Our Team

As scientists ourselves, we believe passionately in effective science communication and public engagement and making science a cornerstone of our lives.

Allow us to introduce ourselves (in alphabetical order):

Alex

'The Cancerminator'

My name is Alex and I am a PhD student at the University of Manchester. I was born in the beautiful Eastern European country of Bulgaria, where I spent the first 18 years of my life travelling, hiking, skiing, painting, and participating in all kinds of English language-related activities at school. After completing my undergraduate and master studies in the UK, I knew that I wanted to continue my journey in science within the field of cancer research. I was incredibly lucky to join the brilliant Finegan lab in Manchester in October 2019, where I am (mostly failing at) investigating the role of the signalling molecule ERK5 in childhood bone cancer.

To me science is marvellous – complex, beautiful, dangerous, and full of unknowns. It has given me so much in knowledge, experiences, and opportunities, for which I am immensely fortunate and grateful. The research, technology, facilities, and people we have here are fantastic and it is a privilege to be a part of the Live with Scientists Project! 🙂

Ayse

'The Typewriter'

Hi, my name is Ayse. I am a lecturer in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Manchester. I am passionate about developing novel anti-cancer therapies by finding new ways to exploit cancer cell biology and metabolism. I am also passionate about maximising the impact of research by informing, engaging and inspiring the public. Within the last decade, I have actively designed, delivered and led several different activities communicating our research and its impact to the public at events ranging in size from tens to thousands, and further co-organised Café Scientifique Manchester since 2016. Through these events, I came to realise that the delivery methods for various public engagement talks or activities are not able to reach out to underrepresented communities. Hence, wanted to reach out to the public by utilising different methods. 

Upon sharing this idea with Bo, it has quickly developed into this new public engagement brand: ‘LIVE with scientists’. With the help of a brilliant team dedicated to give everyone equal access to science, we are proud to share our passion with you as LIVE with scientists team.

In addition to directing this project, I coordinate and manage volunteers and activities, build networks for reaching out to underrepresented areas and age groups, and where possible write grants to acquire funds for this project.

Bo

'GEEEEK!'

I’m Bo(-ster), currently a lecturer in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Manchester.  I am a passionate science communicator.  I’ve run Cafe Scientifique talks in Manchester since 2013 and over the years have led or contributed to many national and international public engagement events including Manchester Science Festival, The Brain Box, Science Spectacular and What Do Psychologists Do?  Internationally I have been writing about brain sciences on Chinese platforms such as WeChat and Zhihu since 2017 (600k+ views and ~15k followers).  In 2019, I’ve published a lecture series ‘The Essence of the Brain’ on Yixi.tv (aka the Chinese TED).

I am co-founder of LIVE with Scientists.  I support Ayse where I can.  In addition to hosting events, I take care of the tech side of LIVE with Scientists, including building and running this website, managing streaming operations and logistics, etc.

Cristina

'Inspiring geneticist'

I have a BSc in Chemistry and a PhD in Neuroscience. My research has mostly focused on investigating genetic variants associated with disease, first with schizophrenia and now with neurofibromatosis. During my time as a researcher I have also been fortunate to be able to participate in science communication projects alongside other incredibly inspiring scientists. I have recently joined the Live with Scientists team and I’m incredibly excited to collaborate with them connecting researchers with expanding audiences and share the wonder.

Jessica

'The Mindful'

As a PhD student at the University of Manchester, I am trying to understand and improve cognitive difficulties in patients with schizophrenia. While there are medications for the hallucinations and delusions of schizophrenia, individuals also experience learning and memory issues for which there are no existing drug treatments. Sadly, this often prevents patients from achieving independent living, finding employment and forming relationships. I hope that my research will be a step closer to improving quality of life for people with schizophrenia! 

I am definitely not alone in my fascination with the human brain and how it works. But whilst I get to spend every day unravelling the mysteries of neuroscience, not everyone is this lucky! That’s why I am involved in the Live with Scientists project, to make the joys of science accessible to everyone, of all ages and backgrounds. 

Growing up with an autistic twin sister, I am more than aware of the various personal circumstances that make accessing talks and events simply too difficult. That’s where I firmly believe this project can make a huge difference, and I am incredibly excited to be a part of it!

Josh

'Wound-erful Immunologist'

Hi my name is Josh! I am an Immunology PhD student at the University of Manchester, my research is focussed on trying to understand how inflammation is regulated in wound healing by different ‘off switches’ that immune cells have! Hopefully this will give us a chance to dial down inflammation in chronic wounds, like diabetic ulcers, where too much inflammation gets in the way of healing.

 

With claims for ‘immune boosting’ supplements, the presence of anti-vaxxer movements and the interest in how our immune system comes into play during a pandemic, studying immunology has made me all the more keen to have a two-way dialogue about science and what it means for us!

Katie

'The Gene Genie'

Hi, my name is Katie and I’m a PhD student at the University of Manchester. Since 2012 I have studied and worked in the field of genetics, and my research area now focuses on investigating genetic risk for a particular type of brain tumour. I find genetics really interesting, as genes can impact on almost all other areas of biological research. So I love hearing about work done by other researchers across different fields and how it could be linked to genetic mechanisms.

 

Alongside my research I’m passionate about science communication and really enjoy working alongside other scientists to explore new and creative ways of presenting scientific information. I believe that by providing accessible and interesting resources to the public, we can help provide more opportunities for empowerment and inspiration in science. That is why I’m excited to be a part of the LIVE with Scientists team.  

Kundai

'Passionista'

Hi, my name is Kundai! I’m a Pharmacy student with an ambition of working in the pharmaceutical industry. I’m excited to be part of the Live with Scientists team and will be overseeing social media, speaker recruitment and writing blog pieces! Throughout my degree, I’ve taken part in several outreach and volunteering opportunities, from Manchester Marrow to setting up the Black Pharmacists Collective to working as Student Ambassador and as a committee member of the Homeless Healthcare Society. I’m passionate about making knowledge and opportunities accessible and engaging, particularly for those from a BAME background.

Marta

'The Explorer'

Hi, my name is Marta. I recently gained PhD in lipidomics and I’m currently working as a researcher at the University of Manchester. While I really like my research area, I’m always excited to hear about what other scientists are working on. Outside the lab, I absolutely love travelling, especially off the beaten track, exploring new places, talking to local people, learning about different cultures, and trying local cuisine.

I’m passionate about empowering others and one day I hope to live in a world where everyone is given the same opportunities.

Scott

'Bolton's Future'

I’m Scott Rutherford, a pharmacy student at the University of Manchester. I grew up in Bolton, a town about 15 miles north of Manchester. Studying pharmacy draws a tight link between people and science – hence why I’m excited to get people to access and engage with science as part of ‘LIVE with Scientists’. I believe that science is supposed to be accessible, useful and inclusive and that is why this project is important.

My role is to reach out to scientists and the public alike and bring them together to share their passion for science. I also produce some content for the website and manage aspects of our social media.


Youssef

'Cellicious'

My name is Youssef. I’m a Pharmacy student studying in Manchester but have lived my whole life in Egypt.

My interest in science started from middle school. I just liked how organized and ‘fakely’ colourful cells looked.

Fast forward to 2020 and I am in an incredibly exciting opportunity to be able to interview experts in their field. Whether they are microbiologists, epidemiologists, or biochemists; I believe they all have information that can benefit the public in various ways. From satisfying their curiosities to possibly igniting a hidden passion within them for science! Either way, I hope I bring value to you.