Case Studies

Professor Joanne Edwards

Prof Joanne Edwards Profile

Prof Joanne Edwards is a Senior Lecturer in Cancer Sciences and PGR convenor for the Institute of Cancer Sciences.  Joanne has a BSc in Pharmacology from University of Glasgow and PhD in molecular biology from University of St Andrews. In 2012, she became a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathology for her contribution to histopathology. She currently has over 140 publications, with almost 6000 citations and a H score of 40.

“I joined the University of Glasgow in 1997 as a post doctorial research scientist in the Department of Surgery at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.  This was my first experience of doing cancer research and sparked my love of histopathology. I continued to work with the department as a post doc and subsequently a lecturer. During this period in 2003 I had my daughter, I was extremely well supported during my pregnancy being encouraged to work at home when possible and this support continued following my return to work. Flexible working allowed me initial to return 3 days a week before returning full time. Even while working full time the University’s policy on flexible working has allowed me to balance work life with motherhood, enabling me to never miss out on the import aspects of my daughter’s life while continuing to develop my career and achieve my ambitions. As a family we are roller coaster fanatics and my daughter loves attending comic cons as Marvels number one fan.  Pursuing our hobbies allows a great work/life balance and the University’s policies on flexible working have enabled me to juggle being a mum with being a scientist.”


Dr Ross Carruthers, Clinician Scientist

I have been a CRUK Clinician Scientist at University of Glasgow since May 2017. My working week is split between being a Consultant Radiation Oncologist at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre where I treat patients with brain tumours and my research laboratory at the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre where I investigate radiotherapy resistance in this tumour type. Prior to this I completed my medical training in Glasgow and also undertook a PhD at University of Glasgow which led to a successful funding bid for my current position.
I didn’t really think a work life balance was something which could be achievable for male clinicians, since I think there is, generally, an expectation that men should not alter their work patterns for childcare and should work full time. Getting my own funding and moving to a research position has been brilliant however, since I can now determine the use of my own hours and work flexibly if need be for a large proportion of my week. Maintaining a good work life balance can be difficult however, since funding bodies can expect an exceptional level of commitment from prospective awardees that does not necessarily take account of family life. I am very committed to my current role as a clinician scientist and feel privileged to have the opportunity granted to me by CRUK, however I really enjoy looking after my children too.

Ross Caruthers Ross Caruthers 2

Dr Alexandrea MacPherson, Project Co-Ordinator

Dr Alexandrea MacPherson is a project co-ordinator in the Institute of Cancer Sciences. Alex joined the University in 2003 as an undergrad student, completing both her BSc and PhD in Immunology here. She graduated in 2012 and after doing a 1 year post-doc, decided science (or more so the long hours and lack of job security) weren’t for her and made a move into research management and admin. She worked as a research manager with the NHS for 2 years before returning to the university to work as a project co-coordinator.

Although I do not have a family, flexible working is still important to me. We have just bought a house that needs work and being able to work flexibly has allowed me to be available for appointments, taking some strain out of this stressful time, which helps me perform more effectively during my time in the office.

A further advantage of flexible working, is the option to work from home. My work is external deadline driven and being able to work from home on a day where I am that horrid in-between sick (sick enough not to make work, but not sick enough to sleep all day) helps me meet these deadlines, stops important opportunities being missed, and allows me to rest meaning I come back to work healthier. It is also better for the whole office as I don’t bring my sniffles in and infect everyone.

Flexible working and managing my own time makes me feel valued and trusted as an employee. And as my manager is willing to be flexible with me, I am more than happy to be flexible for her-staying late when needed as I know I will get the time back.

Alexandrea MacPherson