To get to where I am at the moment has required a lot of hard work, resilience, enthusiasm and support from multiple fantastic people that have surrounded me throughout my training.
I am a Clinical Lecturer and recently appointed Honorary Consultant in Orthodontics at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Trust.
I haven’t followed the most traditional IAT pathway as I did my undergraduate dental training in Finland and after practicing dentistry for two years in Finnish Health Care Centres, Private practice and in the UK based NHS practice, I followed my ambition to do research on facial development and genetics by joining Professor Paul Sharpe’s group at King’s College London 2004. My PhD was funded by EU Early Stage Marie Curie Fellowship and I carried it out under supervision of Prof Martyn Cobourne and Prof Paul Sharpe looking at Role of Gas1 during craniofacial development. Our study identified Gas1 gene as a possible causative gene for congenital condition called Holoprosencephaly (HPE) that affects the development of the forebrain and facial midline and our proposal was later found to be true in a cohort of Brazilian HPE patients.
Although this marked the beginning of my career as an Academic and KCL became my permanent research base till to date, I have had exposure to multiple hospitals. Following my PhD, I carried out Maxillofacial Senior House Officer post at Royal London that helped me to gain clinical experience in hospital environment prior applying for specialist training. I then successfully competed for a Walport Academic Clinical Fellowship 2008 and simultaneously undertook specialist training in orthodontics rotating between KCL, King’s College Hospital and St George’s Hospital followed by Post-CCST (Consultant) training at Guy’s, King’s College and William Harvey Hospitals. During my IAT, I further divided my time between clinical commitments, research and teaching. I continued to do research looking at the function of Shh co-receptors during early craniofacial development using genetically modified mice as a model. During my training I also completed PGCAPHE teaching certificate and had my three little boys that ensured my life remained busy and challenging at all times.
In my current full-time Clinical lecturer and Honorary Consultant position, I divide my time equally with clinical work and research. My clinical duties comprise of my own Treatment and Consultant clinics as well as Postgraduate supervision. My research or ‘KCL time’ time is very diverse. Related to research, I focus on my two own research projects funded by the Academy of Medical sciences and European Orthodontic society and supervise as well as teach mainly MSc, but also BSc and PhD students. Since the end of last year, I have taken on a role as Elective Coordinator that involves coordinating Elective planning process of 140 Undergraduates’ that has also encaged me in the development and maintenance of international relationships with other Universities. To get to where I am at the moment has required a lot of hard work, resilience, enthusiasm and support from multiple fantastic people that have surrounded me throughout my training. I find my current position both challenging and rewarding and I think I am in a perfect position to continue developing myself as a clinician and researcher and working towards higher independence with my research.