Early Career Committee
The Early Career Committee is for students, postdocs and early career professionals. It aims to focus on career development of RMS members through pre-congress workshops, industrial tours, networking events and more
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The RMS Early Career Committee enables students, postdocs and early career professionals to become more involved in the RMS than ever before, share their views and ideas for the RMS and make the most out of their RMS membership. Many students, postdocs and early career professionals often forget that the RMS can be utilised as a tool for professional development, a platform for collaboration and, most importantly, a community.
The Early Career Committee aims to bridge the gaps between a) students, postdocs and early career professionals, and b) research facility scientists, industrial scientists, academic staff, the RMS team and more. Upon creating a community here in the UK, the next step will be to encourage similar early career councils to be established (if they are not already) across Europe, such that this committee can be a branch of a much larger Early Career Council under the other Microscopy Societies.
The RMS Early Career Committee will not only organise new events and create new initiatives, but also make students, postdocs and early career professionals aware of the existing resources and opportunities provided by the RMS.
What will the RMS Early Career Committee do?
Provisional list of activities:
- Organise pre-meeting congresses for students, postdocs and early career professionals at national and international conferences (i.e. for European Microscopy Congress (EMC) and Microscience Microscopy Congress (MMC)).
- Promote collaboration between students, postdocs and early career professionals in the RMS across both physical and biological sciences.
- Organise a biennial MSA-RMS student/early career researcher scholarship, where:
- 2-3 RMS members would be awarded scholarships to attend Microscopy & Microanalysis (M&M), and
- 2-3 Microscopy Society of America (MSA) members would be awarded scholarships to attend Microscience Microscopy Congress (MMC).
- Attend conferences to raise awareness of the RMS. Inform attendees of what the RMS can do and how they can get involved in the committee.
- Build a network with microscopy-related industries to provide support and careers advice for students, postdocs and early career professionals. Organise facility tours and informative presentations from research centres and industry if desired by members.
- Provide information on committee activities via email, infocus magazine, on the RMS website and through our twitter account.
- We are open to further suggestions!
Who can benefit?
- Early career professionals
Any student, postdoc or early career professional who is a member the RMS can benefit from the activities organised by the Early Career Committee. You will be informed of upcoming events through the RMS website, emails and infocus magazine.
Dr Liam Rooney
Early Career Committee Chair & Life Sciences Section Early Career Representative
Liam is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Heriot-Watt University. After obtaining a BSc(Hons) in Cell and Molecular Biology, his research has focused on the spatiotemporal mechanisms and behaviours of bacteria. Liam completed an interdisciplinary PhD in 2020, where he worked with Gail McConnell and Paul Hoskisson at the University of Strathclyde. As part of his PhD Liam discovered three-dimensional motility behaviours exhibited by the predatory bacterium, Myxococcus xanthus, using a novel multi-wavelength interference method; additionally, he identified a system of previously unobserved functionalised channels in large E. coli communities using the Mesolens, which were used for nutrient acquisition and dissemination in dense microbial aggregates; and he also developed and characterised a 3D transparent soil system for bacterial culture which was compatible with optical microscopy. At Heriot-Watt, Liam is currently investigating the mechanisms of the bacterial Type VI Secretion System in interkingdom interactions using super-resolution and single molecule localisation microscopy. Liam is the early career representative on the RMS Life Sciences Section committee, and also sits on the RMS Early Career Section committee.
Dr Yanping Guo
Early Career Committee Deputy Chair
University College London
Yanping is the Manager of the Flow Cytometry Translational Technology Platform at UCL Cancer Institute. After receiving her DPhil degree from Oxford University, Yanping did her postdoc research at UCL focusing on the hematopoietic stem cells and leukaemia. She enjoys helping users with training, experimental design and data analysis for flow cytometry in different disciplines. She is also keen about teaching and mentoring of younger scientists.
Ms Beatrice Bottura
University of Strathclyde
Beatrice is a first year PhD student in Strathclyde's biophotonics group. After graduating with a Master degree in Physics at the University of Manchester, she now works on a joint PhD project between physics and microbiology. This involves studying mature E. coli colony biofilms with the Mesolens, a fluorescence microscope which allows to visualise big (6x6 mm) biological specimens with sub-cellular detail. In particular, she will investigate the effect of genetic mutations on biofilm architecture. Her interests lie in using novel microscopy techniques to observe bacterial samples.
Dr Laura Clark
University of Leeds
Laura is a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Leeds working in the LEMAS facility within the School of Chemical and Process Engineering, to develop 4D-STEM imaging of beam-sensitive materials.
She received her BSc and MSc in Physics from the University of York, before completing her PhD in the EMAT lab of the University of Antwerp. During her PhD she developed methods to generate and quantitatively analyse electron vortex beams in transmission electron microscopes. Subsequently she held postdoctoral positions at Monash University and the University of Glasgow, where she developed differential phase contrast STEM imaging methods, before holding an ESTEEM3 postdoctoral position at the University of Oxford, developing 4D-STEM data analysis methods. She took up her Marie Curie fellowship at Leeds in November 2020.As the representative from the IOP’s electron microscopy and analysis group (EMAG) on the RMS-ECR committee, she aims to improve integration between the two communities.
