Today is International Women’s Day, and today in particular we would like to celebrate everything female. At Genesis Research Trust we champion our female scientists, fundraisers and supporters all year round but let’s make the whole world hear about these exceptional women, especially today, when the focus is on gender equality and parity. Meet some of the women whose valuable research is funded by Genesis Research Trust, some of our incredible supporters and their stories.
Professor Kate Hardy PhD is one of the country’s leading scientists in the field of reproductive biology and has been Professor of Reproductive Biology at Imperial College since 2009. Based in the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology, she leads a research group studying the development and growth of healthy eggs. She has lectured widely on her work at national and international conferences and has published numerous papers in scientific and medical journals. Kate is committed to contributing to the education of the next generation of scientists and doctors, teaching reproductive biology to medical students and science undergraduates at Imperial College as well as supervising practical laboratory-based projects and PhD students. This commitment has recently been recognized by a Rectors Award for Excellence in Teaching. Kate has also taken part in a number of Genesis Research Trust challenges and actively supports the trust.
After years of trying for a baby, rounds of IVF and treatments Rachael found out she was pregnant with Lily. Sadly Rachael lost Lily when she was 32 weeks pregnant. Rachael decided to throw herself into something positive and take on Genesis Research Trust’s overseas challenges, she is one of our truly inspirational fundraisers. “Nearly 7 years down the line, following very different Christmases, Birthdays and Anniversaries to ones both of our families were expecting, I am proud to say, I threw myself into raising money for this very special Charity by signing up for my first challenge in 2011, ‘Cycle Vietnam & Cambodia’, raising £4800 for the Genesis Research Trust. In 2013 I also completed ‘Cycle Sri Lanka’ and my husband kindly(?!) signed me up for ‘Cycle Madagascar’ this September (2017).”
Sheba graduated in Medicine with a distinction from Guys, Kings and St Thomas’ School of Medicine and also holds a BSc (Hons) in Human Biology. She works as a specialist academic Registrar in Endocrinology and Diabetes and is also a Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Research Fellow at Imperial College. Genesis Research Trust support her research work, which is focused on investigating complex molecular pathways affecting the metabolic function of reproductive tissues.
Sheba is also involved in teaching aspects of reproductive biology to undergraduates and postgraduates at Imperial College London for the last 5 years. She is also involved with public engagement outreach work with Professor Winston and has been involved in setting up laboratory workshops for children at Key Stage 2 at the Imperial College Reach Out Lab.
Sheba has been a cycle trip doctor for a number of Genesis Research Trust Challenges supporting participants to complete their exciting adventures across the world with the charity.
Annabel has been through breast cancer, she’s lost two babies Ryan and Olivia but her sheer determination and strength knows no bounds. Annabel is another amazing lady taking on a challenge for Genesis Research Trust. “Who knows as more and more research is done, more knowledge and more training. Perhaps one or both my babies might have survived. I’ll never know. What I do know is that if research and timely information can help just one family avoid losing a baby then it has all been worthwhile and if more women can live in blissful ignorance then I’m willing to forgive them. I now smile when someone says something stupid to me because it means they don’t know the hurt and angst that goes with losing a baby and that can only be a good thing.” To read her story: http://bit.ly/AnnabelsStory
“When I first starting working in The Symposium Office, we were part of the Institute of Obs & Gynae, The Royal Postgraduate Medical School at lovely old Queen Charlotte’s in Chiswick. We were based in a former rehab department with wooden verandas facing south, so the beds could have been wheeled out to catch the recuperative rays! The Symposium Office ran events such as The Neonatal Course for Senior Paediatricians from Abroad ….. it is now far more pc and simply called The Neonatal Update. Our programmes were photocopied onto coloured paper, folded on an archaic machine (which kept jamming) and stuffed into envelopes by hand. Imagine that – when we were circulating a few thousand for each course! We are now much more streamlined and are moving away from printing programmes at all. Such is progress! The Symposium Office is now run by four women – all working part-time and fitting their busy lives around organising around 20 events a year, ranging from Fetal Medicine Study Evenings lasting 3 hours to week-long meetings. The proceeds from these events all goes to fund research.”
