Published on 03 Aug 2022

Of mice, men and metabolic phenotyping: Breaking New Ground

A podcast series by LKCMedicine Women in Science – by women, on women, for all.

Women in Science@LKCMedicine Podcast

Episode 4: Of mice, men and metabolic phenotyping: Breaking New Ground Ep 4
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Synopsis: Humans are complex ecosystems with thousands of biochemical processes working together through time to maintain health. In order to understand the biology of humans and to intervene in an appropriate manner and time to prevent disease, we require knowledge of how the body works at the level of genes, proteins, and metabolites.

In this episode, we feature Professor Elaine Holmes, Head of Centre for Computational & Systems Medicine at Murdoch University and Professor of Chemical Biology at Imperial College London.

She holds an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship in characterising the role of the microbiome in ageing.

Her research is focused on metabolic phenotyping of using metabolic profiling technologies and computational chemistry. Her work has broad-reaching applications in a wide range of healthcare related issues in both population and personalised medicine.

Highlights of conversation:

01:21 – Were there some stages of difficulty that you went through that you could share, gender-related or non-gender-related?

03:24 – With you showing the promises of metabolomics, doing prognostication, and predictive power for screening, how near are we to impact preventive medicine?

05:56 – You have two children and did not take a large career gap. There are others who took career breaks for five years and would then like to return to the workforce. What is your advice to those people?

09:16 – One challenge that you brought up is motivating staff that is instrumental to the collective success and personal career progression. I find challenges in retaining good talent and losing staff to biotech start-ups – not even multinational corporations. In your experience, how do you motivate staff about progressing in an academic career?