Dr Anika Knuppel

Dr Anika Knuppel

Please briefly introduce yourself and what you are currently doing.

I am a Junior Research Fellow with the Centre of Personalised Medicine (CPM) at St Anne’s and a nutritional epidemiologist in the Cancer Epidemiology Unit (CEU) at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, as well as. My role at the CPM involves helping with event planning and recording a podcast (details from CPM are coming). In my work at the CEU, I use large cohort data to investigate associations between diet and related factors and disease using statistical methods.

When did you join St Anne’s and how have you found your time at the College?

I joined St Anne’s in October 2020. So far I am really enjoying it, especially the great online events on offer. However, I have to admit that due to the current situation (pandemic times) I have not been able to have the full St Anne’s experience yet, such as meeting members in person at dinners and events.

What is your favourite place in Oxford?

The Botanical garden – it’s such a serene place with beautiful architecture, plants and there is always song birds around.

Have you found any challenges working in academia? If so, how have you overcome them?

Yes, one for me is imposter syndrome, especially as someone who is the first in their family to get a doctorate – it’s easy to feel out of place. I think I have not overcome this yet, but I have gotten used to it. I can only recommend speaking to your peers about it, you will often learn that even the people you admire feel this way.

What is your advice for any others looking to pursue academia?

Find out what the research day to day is like in the area you are interested in (e.g. by talking to young researchers or getting involved if you can). I, for example, did a small internship doing lab work during a summer break in my MSc in Nutritional Sciences. Although it was a lot of fun, I ended up going home with headaches every night. So I knew a lab environment was not for me. Then I did my MSc project in epidemiology and really found my passion.

What is your favourite way to relax?

Playing my favourite composer, Ludovico Einaudi on the piano. The electronic piano was my gift to myself for getting my PhD.