Career insights at annual Athena Lecture
25 April 2012
This year’s Athena Lecture on 3 May will be given by Dame Nancy Rothwell, the first female President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester.
In her lecture, ‘Inside the Brain’ Dame Nancy will be taking about her career and her research as a neuroscientist, including her work on the causes of stroke and related conditions.
She is the thirteenth speaker to deliver the Athena Lecture, an annual event celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology and medicine. Dame Nancy spoke to Reporter ahead of the lecture:
Did you always want to be a scientist?
Probably; apparently I said I was going to be a scientist when I was five! Later on though I actually veered towards art, and even took an A level in the subject at art school.
What is your proudest achievement?
Discovering that a protein normally linked to the immune system and inflammation is a cause of brain damage, and that blocking that protein could be useful in treating stroke and related disorders.
As the first woman President and Vice-Chancellor of the UK’s largest university, what has been your biggest challenge?
I don’t think there has been anything that related me to being a woman, but I started at the time of greatest uncertainty for universities just as the cuts in government funding were being announced and amid the debate about the new student fee regime.
How do you juggle your research with your role as head of a university?
Nominally Fridays are set aside for research but, inevitably, I juggle between the two and end up reading a lot of research related papers in the evenings. Sometimes I do miss not being able to spend more time on research but I also love being a VC.
Hear more about Dame Nancy Rothwell’s research and career: Registration details for this year’s Athena Lecture from 17.30-18.30 on Thursday 3 May are here.