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Introducing SCI Ambassador, Maia Harvey

Maia Harvey

I’m looking forward to gaining a broader understanding of the applications of chemistry and related disciplines in a business setting, and improve my commercial awareness.

What are your research interests?
I am currently studying for a PhD to develop novel cell-based screens for protein-protein interactions. I am focussing on both bacterial assays and mammalian cell assays, with the aim of implementing them in high-throughput drug discovery pipelines.

Why SCI? How did you first get involved and why would you encourage your peers to join?
I first got involved with SCI when I attended the protein-protein interactions conference in April 2019. I think the professional network of academics and industry leaders would be incredibly useful to my peers and early career researchers, and many would benefit from exposure to the variety of scientific careers presented at SCI events and the mentorship programme. Identifying the commercial value in scientific research can sometimes take a back seat in academic studies, but I think it is important for scientists to see the potential impact their work could have on society through engaging with business.

SCI aims to be ‘where science meets business’. What is the potential commercial application of your research?
Drug failure rates are high, and better screening methods for candidate libraries are needed to more efficiently identify lead compounds. Drug developers need new assays that more accurately depict protein-protein interactions in the cellular environment. My research could potentially lead to commercial assays or services to implement in drug development pipelines, to accelerate therapeutics development through the early stages.

What do you hope to gain from your involvement with SCI?
I hope to get involved with organising SCI events, increasing my network and learning about a range of careers outside academia. Through being a SCI ambassador, I’m looking forward to gaining a broader understanding of the applications of chemistry and related disciplines in a business setting, and improve my commercial awareness.

Maia Harvey
University of Leeds
Astbury Centre for Structural Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences

university of leeds

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