United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Today is the United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The day is marked every year on February 11 to ensure equal access and participation for women and girls in science.

TauRx is incredibly fortunate to have a plethora of talented women in our organisation, each of them working with a shared goal to develop treatments for neurodegenerative diseases caused by tau protein aggregation.

We wish we could shine a spotlight on each and every one of them, and Nafeesa, Kath and Carol are fantastic examples of those who can serve as inspiration to other women and girls who may be considering a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career.

Nafeesa Nazlee, Biostatistics Officer:

“I was always captivated by the curiosity-driven nature of science and the potential to contribute to meaningful discoveries that could positively impact the world. My passion for science was sparked by my natural fascination and the chance to push myself in a field with limitless opportunities.

Over the course of 15+ years, I have worked in two countries with different cultures: Pakistan and Scotland, UK. In Pakistan, I worked eight years in Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, and in UK, I worked five years at University of Aberdeen before pursuing my PhD studies.

After completing my PhD, now I have started working at TauRx Therapeutics Ltd. However, I always found myself surrounded by an encouraging and supportive work environment which has been crucial in helping me accomplish my professional goals. In addition to enhancing my job satisfaction, this supportive culture provided the groundwork I needed to advance both personally and professionally.

The main motivations behind my work have been the satisfaction of overcoming challenges, contributing innovative solutions, and seeing real world impact of scientific research in society. Moreover, working with other like-minded individuals and continuous learning are the factors that kept me intrigued all these years.”

Kath Martin, Head of Data Science:

“During my early education at secondary school, I loved learning about the building blocks of life through Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and ,once starting University, I decided to study for an MSc in Neuroscience to learn more about the brain and mind. As my studies came to an end, I was offered an opportunity to work at TauRx, a small University spin-out with a mission to develop novel treatments for dementia. I soon felt that I had become part of something special.

Working for TauRx for almost 20 years has been an extraordinary experience as we have navigated Phase I to III studies and the highs and lows along the way. It has been truly character building, developing my resilience and ability to overcome challenges through problem solving and teamwork. The work is fast paced, and requires high energy, motivation, and organisation. I’m continually learning and enjoy the diversity and daily challenges. At the heart of TauRx, we work with likeminded people who believe they can really make a difference in the field of dementia.

This year, there’s a change in focus for the company as our latest phase III clinical trial completed, representing a major milestone for us. My role has increased in scope , which is both exciting and terrifying all at the same time! But I look forward to evolving my current, and realising the potential of what may possibly come next.

Clinical Research is dominated by strong, intelligent women and I am proud to be part of the industry. To anyone interested in science, I would say there are so many diverse opportunities to develop an extremely rewarding career, which could also result in being part of important research to help people.

Carol Pringle, Regulatory Director:

“As a professional in regulatory affairs for more than 25 years, when I think about what drew me to this career path all those years ago, it likely stems from both opportunity and the desire to make a difference. After a happy time in the laboratory, doing post-doctoral research, focussed on CNS- Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease, I guess you could say I have a deep-rooted interest in TauRx’s area of research and development since the early days.

A step into the unknown took me on a path to Industry through the door that is regulatory affairs. As a curious individual, always wanting to learn something new, regulatory affairs has given me great opportunities over the years to learn the pharmaceutical business and network at all levels, work with many cultures across several geographies, with different product pipelines in the Pharmaceutical Industry.

A perhaps overused, but quite accurate analogy of regulatory affairs is to be at the centre of a wheel and all the spokes of the wheel lead to other company functions, communicating in harmony. The satisfaction of being a key contributor in my field and to lead teams to successful product registrations has not been without risk taking or acceptance of failures at times. The key is to learn from every action taken and to continue to have the conviction and optimism to drive positive change for patients by getting timely new innovative treatments through the ever-changing regulatory hurdles.

Being part of a diverse team and building strong teams is something at the heart of my core values, and to give back in the form of mentoring should never be underestimated in order to help individuals to flourish and grow in a positive and open environment. Being a part of this incredible journey in TauRx is to make a change for patients suffering with the debilitating disease that is Alzheimer’s Disease and perhaps give back to patients the confidence lost and the time necessary to enjoy more precious memories in life. What a privilege and meaningful adventure to be a woman in science!”

You can find out more about the International Day of Women and Girls in Science here: https://www.womeninscienceday.org