- Describe your research.
I work on Malaria, which is an infectious disease that is caused by a parasite and transmitted by mosquitoes. My PhD investigates two proteins of this parasite, looking at how they work and if they are important for the parasite to survive in its hosts. This information helps us to decide if these proteins could act as potential new drug targets to treat Malaria, as there is a big problem of resistance with current treatments.
- Do you have a mentor or role model?
I don't have any formal mentoring arrangements, however I have plenty of 'accidental' mentors, role models and people who inspire me! These range from those in the scientific realm, such as senior scientists at my institute and elsewhere to fellow students, to those who may have nothing to do with science directly, including authors, teachers, communicators, friends and family members. Having inspirational people in all facets of your life is important!
- How did you find your mentor?
I have found my informal mentors by sheer luck, such as needing to collaborate with them on a project, or being part of the same research group. However, I am also interested in finding some more 'formal' mentoring relationships!
- How does your mentor empower you?
One of my main mentors and role models is a postdoc who is teaching me the ropes some techniques that are new for me. She inspires me because not only is she extremely passionate about her work, she always makes the time to help others, and is incredibly friendly to everyone. She has also taught me that it is always okay to ask for help, regardless of what stage of your career you are at-you can never be an expert at everything! A few of my other role models are fellow PhD students that are at various later stages in their PhD than me. These people inspire me by teaching me that everyone's journey is different, and also inspire me to be better with my time management and planning, and to invest in my own professional development.
Follow Bethany on Twitter @scientistbeth