About Me


I have been involved in research since the day I was born. As one of triplets, born three months early, I took part in a clinical trial for the drug, surfactant, designed to help develop the lungs of premature babies. I am alive today thanks to scientific research and I believe that science impacts all of our lives.

I have always been fascinated by what makes us human and I vividly remember learning about genetics at school and thinking it was really cool that we are all composed of tiny molecules! Our genetic make-up not only makes us who we are but it is also involved in health and disease, this is where my interest in research began.

After completing a degree in Biochemistry I went on to study a PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience. I then decided that I wanted to work with people and worked in the clinic with people and families impacted by Huntington’s disease.

Today you’ll find me lecturing, teaching the next generation of scientists at Cardiff University. Alongside that I am a science communicator. I want to make science as accessible, inclusive and fun as possible.

Academic positions

Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University School of Biosciences (August 2021 – Present)

Lecturer at Cardiff University School of Biosciences (September 2019 – July 2021)

Health and Care Research Wales Fellow (October 2016 – August 2019)

Lecturer at The Centre for Continuing Professional Education and Development (Jan. 2016 – Present)

Research Associate, The Brain Repair Group Cardiff University (Oct. 2015 – March 2016)

Check out my publications for more details.


2016 – 2018 Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Trials, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

2017, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

2012 – 2015 PhD Behavioural Neuroscience, Cardiff University

2014, Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)

2009 – 2012 BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, Cardiff University

Honours and awards

Cardiff University Celebrating Excellence Award Rising Star (Academic) 2021

Shortlisted for Royal Society of Biology Higher Education Biosciences Teacher of the Year 2021

I’m a Scientist Get Me Out Of Here –  2021 Overall Zone Winner

FameLab 2019 Wales Winner and UK Finalist

British Neuroscience Association 2018 Award for Public Engagement in Neuroscience

TEDx Cardiff University Talk, 2018

British Science Association Charles Darwin Award Lecture 2018

Cardiff Institute for Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER) Young Investigator Award, Winner 2017

Womenspire Chwarea Teg Rising Star 2017, Finalist

Most Dedicated STEM Ambassador in Wales Finalist, April 2017

WeAreTheCity Rising Star Nomination, March 2017

SET for Britain Research Presentation at the Houses of Parliament, 2016

The Biochemical Society Scientific Communication Writing Award Winner, 2015

Shortlisted Finalist for the Max Perutz Science Writing Award, MRC London, 2013

Follow me on Twitter: @EmmaYhnell or connect on LinkedIn

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