My 52nd guest is Jodi, a PhD student in neurodegeneration, passionate science communicator and host of the podcast The Academinist.
Hi Jodi! First of all would you like to tell us something about you?
Hello! My name is Jodi and I am a neuroscientist in London. I studied my Medical Neuroscience BSc and Neuroscience Master of Research (MRes) in Sussex and then moved to London to pursue a PhD in Neurodegeneration.
When did you start your Instagram account? How did you get the idea?
I started my science communication Instagram during the first UK lockdown around the same time that we started our podcast The Academinist. I wanted to keep myself busy when I was stuck at home whilst keeping my science brain busy!
Can you tell us something about how you balance work and private life?
I have clear boundaries for my work days. This is harder while working from home but I try to atleast keep Sunday free from any work. When planning my week I ensure to also plan in time for self care and non-work related tasks.
During your academic studies how many women were in course? Why in your opinion?
I think working in biological/neurosciences my courses have always had a fair proportion of women in. But we are still far from where we need to be with female representation in STEM – this is why we run a feminism and equality podcast, The Academinist to discuss issues effecting women and minorities in the sciences.
Have you ever felt harassed or being kept apart as a scholar because you are a woman?
Not during my academic studies luckily, but after my masters I worked in a wearable technology company and I was often the only woman in the room working with an all male leadership and tech team. At times I felt my ideas weren’t listened to and was frequently spoken over in group meetings for example.
How did you become passionate about science?
My younger sister has neurofibromitosis and autism and so I have always been interested in medicine and in particular, in the brain. When I was 18 I started working as a nursing assistant with dementia patients and this is when my passion to research Neurodegeneration started.
Would you like to talk briefly about your job?
I am a Medical Research Council funded PhD student at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience. I am using human cells to research neuroinflammation and neuron-glia signalling in Neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS/FTD.
Thank you so much for your time. Lastly, can you give any advice to girls interested in STEM?
Reach out! Follow as many women working in STEM as possible and don’t be afraid to ask questions. We love to help!