International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2021 – Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19

This year’s UNESCO International Day of Women and Girls in Science celebrates women at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. At present, less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women. According to UNESCO data (2014 – 2016), only around 30 per cent of all female students select science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related fields in higher education. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical role of women researchers in different stages of the fight against COVID-19, from expanding our knowledge of the virus, to developing techniques for testing, and finally to developing vaccines against the virus.

Women work in many roles that drive and support our clinical research endeavours across all areas of our Research and Development Department at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and our NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre.

As part of our celebration of Women in Science 2021 we are delighted to highlight just a few of the inspirational women who work across our clinical research on COVID-19 and beyond.


Dr Anna Goodman

  • Anna is a consultant in infectious diseases and general (internal) medicine. As well as working across clinical wards and running our infectious diseases clinic at Guy’s and St Thomas’, Anna is a clinical researcher specialising in infectious disease. She has been the local principal investigator for a number of vaccine trials in malaria and more recently COVID-19. Read why Anna has always been keen to combine clinical practice with clinical research.

Clinical research practitioners – Cherry Paice, Kathrine Hilario and Lauren Martinez

Finola Higgins

Dr Flavia Flaviani

  • Flavia is a senior bioinformatician for the R&D department at Guy’s and St Thomas’, started her research career in biology, and has taken a career route that moves between biology and health research. Read about Flavia’s unusual path into research.

Dr Marlise Osterman

  • Marlies is a consultant in critical care and nephrology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and an Honorary Professor at King’s College London. Throughout the pandemic Marlies has been working as a co-investigator to deliver the RECOVERY Trial and the lead for the Covid-19 and Acute Kidney Injury Study. Learn more about her career in medicine and clinical research.

Dr Rebecca D’Cruz

  • Rebecca is a NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow in the Lane Fox Research Unit, having moved into research through our BRC’s Clinical Training Fellowship scheme. In 2020, Rebecca was selected to present at the Royal College of Physicians Turner-Warwick lecturer scheme, which recognises outstanding research work by trainee physicians. Find out about her journey.

Professor Rebecca Oakey

Sonia Serrano