The annual Fellowships programme provides £15,000 of flexible financial support for outstanding female postdoctoral researchers to continue research in their fields, as part of a wider L’Oréal-UNESCO programme aimed at supporting and increasing the number of women working in STEM professions in the UK, where 85% of jobs are held by men.
Dr Beth Psaila (WIMM-NDCLS) is a haematologist examining the role of blood cells in the bone marrow, known as megakaryocytes, in a rare but fatal disease called Myelofibrosis which destroys the bone marrow. Most patients live for fewer than five years after diagnosis, and 20% develop blood cancer. Current treatments help symptoms but do not cure the condition or improve survival. The condition is triggered by a mutation in a key gene called JAK2, and better understanding how the disease develops at a genetic level could help in the design of new treatments.