Oxygen Sensing: Molecular Adaptations in Times of Stress

Dr Flashman’s research investigates how oxygen- sensing enzymes function normally, how they are damaged in cancer cells and, most importantly in terms of cancer treatment, how this damage might be prevented by antioxidants such as vitamin C.

Why did you choose a career in science?

I was always interested in science at school and I found it satisfying to understand how things work. My undergraduate degree was in biochemistry though when I left university I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to carry on in science. However, I needed a job and landed one in a laboratory in Oxford. Once I was in, I was hooked and carried on to do a PhD.

Have you come across any challenges being a woman in science?

Coming back to work after having my second child has been hard. However, I think it is also difficult for men who take on the child care responsibilities.

I have found it encouraging that grant bodies are more and more accommodating for flexible working and career breaks.

What do you hope to achieve in your career?

I would really like to carry on doing interesting research. I am not a megalomaniac – I love what I do.

How has the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship helped your career?

I used the fellowship money to purchase a new piece of kit that has been a hugely important factor in my research.

It has helped to raise my profile and exciting things have happened as a result. For example, I contribute book reviews for the Times Higher Education Supplement and have been a panellist for The Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.

For Women in Science

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