Current committee

2018

Committee members:

  • Heidrun Bien (Co- Chair) – Senior Lecturer, Wolfson Institute for Preventive Medicine
  • Nisha Patel (Co- Chair) – Postdoctoral Reasearch Assistant, Blizard Institute
  • Kalina Davies (Secretary and Membership Officer) – Postdoctoral Reasearch Assistant, SBCS
  • Catherine Webb (Treasurer) – PhD Student, Blizard Institute
  • Imen Belmokhtar (Webmaster) – PhD student, Maths
  • Sarah Faye Harpenslager (Hospitality and Room Bookings Officer) – Postdoctoral Reasearch Assistant, SBCS
  • Deb Milligan  (Publications Officer) – PhD student, Blizard Institute
  • Amy Danson (Social Media Officer) – PhD student, Blizard Institute
  • Dave Hemprich-Bennett (Mile End Ambassador) – PhD student, SBCS
  • Joanna Janus (Whitechapel Campus Ambassador) – PhD student, Blizard Institute, SMD
  • Annika Rasijeff (Whitechapel Campus Ambassador) – PhD student, Wingate Institute for Neurogastroenterology
  • Hemalvi Patani   (Charterhouse Square Ambassador) – PhD student, BCI

Committee advisers:

  • Amy Danson (Chair 2016-17) – PhD student, Blizard Institute
  • Sharan Sidhu (Staff adviser) – Reader/Honorary Consultant, Institute of Dentistry
  • Fearon Clare Cassidy (Co-Chair 2015-16) – PhD Student, Endocrinology

Biographies

Committee Members:

Heidrun Bien32-code

Heidrun Bien (Co-Chair)

Heidrun is a Senior Lecturer at the Wolfson Institute for Preventive Medicine based at Charterhouse Square Campus. She is program director for MSc Psychological Therapies, Distance Learning lead and current Chair of the SMD E-Learning User Group. Following studies in psychology in Germany and the United States as a Fulbright scholar, Heidrun went to the Netherlands to conduct PhD research at a Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Leading a German Science Foundation priority project into behavioural and neurophysiological correlates of speech categories as a postdoctoral fellow in Germany, Heidrun taught UG/PG courses and served on the Institute’s Board of Management, its Committee for Science and Young Researchers, and as its Equal Opportunity Commissioner.

At QMUL, Heidrun hopes that previous experience and current training as a coach help her support WISE@QMUL initiatives to increase the participation and success of women in science and engineering.

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Nisha Patel (Co-Chair)

Nisha obtained a PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Manchester in 2015. In 2016, she started work as a post doctoral research assistant in Genomics and Child Health, working on the role of non-coding RNA in neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Kalina Davies (Secretary and Membership Officer)

Kalina is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Organismal Biology Department of the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at QMUL. She is interested in many aspects of evolutionary biology, including convergent evolution, phylogenetics, NGS data analysis, molecular and morphological evolution, and is particularly interested in mammalian evolution. She has had a long-term interest in WISE and the issues surrounding women in STEMM subjects.

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Catherine Webb (Treasurer)

Catherine is a third year PhD student at the Blizard Institute. She is investigating a rare disease called Tylosis with oesophageal cancer, where the patients have a 95% chance of developing oesophageal cancer. She joined the WISE committee at the beginning of 2018 and hopes to get more people involved in events and discussion about the issues women in science are facing.

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Imen Belmokhtar (Webmaster)

A PhD student in the School of Mathematical Sciences at QMUL, Imen’s research lies in the area of Representation Theory in abstract algebra. Being passionate about self-development, she hopes to serve in furthering WISE@QMUL’s aims. She is also the Maths ambassador for the Athena SWAN Committee of the SMS.

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Sarah Faye Harpenslager (Hospitality and Room Bookings Officer)

Sarah is a Postdoc at the School for Biological and Chemical Sciences on Mile End Campus. She is studying the effects of global warming on freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic in a big NERC funded research project. As a biogeochemist, her research focuses on the effects of warming on the cycling of nutrients through the ecosystem. She is involved with WISE@QMUL to help raise awareness of inequality issues and stimulate talented young women to pursue a career in STEMM.

