Sarah Lloyd-Fox sl868@cam.ac.uk

sl868@cam.ac.uk

Position

UKRI Future Leaders Fellow

Affiliation

Psychology

Keywords

Developmental Neuroscience, Global Health, Poverty, Infancy

I am lead investigator on the inter-disciplinary Brain Imaging for Global Health (BRIGHT) Project. My research focuses on the investigation of core early cognitive and neural mechanisms in infancy by pioneering the use of functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS).

I have spent the last 15 years optimising fNIRS for use with developmental populations. Currently, a major focus of my work is to develop field-friendly neuroimaging and behavioural toolkits for use in low income settings. In 2013, I was instrumental in implementing the first proof of principle fNIRS studies in The Gambia (www.globalfnirs.org). By mapping brain function in the first days and months of life, I hope to better understand how the world we live in mediates early brain specialisation and behaviour, and influences our early developmental trajectories.

I completed a PhD in developmental cognitive neuroscience at Birkbeck (part time 2006 – 2011) with Professors Clare Elwell (Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering at UCL) and Mark Johnson. Through collaborations such as these I have had the opportunity to work at the cutting edge of my research field to address new questions and challenges: I have been honoured to receive awards and funding for research, including the Association for Psychological Sciences Rising Star Award and the early career Wiley Prize in Psychology from the British Academy.

In 2019 I began a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow to measure early brain function and behaviour across the perinatal period and understand how individual differences in neurodevelopmental trajectories relate to poverty associated challenges in the UK. During my fellowship I hope to use my research findings in partnership with community informed initiatives to develop novel early life interventions for global health contexts. In particular, I hope to optimise family-mediated interventions that bridge the transition between pre- to post-natal life and are tailored to suit the needs of individual communities.

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StepWideStepWide showcases the profiles of early career cis and trans women researchers from the University of Cambridge, UK.



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About

This website

This website showcases the profiles of early career cis and trans women researchers from the University of Cambridge, UK, and affiliated institutions. It originated as part of StepWide, a leadership programme that aims to support the next generation of female researchers.

We hope that by making the expertise and stories of early career women researchers more visible (and searchable!), will highlight how much they contribute to the research that is done in the University and affiliated institutions.

Who is it for

This website is designed for a wide audience, be it other researchers looking for particular expertise for a collaboration; the media looking for experts; those that are simply curious about what type of research is done in Cambridge, or those trying to get a clearer idea of what a ‘typical’ woman researcher in this years old institution does (there is no ‘typical’!).

The StepWide programme

StepWide was designed by 3 postdocs at Cambridge (see below for more on Marta, Laura and Cemre). It aims to support female postdoctoral researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, from any discipline, who feel that taking a step into leadership is not for them. The programme is designed to suit both early and more senior postdocs, providing them with the skills to challenge the current ideas of what a leader is, learn how to raise their public profiles, as well as a close and supportive network of peer-to-peer female postdocs.

StepWide ran for the first time in 2019/2021. We will post updates here when applications open for its next run.

Founders

Laura, Marta and Cemre (left to right on the photo) met at The Postdocs of Cambridge (PdOC) Society, at the University of Cambridge, UK. When the Researcher Development (RD) Pitch Competition was announced in late 2018, they felt this provided the ideal opportunity to work together to develop a leadership programme for women postdocs. They saw a gap in the current leadership RD provision, with a lack of opportunities that challenge current leadership views. Their proposal was successful and obtained funding for a one year pilot, giving rise to the StepWide programme.

Laura Fachal is a Senior Staff Scientist at Wellcome Sanger Institute. She earned her BS in Veterinary, MSc in Biotechnology and PhD from University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. She completed her postdoc at the Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology, University of Cambridge. She is also a Research Associate at Lucy Cavendish College.

Marta Costa is a Senior Research Associate at the Department of Zoology. She did her undergrad in Biology in Lisbon, Portugal, followed by an MSc in Neuroscience at UCL in London. She then moved to Cambridge for her PhD, followed by a postdoc. She is also a Research Associate at Lucy Cavendish College.

Cemre Ustunkaya was a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. She earned her BSc in Biological Science, followed by an MSc in Archaeometry at Middle East Technical University, Turkey. She later moved to Australia for her PhD in Archaeology at The University of Queensland. She is also a postdoc affiliate at Newnham College.

Funding

Thanks and funding

StepWide was funded by the Researcher Development Pitch Competition which included support from the Researcher Development Programme, The Postdocs of Cambridge (PdOC) Society, the Postdoc Academy, the Postdoc Chairs’ Network and the Careers Service at the University of Cambridge. We are very thankful for their support. We would also like to thank Alba Gómez for her expert support with the first version of the website, and to Arian Jamasb for redesigning and implementing the newest version of this website. Finally, we thank Natacha Wilson and Rebecca Nestor for the advice and support they provided for the development of the workshops.

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