I first worked at St George’s as a Postdoctoral Scientist from 1998 to 2004. I left to work at Reading University as a British Heart Foundation researcher until 2007 and came back as a Problem Based Learning (PBL) tutor in 2008.
I enjoy every aspect of PBL and I am a big fan of this form of small group teaching. As a PBL tutor, I have the privilege of observing how the process transforms shy unassuming students, unsure of how much they know, into confident individuals willing to tackle difficult clinical concepts through self-directed learning.
Of course, this is usually a struggle for most students initially, but when the ‘penny drops', the zeal and the willingness of the students to engage in the process wholeheartedly makes PBL a great way to learn. Over the years I have become more involved with the curriculum side of PBL and also hold a PBL lectureship position.
In terms of my proudest achievement, during my post doc at St George’s, I was the principle researcher in the identification of the genetic defect that underlie Naxos disease. The findings are published in the LANCET.
I also love the heart. It is an amazing and fascinating organ. Most organs can be rested or immobilised to allow repair and regeneration, the heart cannot afford to stop beating for a moment. Irrespective of injury or damage it has to supply blood to our vital organs at all cost. The official time of death is when the heart stops beating and hence pulse is absent.
I have much admiration for Professor Deborah Bowman and her leadership approach. The wisdom with which she deals with sensitive and difficult issues is very inspiring to me personally.
I have of course encountered challenges as a black female academic working in Higher Education here in the UK, and although most people do see past skin colour, it is still work in progress. It is encouraging to see that St George’s like most other organisations is working proactively towards creating opportunities for the progress and advancement of minority ethnic groups.
St George’s has a vibrant community, I think that as staff we learn a lot from our students, and there is a special relationship between staff and students. One notable things about our St George’s community is that no matter your background and/or skin colour and irrespective of whether you are staff or student, positive contributions to the university’s aims and objectives are valued at the highest level, and there is much respect for academic knowledge and achievements.