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Reshma Ramracheya

Career progression

1. Applied Biology BSc

2. PhD

3. Postdoc

4. Academia

Reshma is a RD Lawrence Research Fellow, group leader and university research lecturer at the University of Oxford.

What is your career pathway to date (including your education)?

I completed my primary and secondary schooling in the island of Mauritius and left for the UK in 1996. After a four-year BSc degree in Applied Biology at De Montfort University, I embarked on a PhD in physiology at King’s College London in 2000. Shortly after completing my thesis, I joined Professor Patrik Rorsman’s laboratory at the University of Oxford as a post doctoral researcher in 2004 where I researched the regulation of insulin and glucagon release from isolated donor human islets. In 2012, I established my own research group following the award of the prestigious RD Lawrence Fellowship by Diabetes UK to study the role of incretins such as GLP-1 and PYY on human islet function. My group comprises a post doctoral researcher, a research assistant and two undergraduate students. In 2016, I gained a research fellowship at Wolfson College and was subsequently appointed as a university research lecturer. Alongside a dynamic research career, I have taken three maternity leaves since 2005.

What do you do? What does a typical week look like to you?

Since 2012, my role as a researcher has evolved: I am now also a manager, supervisor and group leader, but I ensure that I remain hands-on in the lab. A typical week involves planning and running experiments at the bench, supervising and advising students and junior staff, writing manuscripts and applying for funding, attending meetings and interacting with collaborators. A substantial amount of my time is spent on bureaucratic tasks, travelling to conferences and reviewing manuscripts and grant applications. In addition, I serve on several academic, editorial and research committees, and undertake extra public engagement activities within the community and in schools as a STEM ambassador.

What do you like and dislike the most about your current position?

I like being at the bench and experiencing the thrill of discovering something for the first time. I also like sharing my passion for research with new generations of aspiring scientists.

I dislike spending time on bureaucratic matters, which unfortunately have become an integral part of research.

How do you see your career further progressing in the future?

I intend securing a senior fellowship by next year and continuing with my research programme either at Oxford or elsewhere. I also hope to be appointed as an associate professor within the next two years.

What three pieces of advice would you give someone keen on developing a career in your area of work?

Go for an independent fellowship as soon as possible and do not get too cosy in being a post-doctoral researcher for too long!

Get as many publications as possible including reviews and only invest in worthwhile collaborations!

Published: 07 Sep 2017 in Academia

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