Dr Irene Del Molino Del Barrio
Flow Cytometry Section Early Career Representative
Irene currently works at GSK developing multi-paramter flow cytometry panels for clinical trial sample analysis, aiming to understand how these biomarkers relate to disease heterogeneity, drug-target interactions and patient responses. This build ups from her prior role in the Cancer ImmunoTherapy Accelerator (CITA), where she developed similar panels to analyse PBMCs of cancer patients across different recruitment sites. Those panels were used and further expanded during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to monitor the immune system in COVID-19 patients, including cancer patients that had contracted the disease. Previously she worked at the University of Oxford as a postdoctoral researcher where she focused on the identification and validation of novel targets and molecules for the treatment of Friedreich's Ataxia. She is particularly interested in educating and promoting flow cytometry to new users.
Mr Peter Johnson
University of Southampton
Peter is a final year PhD student studying at the University of Southampton as part of the Molecular Biophotonics and Imaging group. His personal research interests are in designing and implementing label-free, super-resolution microscopy techniques for disease characterisation. He has a keen interest in science outreach and engagement, having designed and run activities at multiple events. As a member of the RMS EC committee, he particularly wants to facilitate early career researcher (ECR) engagement in public outreach and help create events to develop ECRs.
Dr Minkyung Kang
AFM & Scanning Probe Microscopies Section Early Career Representative
Deakin University, Australia
Minkyung received BSc and MSc in Chemistry at Ewha Womans University (South Korea) and completed her PhD in Warwick Electrochemistry and Interfaces Group at the University of Warwick in 2017. She built strong background in electrochemistry and developed her expertise in state-of-the-art instrumentation and novel experimental approaches for scanning electrochemical probe microscopy (SEPM) at Warwick. On her current projects, she has a special interest in SEPM applications for fundamental studies of the (nano)interfaces involved in electrocatalysis.
Dr Daniel Kelly
Daniel Kelly is a post-doctoral researcher at the Technical University of Denmark working in the ‘Atomic-Scale Materials Dynamics’ group led by Prof. Thomas Willum Hansen at DTU Nanolab. He studied Nanoscience, Physics and Chemistry of Advanced Materials at Trinity College Dublin before moving to the University of Manchester where he obtained his PhD in 2020 under the supervision of Prof. Sarah Haigh. His PhD research was focused on the development of novel graphene liquid-platforms for transmission electron microscopy (TEM), based on lithographically patterned 2D heterostructures. Following this, he was awarded a year-long EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Manchester to study dynamic electrochemical processes in molybdenum disulfide using in situ TEM. At DTU, Daniel is currently researching the structural and chemical stability of various two-dimensional materials under controlled atmospheric conditions using environmental TEM and electron energy loss spectroscopy.
Ms Nyree Manoukian
Engineering and Physical Sciences Early Career Representative
University of Oxford
Nyree studied archaeology for her undergraduate degree at University of Toronto, and subsequently moved to the UK for her MSc degree in technology and analysis of archaeological materials. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Oxford in archaeological science. Her research interests include the analysis of ceramics using scanning electron microscopy and polarised light microscopy, in order to reverse-engineer the production and use of such materials in the past. Her fieldwork activities focus on the Caucasus region. Research areas include raw materials acquisition, manufacturing techniques, firing regimen, and the use/function of archaeological pottery. Nyree is the EPS Early Career Representative and is keen on organising archaeological science workshops, which integrate various scientific fields explored within RMS.
Dr Stefania Marcotti
Stefania Marcotti is a postdoc in the Cellular Biophysics section at the Randall Centre for Cell and Molecular Biophysics at KCL. After a BSc and an MSc in biomechanical engineering under the guidance of Prof. Alberto Redaelli at Politecnico di Milano, she obtained a PhD at the University of Sheffield focused on the mechanical characterisation of bone cells with atomic force microscopy and finite element modelling. Thanks to the possibility of combining both experimental and computational approaches in all of her projects, she developed an interest in data and image quantitative analysis. In 2018 she joined Brian Stramer's group and her current research interest lie in developing and automating analysis pipelines for biological applications.
Dr Emma McDermott
Microscopical Society of Ireland Early Career Representative
Emma is a Senior Technical Officer in electron microscopy in the Centre for Microscopy and Imaging at the National University of Ireland Galway. She received her BSc in Anatomy and MSc in Regenerative Medicine, both in NUI Galway, and completed her PhD at the University of Aberdeen in 2018. During her PhD, she used electron tomography to visualise the complex 3D ultrastructure of bone-resorbing cells called osteoclasts. As the representative for the Microscopical Society of Ireland on the Early Career Committee, Emma aims to increase engagement and encourage networking between the RMS and Irish Early Career Researchers.
Ms Shurie McMahon
University of Huddersfield
Shurie McMahon was a former Junior Science apprentice at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), here she gained experience in Electrochemistry and Emissions and Atmospheric Metrology. She is now pursuing further education opportunities by studying Engineering at the University of Huddersfield.
