Please briefly introduce yourself and what you are currently doing
I am a Senior Researcher in Health Economics at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, a short walk from College across Woodstock Road. I am also a Junior Research Fellow in the Centre for Personalised Medicine at St Anne’s. Most of my research relates to the many economic issues involved with the increasing availability of genetic data, including how these data might be used to improve our understanding of health and socioeconomic outcomes.
When did you join St Anne’s and how have you found your time at the College?
I joined St Anne’s in the autumn of 2019. The community is exceptionally friendly and welcoming, and it is a big privilege to be part of the College.
What is your favourite place in Oxford?
University Parks, in any season.
What is your specialist subject and how did you become interested in this area?
I study Health Economics. My interest was sparked by a couple of undergraduate lectures that illustrated how economic forces can have as big an influence on health outcomes as biological processes. They also demonstrated how an economic perspective can be critical in understanding the value of health and healthcare. I’ve since enjoyed using insights from Medicine, Epidemiology, Economics and other areas of social science to improve my understanding of these issues.
Have you found any challenges working in academia? If so, how have you overcome them?
There are plenty of challenges, but almost all of them are manageable if the work is engaging in the big picture (there is a meaningful issue that is worth studying) and if it is enjoyable in the small picture (the day-to-day practicalities). Many people are also very willing and able to help, if only they are asked.
What is your advice for any others looking to pursue academia?
You will almost certainly make more money as a famous movie actor or the majority owner of a popular social media network, so make sure you’re not either of those two things before becoming an academic.
Have you joined St Anne’s from another institution? If so where and how do you find the two places differ?
My path to St Anne’s has been circuitous. I studied at Trinity College Dublin, Nuffield College here in Oxford, and at the University of York. I spent several years working in the private sector but most recently worked at the University of Bristol Medical School. The private sector has the best air conditioning, but St Anne’s has been a fantastic place to interact with interesting people from practically every academic discipline that is represented in the University. The professional and support staff at St Anne’s are also incredibly helpful.
What is your favourite way to relax?
Most of my free time is spent listening to my two-year-old son while he patiently explains to me how helicopters work, his plans for rescuing me if I get stuck up a mountain in high winds, and his unquenchable desire to receive a leaf blower for his third birthday. All of this is terribly relaxing.