March 8 is the International Women's Day. It is a great opportunity to recognise and honour the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of female staff members in research.
The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality.
A great occasion to talk to some of the brilliant and inspiring minds at work at C2i. Today, meet Angel MA!
Can you tell us about your background and why you chose to work in science?
I am a trained microbiologist with a background in biomedical science and parasitology. After completing my PhD in molecular cancer biology at the University of Hong Kong, I joined the School of Public Health, HKU and eventually C2i for postdoctoral training.
My grandmother, herself a medical doctor, inspired me to pursue science from an early age, with my family also being very supportive about my career choice. Along the way, valuable advices from mentors, colleagues and friends guided me to discover my true interest, which is to stay at the forefront of research, where I enjoy witnessing as well as contributing to new scientific knowledge and innovation.
How do you feel about being a woman in science?
Growing up in both Hong Kong and England, I never felt that I was disadvantaged as a female in society or in the scientific community. I think now is a great time for women to thrive in science! I am very grateful for being able to work with a wonderful team of scientists who respect and support each other.
It is never too late to find the path that is most suitable for you, so my advice is: do not hesitate to explore! Even though a career in science can be challenging at times, as long as you are truly interested in what you do, then you will find yourself persevering through the hard times and emerging triumphant.
What is your role at C2i and what projects are you working on?
I am a Post-Doctoral Fellow working on one of the key projects in the “Novel experimental platform of human respiratory tract: For emerging infectious diseases and precision medicine” programme.
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are among the most frequently used cell type for regenerative medicine due to their beneficial effects for treating different pathologies. Our project will shed further light on the therapeutic potential of MSCs and their derivatives in promoting tissue regeneration following respiratory viral infections.