We would like to introduce ourselves as your NERD committee! Below you will find a short biography on each of us, detailing our career stage and associated Institute. Please come and chat to us at the next NERD event!

We are looking for new committee members! If you would like to be involved in running future NERD events, please e-mail us at cams-iii-nerd-committee@lists.cent.gla.ac.uk

Chantevy Pou

I am a Cancer Research UK funded post-doctoral research associate‌ investigating biomarkers in early phase clinical trials. I took the scenic route to my current position, having worked within the drug discovery environment of pharmaceutical companies before going back to obtain my doctorate degree and further specializing in G-protein coupled receptors. I was fortunate to be offered a position where I could apply my drug discovery and pharmacology skills to a more clinical setting through translational work. I have learned through the journey that the road is not always smooth and having a support network helps a great deal in achieving some balance in life. Having recently joined the NERD committee, I have already benefitted greatly from the other members experience and I am looking forward to contributing to NERD. I am very keen in learning more about opportunities that would allow me to progress to a career where I can apply my combined industry and academic experiences.

Francisco Rios

I finished my PhD in Brazil and joined the ICAMS as post-doc. Currently, I am research fellow and my main research in to investigate the importance of Magnesium transporters in the inflammatory/immune response associated with cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension and organ damage. I have joined the NERD because together in a network we can help each other to address the common issues that ECRs are facing currently, such as grant applications, careers choices and ideas for collaboration. I am also part of the Athena Swan team of the ICAMS. Additionally, I am part of the trainee advocacy committee (Council in Hypertension of the American Heart Association) and member of the ECR team of the European Council for Cardiovascular Research. 

Francisco Rios


Hannah Bialic

I am a slightly atypical ECR who first began working at the University of Glasgow as a technician in a  rheumatology clinical trials lab. Afterwards, I returned to research as a research assistant studying neuroimmunology (specifically Guillain Barre Syndrome for any PNS people!). I have transitioned into a public engagement role within the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Parasitology. NERD is a spectacular resource and I am extremely enthusiastic about planning events and support for ECRs navigating their careers!

Hannah Bialic


Josie Fullerton

Josie Fullerton is a Research Associate in the Institute of Cardiovascular & Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow. Her main research interests include stroke, vascular cognitive impairment, and small vessel disease. Outside of her main role, Josie is one of the committee members for NERD, as well as one of the ECR representatives for Alzheimer’s Research UK and sits on the Athena Swan Career Development committee. She is keen to open opportunities for ECRs and develop events, seminars, or meetings to enable their professional and personal development. Twitter handle: @JosieNeuro

Mariana Cendejas

I am a final year PhD student at the Institute of Cancer Sciences (ICS), I am based at the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre. Before my PhD I worked in clinical trials, then I decided to pursue a PhD at the University of Glasgow.

The aim of my PhD is to study the role of neurotransmitter signalling in Chronic myeloid leukaemia, specifically in Leukaemia stem cells.

Last year I was a PGR class rep for the ICS, and I have recently joined the NERD Committee. I am on charge of the NERD social media, and I am the point of contact between PGR students and the NERD Committee.

The events offered by NERD are very relevant to early career researchers such as PhD students that are looking into different career options. I personally have found the events very interesting and helpful.  

Marieke Pingen

I am a tenure track research associate in the Chemokine Research Group. My main research focus is the migration of our immune cells during viral infection, and whether these migrated cells contribute to protection against infection or do damage. 

I joined NERD as I think it's really important scientists get more support and training during transitioning from postdoc into independence. Furthermore I would like there to be more support and recognition for mental health issues such as imposter syndrome and maintaining a healthy work/life balance. 

Twitter: @MariekePingen

Laura Dowsett

I joined the University of Glasgow (ICAMS) in 2017 and am currently a BHF funded Research Associate. My work investigates the cardiovascular risk factor Asymmetric Dimethylarginine (ADMA) and how it effects the function of blood vessels. After taking part in many NERD events; and writing successful grant applications after attending NERD’s grant writing workshops. I would now love to give back to the ECR community and look forward to being part of the NERD committee.

Laura Dowsett

Alexandra Riddell

After qualifying as a vet in 2015, I decided to pursue my love for science and academia and undertake a British Heart Foundation funded PhD at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences (ICAMS). I am now in my first post-doctoral position at the same institute, where I focus on blood vessels in the brain and their importance for brain health, particularly in relation to stroke.

I have an active interest in promoting a positive research culture and good mental wellbeing amongst researchers. Through my role in the NERD committee, I hope to support fellow ECRs navigate any challenges faced in the pursuit of careers both within and outside of academia.

Jessica Perochon

After obtaining my PhD in France, I came to Glasgow University for a postdoctoral position.

I am currently a research associate at the Institute of Cancer Sciences (ICS) based at the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre.

The aim of my research is to understand how an organ adapts to maintain homeostasis in context of stress/injury, with a specific focus on intestinal stem cells adaptation and responses to changes in their micro and macro-environment.

I have recently joined the NERD committee as it constitutes a fantastic opportunity to be connected with other early career researchers, and to exchange about different career paths.

This network provides an essential support to anyone who is willing to progress in their academic career or to transition to a career in industry. 

I am keen to learn from other members experience and to contribute to develop further this resource.


Joe Jones

Having recently finished by PhD at UCL in London, I started my postdoctoral position in the Helgason lab at the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre in May of 2021. My current project involves collaboration with a pharmaceutical company based in the USA, where we are working together to improve small molecule targeting of autophagy for cancer therapy.

My recent insights into science from an industry perspective have furthered my interest in non-academic careers for scientists, and I am looking forward to contributing to the fantastic work the NERD committee does in supporting ECRs in their developing careers.