Welsh Crucible 2011
Anna obtained her BSc degree, majoring in Chemistry and Biochemistry, from the University of Adelaide, Australia. After completing an honours degree in Organic Chemistry at the same institution, she went on to complete her PhD at the Australian National University looking at the processes governing formation of free radicals in proteins. She subsequently completed a European union-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, examining the chemistry of coenzyme B12-dependent enzymes, and was then offered a permanent lecturing post at Bangor University. Her current research has a strong focus on free-radicals, highly reactive species that can be both incredibly damaging to biological systems, causing the signs and symptoms of aging, yet are fundamental to many biochemical reactions, including those that make some vitamins and DNA. She recently completed a sabbatical at MIT to further study a special class of free-radical utilising enzymes, the SAM-radical enzymes, found in many pathogenic anaerobic bacteria, with a hope to developing a better understanding of these systems for the development of more effective antibacterial agents in the future. Anna is strongly motivated to show how science has a tangible and direct impact on improving people’s lives.
2016 Update: Anna has relocated to the University of Nottingham and has been promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering.