Rebecca OakeyTo mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2021 we are showcasing some of the incredible researchers across the research and development (R&D) department at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). One of those women is Professor Rebecca Oakey.

Professor Rebecca Oakey is the lead of our School of Translational and Experimental Medicine (Cluster four), which delivers innovative clinical and non-clinical research training programmes. As a professor of epigenetics, Rebecca leads the Epigenetics Laboratory in the Department of Medical & Molecular Genetics at King’s College London and is also the university’s Dean for Doctoral Studies.

Professor Oakey explains what and who inspired her to go into science: “I was fortunate as an undergraduate to be exposed to research via a sandwich placement year at the NERC’s Institute of Virology in Oxford. Two mentors demystified the route to careers in research, my amazing tutor Marianne Hall and lab head, Dr Bob Possee through his inclusive and insightful approach to supervision and mentoring.

“After thirteen years working abroad seeking to acquire a tool kit of skills through training, I returned to work in the UK. Exploring biology has been an unbelievable privilege.

“Women scientists as peers and through leadership have enriched and inspired me through their example and wisdom and have been truly outstanding role models who provided encouragement and support for me and for many other women to progress. My perpetual thanks to Donna George, Marisa Bartolomei, Beverly Emanuel, Ellen Solomon and Deborah Bourc’his.”