Kat completed her PhD at Cardiff University in 2014, under the supervision of Profs. Lesley Jones and Stephen Dunnett. For her PhD project, Kat used immortalized cell culture models to investigate the role of kinase signalling in Huntington's disease. This was the first time she had ever picked up a pipette and discovered that you could grow cells in culture! She realised that it was the most interesting and fun thing to do, so decided to pursue a career in academia.
With Lesley's support and recommendation, Kat 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 her love for all things "tau" began! Despite planning to stay in NYC for just two years, Kat ended up staying for seven, and learned everything she could about stem cells and genetics (and tau!).
With a good postdoc and several papers under her belt, it was time for Kat to go it alone. In 2022, Kat moved back to the UK to establish her own lab in the UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh. Here, she is applying everthing she has learned over her career so far, and is an expert in the integration of genetics and genomics data with 2D and 3D iPSC cultures as an approach to model and understand tauopathies.
It is important to Kat that she acknowledges the help, support and networks that have allowed her to forge a (so far successful) career in academia. Prof. Lesley Jones was instrumental in introducing Kat 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 for Kat. Prof. Alison Goate continued this trend, by giving a completely inexperienced noob a chance to work on iPSC and genetics projects. It opened her mind to what is possible in science, and completeley changed the trajectory and focus of Kat's research.
For her whole career, Kat has been supported by an amazing network of exceptional women scientists who have been rooting for her 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. Kat will be forever grateful, hopes to make you all proud, and will continue to do the same for the next generation of scientists.