About Me

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I am a lecturer and science communicator based in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. I have experience working in biomedical science and a specialist interest in neurodegenerative diseases, science communication and public engagement.

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 biomedical research and I believe that biomedical research 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.

Research

My research fellowship (funded by the Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales) was focused on exploring computerised cognitive training (brain training) for people with Huntington’s disease in the patient clinic.

I have  completed my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry before a PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience and Huntington’s disease. It is really important to me that my research has a strong translational element and that it will impact real people and families. I am also interested in the implications that my work has for other diseases and disorders of the brain as well as the ethical, moral and societal questions that it raises.

Academic positions

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

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)

Education

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

2012 – 2015 PhD Behavioural Neuroscience, Cardiff University

2009 – 2012 BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, Cardiff University

Teaching

I teaching across the undergraduate programme within the School of Biosciences and I lecture at the Centre for Continuing and Professional Education and I am module lead for ‘Diseases and Disorders of the Brain.’ I have experience in lecturing large groups of undergraduate students as well as small seminar groups. I enjoy teaching and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

I am also involved in several educational research studies with colleagues in the School of Biosciences. These have included research into the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification (WBQ) and further studies are ongoing. See my publications for more details.

Honours and awards

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.

Hay Festival Speaker 2018.

Soapbox Science 2018.

Pint of Science 2018.

Welsh Crucible 2018.

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

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), 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.

Biology Researchers in Schools Certificate, Cardiff University, 2013.

Follow me on Twitter: @EmmaYhnell