Sarah and her husband David decided to come up with nine crazy fundraising events and raise money for Genesis Research Trust. Sarah had had three miscarriages and the couple wanted to do something amazing to support our research. Sarah also helps support other people going through a similar journey through her Facebook group and Sarah is now due to have a baby girl any day now: “We want to carry on raising money for this amazing charity as we feel we have benefited directly from research into this underfunded branch of medicine. We hope very much that our story gives others hope and I welcome anyone who wishes to ask questions about our journey to contact me on my Facebook page ‘dealing with the loss of an unborn child’.” To read her story: http://bit.ly/AppleCrumbleSarah
Our Patron Fern Britton has been an amazing support to Genesis Research Trust, taking part in eleven bike rides on our behalf and avidly supporting our work. “I am delighted to have the honour of being Patron to Genesis Research Trust. For my generation, the advent of IVF was my first link to Professor Winston and his amazing colleagues. I have IVF twins. They were born in 1993 after a long haul of fertility treatment. They are tall, handsome, funny, wonderful boys and they have brought me tremendous joy, pride and exhaustion in equal measure. My family means everything to me. I cannot tell them often enough how much I love them all. But there are many women and men striving to have a happy and healthy family, and at Genesis, Robert and his team of brilliant scientists, strive daily to create those families. Our exceptional supporters raises money to keep that research going and to keep jobs open for those brilliant women scientists who take time out to have their families and return to work to continue their invaluable work. I help by getting on my bike and raising funds. I would love you to join me one day! Shall I see you next year!” To join Fern on her next adventure: http://bit.ly/GRTEvents
Dr Holly Lewis
Holly is not only an obstetrician but a researcher funded by Genesis Research Trust. Holly is also running the London Marathon for Genesis Research Trust whilst continuing her research in premature birth. Holly is a dedicated mum of two and has her own personal story. “I am running the London Marathon for Genesis to raise money for research into preterm birth. Despite affecting 10% of pregnancies there is still no effective test to predict preterm birth or treatment to prevent it. As an obstetrician, I have always been very frustrated that there is very little we can do to help mums that come to hospital in preterm birth. When my son was born expectantly early I experienced how terrifying it was to be a “prem mum.” I had a totally normal pregnancy until 26 weeks and then suddenly I went into labour. My son was born, weighing 890 grams, three and a half months early.”
Hannah has PCOS which has affected her ability to fall pregnant. After several rounds of IVF and two miscarriages Hannah wanted to help fund our research and raised an amazing £1000 for us doing the Tour De Mon. Hannah’s story doesn’t end there she is expecting a baby in July and continues to help support our work. “My story is not over and I go forward with hope, courage and positivity that one day they will find a way of alleviating if not curing PCOS and also hopeful that my dream of becoming a mummy will one day happen. Thank you Genesis Research Trust for all you do, I am honoured to be raising money and awareness for such a worthwhile charity.” To read her story: http://bit.ly/HannahsStoryGenesis
Kacie is a final year PhD student at Imperial College, working with Professor Kate Hardy and Professor Stephen Franks. Her PhD project focuses on uncovering the causes of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a leading cause of infertility in women. The symptoms of PCOS are linked to hormonal imbalances, with women typically presenting with higher levels of androgens. Her research investigates the effects of androgens on egg development in the ovary, and how higher androgen levels can lead to a lack of ovulation and infertility. She has presented her findings at national and international conferences. Kacie also represents PhD students for the national Society of Reproduction and Fertility (SRF) as an early career representative. Genesis Research Trust and the Medical Research Council (MRC) support and fund her research. Kacie recently ran 10k dressed as Santa Claus for Genesis Research Trust!