About Me

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As one of triplets, born three months early, I have been involved in research since the day I was born. I took part in a clinical trial for the drug, surfactant, designed to help develop the lungs of premature babies.

Since then, I have 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 make us who we are but it is also involved in health and disease, this is where my interest in research began.

Research

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

I have a molecular background and completed my BSc Hons 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

Health and Care Research Wales Fellow (October 2016 – Present)

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 enjoy teaching and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

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 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

British Neuroscience Association 2018 Award for Public Engagement in Neuroscience

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