Cardio Metabolic Research at Leeds

Women in Science - Dr Hema Viswambharan (PhD, AFHEA)

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Lynn McKeown

My keen interest in science was engrained in my mind, early in life by my parents. I was born and brought up in Malaysia and completed all my early studies, there.  My father was a science teacher and used to motivate me through his own experiences in teaching at school. My mother, on the other hand was inspirational. She had a vision for me, a plan in the scientific field; years ahead of time. She was not highly educated; nevertheless was an avid reader and was thoroughly convinced of her goals for my life. Eventually, I graduated with BSc. Genetics (Hons.) and completed a Master in Medical Microbiology.

During my master’s degree in collaboration with Pfizer in testing new drugs, I had the opportunity to work with a group of highly talented postdoctoral fellows at the university. Upon completion, I planned to channel my career to the industries and focus on drug discoveries, until I received an invitation to pursue my doctoral degree in Switzerland that changed my career direction, entirely.

Currently, I am a BHF Research Fellow and a Tutor at LICAMM. I was elected Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (FESC) in 2007. I am also one of the Work Experience Placement Providers, engaging schools with the university in exploring scientific research opportunities. My main research interests are in investigating molecular mechanisms of insulin sensitivity in endothelial cells and the role of reactive oxygen species in mediating cardiovascular complications.

Trying to manage postdoctoral research training with family responsibilities are extremely challenging. I have three young children and am very fortunate to have a husband who is also an academic, who supported me to continue my scientific pursuit, thus far. I work full time and strive to accommodate everything possible to succeed in both, our research as well as family, without compromising. This is possible mainly, due to my understanding and supportive line manager, who provides invaluable opportunities in continuing the research work and managing family matters. Additionally, I have also been supported by a mentor within the institute to progress further in my career.

My hope and dream in this research is that we shall understand the mechanisms that link diabetes and cardiovascular disease, leading to better and successful management of diabetic patients, in the near future.

My advice to every individual considering a scientific career is to proceed with your dreams, without compromise. Trust in providence, on your own self-motivation, hard work, diligence and persistence in achieving your long term goals; I believe firmly that the institute would lend a helping hand to succeed.

My advice to every individual considering a scientific career is to proceed with your dreams, without compromise.

What's Happening

18 January 2018: Bridging the gap between molecules and millimetres: In vivo assessment of myocardial microstructure and function using diffusion tensor CMR ... more

08 February 2018:  ... more

15 February 2018: MCRC Seminar ... more

Athena Swan