Dr Colum O’Leary
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Colum O’Leary studied physics for his undergraduate degree at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, before pursuing his DPhil (PhD) studies in Materials at the University of Oxford. His research interests include transmission electron microscopy, tomography and ptychography. Colum is one of the founding members of the RMS Early Career Committee. Now a postdoc at UCLA, Colum is eager to develop relationships between early career microscopists in the UK and USA.
Dr Heba Sailem
University of Oxford
Dr Sailem research is focused on understanding the interplay between genetic and phenotypic components underlying changes in tissue architecture. To achieve that she develops statistical and machine learning methodologies for analysing large biomedical datasets with a focus on cellular imaging and single cell data. In 2017, She has been awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome Research Fellowship to develop a knowledge-driven machine learning framework for characterising gene functions in different cell types. These methods revealed a potential role for olfactory receptors in epithelial colorectal cell organisation. She did her PhD at the Institute of Cancer Research in London under the supervision of Prof Chris Bakal. While at the ICR she developed methods for integrating phenotypic data with gene expression, modelling of the relationship between cell signalling and its context, and modelling the dynamics of cell morphogenesis. In these studies, she discovered new links between cell shape and breast cancer progression. She is also interested in data visualisation as an important tool for science communication. She devised PhenoPlot, one of the first tools that are specifically designed for visualising phenotypic data. This method facilitates the interpretation of high dimensional data by generating pictorial representations of cells based on hundreds to thousands of measurements
Dr Rebecca Saleeb
Light Microscopy Early Career Representative
University of Edinburgh
Rebecca is a postdoc in the Edinburgh Single-Molecule Biophysics group at the University of Edinburgh. She completed an interdisciplinary PhD with Dr Paul Dalgarno and Prof Rory Duncan, developing and using FLIM-FRET and super-resolution technologies to understand late-stage autophagy. She subsequently spent a number of years as a bio-imaging specialist/facility manager for the Edinburgh Super-Resolution Imaging Consortium, Lisbon’s Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown and Queen Mary University of London, where she helped researchers apply optical microscopy to diverse questions of biology, spanning neuroscience, cancer, immunology and cardiovascular biology. She returned to dedicated research in 2021, working in the lab of Mathew Horrocks to explore the structure and pathogenic capacity of α-synuclein aggregates, a hallmark of Parkinson’s Disease.
Mrs Jennifer Simpson
The Pirbright Institute
Jennifer is the Senior Microscopist at The Pirbright Institute. She studied for a BSc Hons in Biology at the University of Portsmouth and joined The Pirbright Institute Bioimaging group in 2002. After leaving to work in an NHS histopathology laboratory for two years, she returned to The Pirbright Institute in 2012. She collaborates on a variety of research projects using confocal microscopy and electron microscopy including STED, CLEM and tomography. She was recently awarded the RMS Diploma for her project researching Marek’s disease virus in chicken feather follicle epithelium.
Dr Rebecca Thompson
Electron Microscopy Deputy Chair
University of Leeds
Rebecca is Facility Manager and senior cryo-electron microscopy (EM) support scientist at the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory, University of Leeds. Her research interests include imaging a broad range of biological specimens, from whole cells to macromolecular complexes, to high resolution using cryo-EM, and integrating data from EM with other microscopy techniques.
Dr Wing Chung Tsoi
Wing Chung is a Lecturer at the College of Engineering at Swansea University. He obtained both his BSc in Physics (2002) and PhD in Physics (liquid crystal solar cells, 2007) at The University of Hull. He then carried out postdoctoral research at The University of Sheffield, Imperial College, and National Physical Laboratory on organic photovoltaic cells. In 2014, he started his independent research career as a senior research officer at Swansea University. In 2019, he become a lecturer there. His research mainly focuses on solution-process photovoltaic cells, including organic and perovskite solar cells. He also has expertise on advanced multiple mapping techniques (Raman, PL, photocurrent, electroluminescence) and functional atomic force microscopy. He is also a committee member of the Institute of Physics Wales, and a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society.
Dr Aakash Varambhia
Early Career Committee Industrial Representative
Aakash is a Data Scientist in the Advanced Characterisation team at Johnson Matthey Technology Centre. His work consists of developing specialised tools for data analysis from a wide range of instruments such as X-ray tomography, FIB and TEM. He is also an honorary researcher at Diamond Light Source and collaborates with the data science and microscopy teams at the facility. Before working for Johnson Matthey, Aakash completed a DPhil project at the University of Oxford in the Nellist research group where he developed quantitative experimental and data processing techniques to study catalyst nanoparticles. By being a part of both industry and academia, Aakash is keen to act as the bridge between the two as the early career committee industrial representative.
The 2021 Annual General Meeting of the Early Career Section of the Royal Microscopical Society will be held on Monday 5 July 2021. The AGM will be held during the Early Career Symposium which is one of the first meetings to be held to launch mmc2021. The event will consist of keynote and contributed talks and a panel discussion on the themes of ‘career pathways’ and ‘Securing funding as an ECR’.
All the Society’s AGMs are free to attend for both members and non-members.
If you are interested in joining any of the RMS committees in the future, please contact Allison Winton.