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Deb Milligan (Publications Officer)

Deb is a PhD student at the Blizard Institute investigating the interplay between senescence and the skin ageing phenotype using 3D organotypic modelling. She joined the WISE committee in early 2017 and is interested in promoting the fascinating and diverse work undertaken by many women in STEM industries.

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Amy Danson (Social Media Officer)

Amy is a third year PhD student at the Blizard Institute, on the Whitechapel Campus at QMUL. She works on how diet during pregnancy can affect the epigenetics and genetics of offspring. When she’s not organising WISE events or in the lab, she likes to escape London to go walking and sings in the Bart’s and the London Choir.

Annika Rasijeff32-code

Annika Rasijeff (Whitechapel Campus Ambassador)

Annika is a PhD student in the Wingate Institute for Neurogastroenterology. She is a registered clinical scientist in gastrointestinal physiology working to provide informed diagnoses in individuals with functional gut problems such as faecal incontinence and/or constipation. Annika’s PhD research focuses on novel characterisation of rectal and anal function using new technologies and improving our current understanding of reflex and voluntary actions related to continence. Annika is a STEM ambassador with a mission to tackle everyday-sexism within communities (and the workplace).

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Dave Hemprich-Bennett (Mile End Ambassador)

Dave is a 4th year PhD student in the School of Biological and Chemical sciences, studying the use of DNA barcodes to create ecological networks, and how tropical bat communities respond to habitat change. As a Mile End Ambassador I aim to help WISE in its aims of furthering equality in science and engineering, by raising awareness of the issues faced by many women in STEM areas.

Joanna Janus32-code

Joanna Janus (Whitechapel Campus Ambassador)

Joanna is a PhD student at the Blizard Institute in Whitechapel (School of Medicine & Dentistry). She is researching the effect of a family of proteins called PI3Ks in oesophageal cancer, with a particular interest in drug resistance. She hopes to be able to increase awareness of the wonderful events held by WISE, an organisation she believes plays a very important role in supporting and encouraging women at all stages of their careers in Science and Engineering. She also thinks it would be great if more men got involved with WISE at QMUL!

Hemalvi Patani32-code

Hemalvi Patani (Charterhouse Square Ambassador)

Hemalvi is a PhD student at Barts Cancer Institute on the Charterhouse Square campus. Her work involves using human embryonic stem cells to model the mechanisms underlying aberrant DNA methylation patterns in cancer. She is a member of WISE@QMUL committee and is enthusiastic about helping women to progress to leadership roles within the scientific community.

Committee Advisers:

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Amy Danson (Chair 2016-17)

Amy is a third year PhD student at the Blizard Institute, on the Whitechapel Campus at QMUL. She works on how diet during pregnancy can affect the epigenetics and genetics of offspring. When she’s not organising WISE events or in the lab, she likes to escape London to go walking and sings in the Bart’s and the London Choir.

Sharan

Dr Sharan K Sidhu (Staff adviser)

Reader/Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry, Centre for Oral Bioengineering, Institute of Dentistry.

Sharan has been the Staff Adviser to this group for a few years. She is a clinical academic who trained in Singapore and the UK. She has both clinical and research backgrounds, with experience of research sabbaticals in the US, Japan and Australia. She has had the experience of crossing boundaries, adapting to cross-cultural differences, as well as working in different organisations both in the UK and overseas. In addition, she appreciates the specific challenges of balancing academic and NHS commitments as well as having domestic responsibilities. She has a particular interest in the challenges faced by women from overseas and recognises the challenges of promoting women in academia for global recognition in their respective fields.

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Fearon Clare Cassidy (Co-Chair 2015-16)

Fearon is a PhD student in the William Harvey Institute at the School of Medicine and Dentistry on the Charterhouse Square campus. She works on the embryonic origins of adipose tissue and the effect of imprinted gene dosage on this process. She is a member of the WISE@QMUL committee and is enthusiastic about supporting women to pursue leadership roles within the scientific community.

Past committees

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