To mark British Science Week, we are highlighting some of the inspirational scientists who work across our clinical research and who are smashing stereotypes every day. Natasha Ajraam, Advanced Therapies and Experimental Medicine Cluster Manager at our Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), is one of those.
Natasha is a scientist by background and her role at our BRC is to enable clinical research teams to deliver faster translation of research from the laboratory to the bedside.
Natasha explained her science journey: “I loved learning about science at school and chose science A Levels. I especially enjoyed the microscopy practicals – looking at animal and plant cells under a light microscope – it was like looking at a different world. This pushed me more towards biology and I went on to read Biological Natural Sciences for my undergraduate degree, specialising in genetics for my third year. I also took a minor module in history and ethics of medicine. Whilst at university, I decided that working in a laboratory wasn’t really the place for me and I looked for health related project roles. My first role was as a care assistant and I then managed a vaccine uptake project in public health in Birmingham. This then led me onto working in clinical trials in 2010.
“I came to the BRC in 2017 and I manage several research programmes looking at developing new advanced medicines for many different diseases. I provide practical support for these programmes, managing finance, staff and reports.
“To me, the most rewarding part of working in science is seeing patients benefit from the new medicines as a direct result of the work my teams are doing ‘behind the scenes’.”
Natasha added: “If anyone is considering a career in science, I would advise them to follow what you enjoy and don’t be limited by thinking careers in science are only in the laboratory.”