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To mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2023, we are sharing profiles of some of the women from the MRC Toxicology Unit highlighting their careers, experiences, passions and more. Today we want to introduce you to Gaby.


Who are you and tell us about your research?

My name is Gaby and I'm a third year PhD student at the MRC Toxicology Unit. My research involves exploring the impact of pharmaceutical drugs on development during pregnancy and on the reproductive system to understand if these drugs may influence the health of subsequent generations.


What or who inspired you to pursue a career in science?

I have always been interested in human biology but having the opportunity to work in a lab during my undergraduate degree reinforced my desire to work in biological research. I also had extremely hard working and supportive female supervisors during my research experience which gave me the confidence to progress in my scientific career.


What and when was the last experiment you did in the lab?

The last experiment I did was yesterday, I performed a quantitative PCR assay to explore changes in gene expression in stem cells after treatment with different pharmaceutical drugs.


What do you love most about science?

I love that I have the chance to make a difference. Though research is slow and takes a considerable amount of work, it is all worth it knowing that my work is creating stepping-stones that could make a significant change to someone's life one day.


Have you ever felt like you don’t belong in science? 

There have been times during my studies when I believed I wasn’t up to the job and that I would never achieve my goals. But the more I have persisted with my studies and my research, I have realised that my career in science is worthy because it is my passion and nobody can stop me from succeeding (especially the little voice in my head).


What is the most important thing for you in life and why?

Regardless of what I do, I want to be happy. Working in science, living in Cambridge surrounded by friends and family, and having fun new adventures are all things that make me happy, even on the more difficult days.


What advice would you share with other women in science or girls interested in getting into science?

There's no harm in trying it out. If you have a passion for science or even a small interest, fuel that passion with books, films, study, anything! Nothing can stop you from doing what you want to do or being who you want to be. It might take a lot of hard work and persistence, but in the end you will find what is right for you.