Both the supportive environment of the Faculty and the outstanding achievements of its female scientists are recognised at local, national, and international levels. As evidence of our strength, women throughout the Faculty continue to receive prestigious awards for their outstanding achievements in research, teaching, and communication of science.
An important aspect of our work is to engage with the public, not only to educate but also to build excitement and interest in our science. We actively work with the media, local schools, museums, and at Faculty open days, science and music festivals, and community centres. In four of the last five years, female researchers from the Faculty have won a Society of Biology Science Communication Award which recognises outstanding outreach work. In 2013, we took both award categories with Sheena Cruickshank and Rebecca Williams winning the Established Researcher and New Researcher prizes respectively. In this podcast .mp3 they tell us about their current projects and their love for sharing science with the public.
Dr Sheena Cruickshank , Dr Jo Pennock and Professor Kathryn Else (Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health) received the Manchester International Women’s Day Award for ‘Women & Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics’ for creation of The Worm Wagon, an educational public activity based on their research. The Worm Wagon raises awareness of the global, economic, and health burden imposed by parasitic worm infections, and the work of scientists studying immune responses to infection. The award recognises women excelling in science, technology, engineering, maths, and medicine, who have a positive impact on women and the wider community.
Professor Nancy Papalopulu, Professor of Developmental Neuroscience
Nancy works to understand how cells decide to divide or differentiate at the molecular level, a decision which is crucial for the correct development of the nervous system. Most recently, she discovered how cyclical fluctuations in levels of protein and small RNAs regulate the fate that cells adopt. Her groundbreaking research over the years has earned her multiple awards including The University of Manchester Distinguished Achievement Award for Research, membership to European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), and her recent election to the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Dr Tracey Speake, Senior Lecturer
Tracey is Programme Co-director for the undergraduate biomedical sciences programme at The University of Manchester, and is involved in the development of new educational activities to engage and develop knowledge and understanding of our students. Her significant contribution to the design, delivery, and assessment of our undergraduate programmes was recognised with a University of Manchester Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching.
Dr Tracy Briggs, Clinical Senior Lecturer won a prestigious L’Oréal-UNESCO UK & Ireland For Women In Science Fellowship (2014) ‘Understanding single-gene disorders that lead to systemic lupus – a potentially life-threatening disease that causes the body to attack its own tissue’ In many people, lupus is likely to be the result of a combination of both environmental and genetic factors. However, in some cases, a change in a single gene can cause the condition. Studies of such single-gene causes of disease are helpful to pinpoint which genes play a role in systemic lupus and help to further our understanding of how the disease occurs. Dr Briggs’s research will determine the genetic basis of a familial form of lupus, which starts in childhood and predominantly affects the skin. By determining the chemical and genetic changes causing disease, she hopes to determine the origins of lupus