We recognize that science can seem difficult to young scientists, and we hope to raise awareness about people who make it fun and accessible to broader audiences through social media, #SciComm!
Meet Daisy, a postdoc who's traveled halfway around the world on a mission to study retinal eye diseases. Daisy uses her Instagram and Twitter accounts to share information about her research, short videos from the lab and updates on her travels. We got the chance to ask Daisy a few questions to learn more about her and her research!
First tell us a bit about yourself! Where are you from and what is your career path?
I’m Daisy, an Aussie girl now living in Boston, MA. I’m currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the Saint-Geniez Laboratory at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School. My research explores the role of metabolism and mitochondria in the retina and investigates new drugs to treat retinal eye diseases.👁
My undergraduate studies were at The University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, majoring in optometry and vision science. After graduating, I worked as a clinical optometrist in private practice for 2 years before starting my PhD at the University of Sydney. My PhD project explored how cataracts form and how we can block them. On completing my PhD thesis, I hopped on a plane and relocated to Boston to start my postdoc where I am now. ✈
Why did you decide to use social media to share your research?
I wanted to reach a broader audience! There’s a huge community of scientists on social media now (especially on Instagram and Twitter) and it’s easy to connect and share our latest scientific findings. It’s also a great way to practice my science communication skills in expressing my research in the most engaging and concise way possible.
"I love that non-scientists also follow me and get excited about research and science." 🔬🧪
Why did you decide to study optometry, and what do you find most interesting about your research?
I decided to study optometry because I’m fascinated by the eye and our visual system. It’s such a complex organ and I’m fascinated by the tissues in the eye and how they all work together to help us see the world we live in. 🌎
Currently, my research explores how mitochondria and metabolism play a role in diseases of the retina. I find it so interesting that the retina is actually the most metabolically active tissue in the body, even more so than the heart and brain. I’ve discovered that mitochondria change their shape and behavior in retinal diseases and am looking into ways of blocking these changes to restore a healthy retina.
Have you faced any challenges as a woman in STEM? How did you overcome these challenges?
I personally have not faced any challenges being a woman in STEM. It’s a great time to be a woman in STEM right now. 👩🏻🔬
"There's so much support for us and it's our time to shine!"
What would make the world a better place?
More funding for science!
What’s the best part about your day?
The best part of my day is when I perform an experiment and get to see the data come through. There’s always a moment of suspense just before the results come up and it’s very exciting!
"Even if the result doesn’t match your hypothesis, it’s still an important puzzle piece that helps you understand your research question." 🧩
What are some of your hobbies?
I love yoga, reading books and baking.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
I successfully finished a half-marathon last year! 💪
Thank you Daisy for sharing your research and your story with our community! Your research in retinal eye diseases is fascinating, and we always love to hear about how researchers are using social media to share scientific knowledge with others.
February 11 is International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Keeping this day in mind for the rest of the month, we will continue to focus on women, like Daisy, who are working in science and are inspiring the next generation of scientists!