Women in Science
Dr Georgina Goss
My name is Georgina Goss. I have been a post doc in Professor Francesca Spagnoli’s lab since November 2021. Prior to that I was a PhD student in Professor Fiona Watt’s lab. I have therefore been very fortunate to have had two very impressive and accomplished female role models during my scientific career so far. However, when applying to either lab their gender was not something I focussed on, it was more the amazing scientific research they were championing and the wonderfully supportive and collaborative environments they both create in their research labs.
As a female scientist I am fortunate that most of the time my gender is not something I focus on or have to think about in everyday scientific life as during my PhD and postdoc. During this time, I have not been subjected to gender-based discrimination / bias or bullying. However, I have had some experiences with it in the past. During my MSc rotation I was subjected to and witnessed a lot of gender-based discrimination and misogynist comments from an unpleasant male Professor whose eventual unfortunate reputation with women led to a male only lab. Additionally, I have had the misfortune of attending a scientific meeting abroad where all female PhD students were warned to not drink too much and avoid a specific male Professor who had a reputation of getting too close to female students. It saddens me that this behaviour is still prevalent in today’s scientific society though I know we are working together to try and irradicate it, changes still need to be made from the top. I was lucky enough to come out of my MSc experience with my self-esteem and confidence intact due to the wonderful support and mentorship of Professor Fiona Watt, though I know not every female in science is so lucky.
Being a researcher in academia is challenging on so many levels regardless of your gender, as you can dedicate long hours and weekends to your work, giving everything, and still come out with very little to show for it. However, it can also be one of the most rewarding places to be as you get the chance to work on answering questions which no one knows the answer to, contributing to the scientific community and improving patients’ lives. The environment is also everything – the people you work with become your family who can turn even the worst day into the best day with constant laughter and a desperate trip to the pub. At the end of the day, despite all the ups and downs I still think of this as one of the best careers to be a part of.
A Photography Collaboration
9 Nov 2021
Fiona Watt & Alice Vickers on Stem Cell Report Podcast
Professor Fiona Watt and recently graduated Alice Vickers joined the Stem Cell Report Podcast with Martin Pera to talk about uncovering the relationship between genetic variants and cellular behaviour. They recently developed a platform to quantify iPSC differentiation propensity to investigate the genetic contribution to phenotypic variability.
13 Jul 2021
Fiona Watt appointed as EMBO Director
Professor Fiona Watt has announced she will step down from the role as Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council in early 2022 to succeed current EMBO Director Maria Leptin. She has been a member of EMBL’s Scientific Advisory Committee since 2016.
15 Jan 2018
Professor Watt announced as government’s preferred candidate for Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council (MRC)
Professor Watt has been selected as the government’s preferred candidate to be the Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council (MRC) when it becomes a constituent part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in April 2018.
15 May 2017
Professor Watt leads the stem cell and cell signalling spoke of Centre for Cellular Signal Patterns (CellPAT)
The National Danish Research Foundation has announced that it will give 61 million DKK (£7 million) to fund the Centre for Cellular Signal Patterns (CellPAT) led by Professor Jorgen Kjems.
15 Jul 2016
Honorary Doctorate Award for Professor Fiona Watt
Professor Watt was delighted to be invited to Spain recently to receive a Doctor Honoris Causa from UAM (Autonomous University of Madrid), an award which also honours their institution.
15 Feb 2016
Professor Fiona Watt to receive Women in Science Award
Professor Watt has been announced as the winner of the 2016 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award. She's received the award for uncovering the mechanisms that control mammalian epidermal stem cell renewal and differentiation, and for discovering how these processes are deregulated in cancer, wound healing and inflammatory skin disorders; in addition to recognition for her commitment to gender issues, her leadership qualities and her active mentorship of junior scientists.
15 Jul 2015
Professor Watt encourages international young scientists in London
Professor Watt was delighted to deliver the keynote opening lecture at the 2015 London International Youth Science Forum. The two week residential event held at Imperial College London attracts over 400 of the world's leading young scientists aged 17 - 21 years old from more than 60 participating countries.
15 Jan 2015
Watt Lab on the BBC
Professor Fiona Watt and Dr Inês Sequeira were featured in a piece on the BBC in January, following a visit to our lab from a TV news crew. Professor Watt was interviewed for the story on "Medical milestones of 2014". Watch the video on BBC online.
15 Nov 2014
Professor Watt links with industry 'down under'
When Professor Watt visited Australia to deliver a keynote speech for the Sydney Cancer Conference, she was also invited by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Australia to give a seminar about one of the UK's '8 Great Technologies' - Regenerative Medicine, and opportunities for Australian companies working in this area.
15 Apr 2014
New £2.3m research 'Hub' for regenerative medicine
Professor Fiona Watt will be the Director of a new 'Hub' to address important challenges in translational regenerative medicine.
15 Feb 2014
Royal Society public lecture
Professor Fiona Watt was invited to give a public lecture at the Royal Society's central London headquarters on 10th February. She delivered her talk - "Stem cells and human health" - to a packed auditorium.
15 Dec 2013
Watt Lab paper featured on cover of Nature
Professor Fiona Watt's lab has had a paper published in Nature – and is also featured on the cover. The paper is about fibroblasts – a type of cell found in the connective tissue of the body's organs, where they produce proteins such as collagen that provide structural support. It is widely believed that all fibroblasts are the same cell type.
15 Nov 2013
King's College London award for Professor Watt
Professor Fiona Watt's contribution to the promotion of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine research was recognised at KCL's annual "King's Awards" ceremony last night. Fiona was presented with her award for "Most Outstanding Contribution to Public Engagement" by KCL Principal, Professor Rick Trainor.
15 Sept 2013
Professor Watt on Radio 4's "Inside Science"
Professor Fiona Watt was delighted to be invited to take part in BBC Radio 4's "Inside Science" programme on Thursday 12th September. She spoke to presenter Adam Rutherford about the history of stem cell research and what the future holds for regenerative medicine.
15 Jun 2011
King's appoints stem cell expert to lead new Centre
King's College London announced today that it is set to launch a Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine to be led by Professor Fiona Watt, former president of the International Society of Stem Cell Research.