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#ECRWednesday webinar: Being a scientist and a parent

Find out how our speakers are juggling their work-life balance.
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Children and research projects have a lot in common. Both can lead to sleepless nights, both require the mastery of specialist techniques, and people who are not parents or scientists often struggle to understand them. However, despite these similarities, family life and a career in research are often portrayed as being incompatible with each other.

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To shed a light on this topic, our next #ECRWednesday webinar will be hosted by Jeanne Salje (eLife Early Careers Advisory Group (ECAG), Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Thailand). Margarita Calvo (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Chile), Galit Lahav (Harvard Medical School, USA), David Kent (University of Cambridge, UK), David K. Smith (University of York, UK) will join her to share their own experiences and discuss strategies for researchers with young families to help them reach a work-life balance.

Jeanne Salje

Jeanne Salje is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow, a Group Leader at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Bangkok, Thailand and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Public Health Research Institute of Rutgers University in the USA. Jeanne obtained her PhD from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. She then spent two years at the Systems Biology Department at Harvard Medical School, before setting up a lab working on neglected bacterial pathogens in Bangkok, Thailand. Her lab focuses on the host-pathogen cell biology of the obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen Orientia tsutsugamushi, which causes scrub typhus. Jeanne has been a member of the eLife ECAG since its inception in 2014.

Margarita Calvo

Margarita Calvo is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physiology, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago. She undertook her medical training at this same institution. She was awarded her PhD in 2010 by King’s College London, UK, working at Prof David Bennett’s lab. She went back to Chile in 2013, where she set up her own lab. She is working in 2 lines of research: painful small fibre neuropathy in skin conditions and the role of Kv1 channels in counterbalancing hyperexcitability in neuropathic pain. She takes a translational approach ranging from in vitro models to human psychophysics. The National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research, Chile funds her work. She is part of the Pain Unit at the University Hospital where she sees neuropathic pain patients. Margarita joined the eLife ECAG in 2017.

Galit Lahav

Galit Lahav is a Professor and Chair at the Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, USA. She received her PhD in 2001 from the Department of Biology in the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. In 2003, she completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. She then spent a year at Harvard’s Bauer Center for Genomics Research, and in the fall of 2004, she joined the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. Her lab combines experimental and computational approaches to study the fate and behaviour of human cells at the single-cell level. Her work has yielded critical insights into the function and behaviour of the tumor-suppressor protein p53 and its role in cellular destiny. Lahav has been recognised with several awards, including the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science and an Excellence in Mentoring award. She has created many opportunities for junior faculty to cultivate their own leadership skills and is currently spearheading an initiative to make Harvard a destination of choice for women in science.

David Kent is a group leader at the Wellcome MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute. David earned a B.Sc. in Genetics and English Literature at the University of Western Ontario, Canada and obtained his PhD studying normal adult blood stem cell biology at the University of British Columbia, Canada. His postdoctoral research was at the University of Cambridge where he studied malignant blood stem cell biology. His research group studies fate choice in single blood stem cells and how changes in their regulation lead to cancers. David is currently the CSCI’s Public Engagement Champion and has a long history of public engagement and outreach including the creation of The Black Hole, which provides information on and analysis of issues related to the education and training of scientists.

David K. Smith

Dave Smith is Professor of Chemistry at the University of York, UK, where he carries out research into smart nanomaterials and nanomedicines. He is a passionate educator, giving outreach lectures to ca. 50,000 UK school students and developing his own YouTube chemistry channel, with over half a million views. Dave has been recognised with RSC Corday Morgan Award and an HEA National Teaching Fellowship. He was nominated as one of the RSC’s 175 diverse ‘Faces of Chemistry’. Dave has written and lectured widely on the representation of LGBT+ scientists and was shortlisted for the Gay Times Honours Barbara Burford Award for activist work representing LGBT+ individuals working in STEM. Dave entered into a civil partnership with his husband Sam in 2010. They live in central York, with their adopted son. Dave is also a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Inclusion and Diversity Group.

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