early career researcher representatives

Meet our SULSA ECR Representatives who help shape SULSA’s approach to ECR incentives, and volunteer on key ECR projects.

Dr Catriona Cunningham

Dr Catriona Cunningham

Research Fellow at University of Aberdeen

Catriona.Cunningham@abdn.ac.uk

Research Interest: combination therapies for central nervous system repair

Dr Gemma Barron

Dr Gemma Barron

Lecturer in Bioscience at Robert Gordon University

g.barron@rgu.ac.uk

Research Interest: overcoming multi-drug resistance in cancer using natural products
SULSA Projects: SNaPNet and Graduate Employability Masterclasses

Dr Ross Eaglesfield

Dr Ross Eaglesfield

Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Glasgow

Ross.Eaglesfield@glasgow.ac.uk

Research Interest: mitochondrial protein import mechanisms
SULSA Projects: Scottish Microscopy Society SULSA Rep

Dr Lucas Frungillo

Dr Lucas Frungillo

BBSRC Discovery Fellow at the University of Edinburgh

Lucas.Frungillo@ed.ac.uk

Research Interest: molecular mechanisms underlying control of nutrient assimilation in plants

Alison Hughes

Alison Hughes

PhD Student at the University of Strathclyde

A.Hughes@strath.ac.uk

Research Interest: biotechnological potential of marine microalgal natural products using comparative metabolomics
SULSA Projects: Breaking Barriers in STEM and SNaPNet

Dr Ryan Kean

Dr Ryan Kean

Lecturer in Clinical Microbiology at Glasgow Caledonian University

Ryan.Kean@gcu.ac.uk 

Research Interest: survival mechanisms of the fungal pathogen Candida auris
SULSA Projects: Graduate Employability Masterclasses

Dr Christine Merrick

Dr Christine Merrick

Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Edinburgh

Christine.Merrick@ed.ac.uk

Research Interest: developing microbial biotechnology for sustainable biosynthesis of industrial chemicals
SULSA Projects: steering committee for SULSA Technology Conference and SULSA Twitter support

Dr Nicola Morrice

Dr Nicola Morrice

Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Dundee

N.Z.Morrice@dundee.ac.uk

Research Interest: improving treatments for type 2 diabetes and its complications
SULSA Projects: Scotland Responds to Covid-19 Campaign

Dr Ana Payo Payo

Dr Ana Payo Payo

Academic Fellow at the University of Aberdeen

Ana.Payo-Payo@abdn.ac.uk

Research Interest: ecology
SULSA Projects: delivered training workshop for SULSA’s careers month

Dr Juan F. Quintana

Dr Juan F. Quintana

Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow/Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Leadership Fellow, University of Glasgow

Juan.quintana@glasgow.ac.uk

Research Interest: host-pathogen interactions, neuroinflammation, sickness behaviour
SULSA Projects: reviewing funding calls

Dr Kasia Siemienowicz

Dr Kasia Siemienowicz

Research Fellow at Edinburgh Napier University

K.Siemienowicz@napier.ac.uk 

Research Interest: fetal programming of adult disease

Dr Sylvia Soldatou

Dr Sylvia Soldatou

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Robert Gordon

S.Soldatou@rgu.ac.uk

Research Interest: marine natural products chemistry
SULSA Projects: SNaPNet

“SULSA has been an invaluable resource for me as I start my own independent research career. I was fortunate to be a recipient of the ‘SULSA Innovation Seed Fund Award’ which has enabled myself as an early career lecturer and PI to establish my first independent collaboration with industry. SULSA have also provided me with the opportunity to support the graduate employability masterclasses which are an outstanding resource for life sciences university students in Scotland. Furthermore, they have also given me the opportunity to attend numerous events and it was through networking at one of these events in which I was introduced to my first Ph.D. student.”

Dr Ryan Kean
SULSA ECR Rep, Glasgow Caledonian University

“I am a recipient of the SULSA ScotCHEM Natural Products in the Bio-economy funding grant. Although the project has been delayed due to the pandemic, leading a funding call as a the main PI has been an excellent training process for future grant applications. Moreover, this award has boosted my CV and I am sure will help me in my next career steps as it is important to demonstrate skills on funding acquisition.”

Dr Sylvia Soldatou
SULSA ECR Rep, University of Robert Gordon

“SULSA has provided me with invaluable opportunities and support in recent years. In my role as SULSA ECR representative, I have sat on award and funding panels, been a member of the Disruptive Technologies Conference organising committee, and tweeted about the funding landscape and research activity in Life Sciences across all sectors in Scotland. These experiences have equipped me with vital knowledge, skills, and networks for progressing my career. As a direct result, I have been able to form two new collaborations that each secured SULSA seed funding towards establishing independent lines of research.”

Dr Christine Merrick
SULSA ECR Rep, University of Edinburgh

“I was involved in the launching event of Scottish Natural Products Network (SNaPNet) where I moderated the sessions on “What training do graduates need for a career in NPs”. As an ECR actively working and building a career on natural products research, this networking event has been a great opportunity to meet and interact with scientists from academia and industry based in Scotland who share the same interested in natural products. It has expanded my network and is great to know that there is great potential for future collaborations.”

Dr Sylvia Soldatou
SULSA ECR Rep, University of Robert Gordon

“SULSA has helped me make invaluable connections with others in a number of Scottish Universities’ and ‘I have been supported by SULSA to attend a number of SULSA’s conferences and skills training courses which I found insightful and I would recommend others to attend in the future.”

Dr Gemma Barron
SULSA ECR Rep, University of Robert Gordon

“Inspired by the successful Breaking Barriers in STEM first event, I am currently a member of the Breaking Barriers in STEM: Mental Health & Wellbeing Working Group. Along with other ECRs and senior scientists we aim to identify issues that are jeopardising our wellbeing within academia, and propose solutions. As an advocate of work life balance and prioritising our wellbeing, this opportunity has allowed me to share my thoughts on this matter and to help build a better academic environment for future generations.”

Dr Sylvia Soldatou
SULSA ECR Rep, University of Robert Gordon

“SULSA has provided numerous and impactful ways to create an active network of researchers, especially early career researchers, across Scotland. One of the events SULSA helped me organised was the Infectious Diseases Research Initiative in Scotland (IDRIS) satellite meeting for ECRs working in parasitology. This event attracted over 100 attendees, mostly ECRs, and promoted open and positive discussions about career progression, alternative career paths, as well as lots of networking opportunities.”

Dr Juan F. Quintana
SULSA ECR Rep, University of Glasgow