Welcome to the group: Rebecca Parr

The group is pleased to welcome Rebecca Parr, who will be joining us as an Assistant Study Coordinator.

Rebecca joined the group at the beginning of January 2022, to work on the UK Antimicrobial Registry.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I have been involved in scientific research for over 15 years.  The vast majority of my time until now has been spent in a lab.  I have worked for big pharma companies such as Pfizer, as well as smaller biotech companies, with the aim of developing anti-cancer therapeutics.  During my time in the lab, I have worked with DNA, proteins and even shark antibodies!

I have also had a couple of forays into academia.  I had the fantastic opportunity to be part of a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and Scottish Enterprise.  This synthetic biology initiative gave me the chance to head up a small team tasked with developing a microfluidic platform that could be used for high-throughput cloning.  Most recently, whilst working as a Principal Scientist for an Aberdeen-based biotech company, I also undertook a part-time PhD programme.  This excellent project allowed me to work alongside colleagues from The University of Aberdeen (UoA), The Rowett Institute and the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.  As well as broadening my knowledge of local anaesthetics and deepening my understanding of the scientific writing process, I have gained some direct insight into the world of healthcare.  I am keen to learn more about the interaction between a patient and the care that they receive.

What will you be working on with the Epi Group?

I am delighted to be working with the team responsible for the development and management of the UK Antimicrobial Registry.  This project is a collaboration between the UoA Epidemiology Group and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.  The registry will capture real-world data on the use of antibiotics in a hospital setting.  This will provide an opportunity to identify areas of unmet clinical need and provide an invaluable resource for future research into multi-drug resistant bacteria.

Why did you choose Aberdeen?

I have been living and working in Aberdeen since the year 2000.  I came up to Aberdeen from Cumbria to study at the UoA, swapping the hills and valleys of the Lake District for the expansive coastline of Northeast Scotland.  Upon graduating with a BSc in Immunology, I got a job working for Haptogen Ltd., a UoA spin-out biotech company and I have never looked back!

Are you currently involved in any other research?

Though I have some previous academic experience, the opportunity to work within the Epidemiology Group represents a substantial change in career for me, and will be my main research role.  I am still learning the ropes, however, I am thoroughly enjoying this new challenge and hopefully, as my skill set grows, I can offer more to the team and move forward with them.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love being outside, so whenever the opportunity presents itself, I will be off hillwalking or urban rambling.  I also enjoy cycling, running and swimming.  When sitting down, I am a voracious reader and devourer of novels.

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