running our committee meetings and planning the agenda. I am overseeing all of the fantastic projects the team are working towards, and ensuring we meet deadlines and work towards our collective mission. If you would like to get involved or hear more about what WISE@QMUL do, please do not hesitate to get in touch on our social media accounts (@wiseqmul) or with me directly via email: b.k.hughes@qmul.ac.uk.

What plans do WISE@QMUL have for 2022?

In 2022, we have many exciting plans in the pipeline! We are launching our brand new project ‘5 minutes with…’, which will involve interviewing a range of women in STEMM at QMUL to discuss their journey and provide role models for early career researchers. We’re also planning to continue to host informal coffee mornings on all our campuses, hold external speaker events, and we hope to run activities at the 2022 festival of communities to inspire the next generation of women in STEMM. This is just a handful of events that we are planning for the upcoming year, so please do follow us or join our mailing list (wise-members) to hear more!

Tell us more about your PhD research at the Blizard Institute. What’s the most interesting thing you’re working on right now?

My PhD research focuses on the impact of aged cells in the skin. As we age, our cells can stop dividing and secrete many inflammatory factors in a process known as senescence. These senescent cells can contribute to wrinkles and thinner, less elastic skin. In my PhD, I’m investigating senescence of different cell types in the skin to try to discern their individual contribution to skin ageing.

What are you passionate about?

Alongside improving the experiences of women in STEMM, I am passionate about amplifying the voices of underrepresented groups. Trans women and women from ethnic minorities should be especially considered in decisions around improving experiences of women in STEMM. I am committed to learning from and listening to these women, and campaigning for equality.

Tell us something that we don’t know about you!

I can play the drums and had lessons for many years - although sadly not in my small flat in London!

 

Get in touch with the committee, and find out more about WISE@QMUL events and campaigns: www.qmul.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/phd-students/wise

 

 

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