Meet the PI

Kathryn Bowles (she/her)

Discovering Research

I completed my PhD at Cardiff University in 2014, under the supervision of Profs. Lesley Jones and Stephen Dunnett. For my PhD project, I used immortalized cell culture models to investigate the role of kinase signalling in Huntington's disease. This was the first time I had ever picked up a pipette and discovered that you could grow cells in culture! I realised that it was the most interesting and fun thing to do, so decided to pursue a career in academia.

New York

With Lesley's support and recommendation, I moved to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City to start a postdoc position with Prof. Alison Goate in 2015. This is where my love for all things "tau" began! Despite planning to stay in NYC for just two years, I ended up staying for seven, and learned everything I could about stem cells and genetics (and tau!).

Becoming Independent

With a good postdoc and several papers under my belt, it was time for me to go it alone. In 2022, I moved back to the UK to establish my own lab in the UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh. Here, I am applying everthing I have learned over my career so far, with a focus on the integration of genetics and genomics data with 2D and 3D iPSC cultures as an approach to model and understand tauopathies.

Support is Key

It is important to me that I acknowledge the help, support and networks that have allowed me to forge a (so far successful) career in academia. Prof. Lesley Jones was instrumental in introducing me to research as a career, and took a chance on someone with zero experience in the lab or with genetics. It was truly a career- and life-defining choice. Prof. Alison Goate continued this trend, by giving a completely inexperienced noob a chance to work on iPSC and genetics projects. It opened my mind to what is possible in science, and completeley changed the trajectory and focus of my research.

For my whole career, I have been supported by an amazing network of exceptional women scientists who have been rooting for me to succeed (too many to list them all here!). It has made the challenging moments less stressful and makes the job so much more fun. I will be forever grateful, hope to make you all proud, and will continue to do the same for the next generation of scientists.

Fun Facts

Kat's dog is called Tau

Tau is genetically 1/2 Chihuahua, 1/8 Dachshund, 1/8 Jack Russell, and 1/4 "Other"

She is (over-)enthusiastic for karaoke

This enthusiasm resulted in Kat being awarded with this microphone at a Tau Consortium conference

She used to compete at trampolining

Way way way WAY back in her youth. She trained at Orbit trampoline club in Milton Keynes with Russ Jackman