3 October 2014
The New Researcher Award from The Society of Biology goes to Kate McAllister
University of Cambridge neuroscience PhD student, and Scientist at Cambridge Cognition, Kate McAllister has won The New Researcher Award from The Society of Biology. The competition was open to bioscience researchers from UK universities and institutes.
Former University of Cambridge neuroscience PhD student, and Scientist at Cambridge Cognition, Kate McAllister has won The New Researcher Award from The Society of Biology. The competition was open to bioscience researchers from UK universities and institutes.
Kate was one of two winners of the Society of Biology’s Science Communication Awards 2014 which rewards outreach work carried out by scientists to inform, enthuse and engage the public.
Kate designed, coordinated and taught a weekend neurology course for a lay audience aged 21-90, all whilst conducting her studies.
Dr Steve Cross, head of public engagement at UCL and chair of the judging panel said of Kate: “Kate has been fantastic at pro-actively creating a really varied range of communication activities, and adapting and improving them to reach different people. We were really impressed by the audience focus of her work, and the fascinating research she shares with people outside science.”
Kate has visited schools to debate brain-enhancing drugs with ‘Naked Scientists’ and is the Cognitive Neuroscience Consultant for the British Film Institute (BFI) on communicating neuroscience through cinema. She appears regularly on the ‘Naked Scientists’ podcast and has collaborated with them in creating the Smarter UK schools project.
Kate began at Cambridge Cognition Ltd in autumn 2014 and, since starting, has proven herself to be a thoroughly passionate and exceptional scientist.
Kate began her studies as an undergrad Psychology student, a year of which she spent on a scholarship in Australia. It was here that Kate says began to be interested in neuroscience.
Upon returning, Kate pursued an MPhil in behavioural neuroscience and it was here, Kate says, that she discovered that her real passion was in neurodegenerative diseases, specifically modification of risk factors.
Kate then pursued a PhD in the development of Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down’s syndrome at the Department of Psychiatry at Cambridge. Showing huge passion for her work and studies, Kate’s extra-curricular activities included organising the residential weekend course aimed at a non-scientific audience, alongside Cambridge Neuroscience.
Following these talks, Kate attributes a lot of her inspiration to pursue a career at Cambridge Cognition to interactions with Professor Barbara Sahakian – co-inventor of Cantab.
Kate says: “Finishing my PhD is my biggest career achievement so far, but winning this award is a very close second. The talks, which I have been involved with over the last few years, have really broadened my knowledge of biology and have been some of the most rewarding and engaging aspects of my career so far.”