March 11, 2015, by Editor
Felicity Rose’s blog for International Women’s Day
I have always had a keen interest in science, even from right back at primary school. I can remember eagerly working through my workbooks and even enjoying learning how to wire a plug! This continued through secondary school and I even came top of my year in physics in year 9. Following A-levels, I studied Applied Biochemistry at university and as part of that degree I undertook a sandwich placement within the clinical biochemistry laboratories at Whiston hospital on Merseyside. This nurtured my interest in medicine related sciences and I knew from that point I wanted to work within a research environment.
Having no money, nowhere to live and no job, I moved back home after finishing my degree and started work on a research project within the Gastroenterology department at the Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham. This was also a joint project with the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (as it was known then) and involved the isolation of antimicrobial peptides from the human small intestine. It took some persuading but eventually the department agreed to fund my PhD fees and I registered as a part-time student.
I completed my PhD in 1998 and continued to work at the QMC until 2000 at which pont I rejoined the School Pharmacy (as it is now known) as a post-doctoral researcher in tissue engineering. This was a totally new area of research but again, my interest in medical science meant that the opportunity of working in an emerging field dedicated to finding ways to treat disease by growing tissues in the lab was one I couldn’t refuse.
A few years later, everything was set to change as the University launched a new fellowship scheme aimed at promoting female scientists to pursue a career in academia and I was one of the first recipients. Three weeks later, I was appointed to a lectureship securing a permanent position within the University.
I have since had two children, am a committee member of the national Tissue and Cell Engineering Society (TCES), established an after-school science club for primary school children, supervised a number of students through their PhD, and been part of an award winning team involved in implementing the first year of the new MPharm degree. I enjoy the variety that my job brings me and still feel the same enjoyment of science as I did back in primary school learning to wire that plug! The work-life balance isn’t always easy and I rely on being able to work flexibly but I feel very privileged to work in such a collegiate environment and in a diverse and exciting area of research.
Dr Felicity Rose is Associate Professor and Reader in Tissue Engineering in the Division of Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering in the School of Pharmacy.