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Women in Science

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Video clip: Amy finds the strategic overview her senior role provides allows her to see herself doing science in a variety of ways. She explains what she likes best about her work.

So, my role at OxStem as the VP of Operations is a very varied role that involves bridging the scientific teams. So, the academic research team at the University of Oxford with the Business Team, which I technically sit in the Business Team. We have about 20 post-doctoral research scientists who work in the University funded by OxStem, and they work across four different programmes. So, one in cancer, one in heart failure, one in dementia and sort of neurological diseases, and one in blindness. Got these four big programmes. So, I co-ordinate across those and co-ordinate up to the, what we call the 'top company' (parent company), so the overarching group, OxStem. I work with the Professors, Principle Investigators, with our research scientists and liaise closely with our investors on the business side, with our lawyers when we're preparing legal contractual documents. Work very closely with our CEO and CFO. So, the three of us make up the Business Team, at the moment, and generally keep the train moving forwards.

I no longer do any science in the lab which people ask me a lot, “Do I miss it?” And truthfully, yes, a little bit but perhaps the grass is always greener and I love what I do now. I get to see lots of different science on a broader level rather than actually on the sort of very detailed focus project and I really enjoy that. I love being able to see the different applications.

And what's your favourite part of the job, do you think?

[Laughs] Gosh, that's really hard. I've never even thought of that, what is my favourite part of my job. Okay, so the favourite part of my job, at the moment, is summarised just by the word, 'variety.' That sounds like a cop-out by not answering which of the specific parts, but the beauty of it is that, I mean, no day's the same. Even if I think it's going to be, it won't be. I've learnt that just about, by now. It's so different; every morning, every afternoon. Here we are today talking about women in science. Last week, I was preparing for a board meeting which we held a few days ago. Last night, I was speaking to one of our investors in London. All different contexts. It's just a fantastically varied role that allows me to see different parts of the business and scientific world. I'm sorry that is a cop-out but I couldn't possibly say.

So, if I was to describe the best part of my job, I think it would have to be, firstly, the variety, but linking into that, the people. So, I work with a series of extremely bright, lovely people and they are made up, in fact at OxStem I think we've got more women than men and, by coincidence, but we, all of those people has a different story, a different scientific story of how they've got here, and a different story to tell for where they want to go. But we're all united in the moment of this high purpose of curing disease and treating, treating people with these awful diseases that have high unmet clinical need. And, I think, there's something really special about that, working with these, these people who are on absolutely the same page as you, even though we all come from such different places.