Interview with Dr Ann Henry

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Dr Ann Henry is an Associate Professor in Clinical Oncology at St James’ University Hospital.

How did you become involved in academic research and why?

My initial interest in research started with the project I undertook as part of my medical undergraduate intercalated degree. It allowed me to focus in depth on a research question. Throughout my career I have sought out research opportunities and being a clinical academic has allowed me to develop a variety of skills and given me more personal career fulfilment.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The variety that combining a clinical and academic job brings. My learning through academic work challenges my pre-conceptions about the delivery of patient care and translates into direct patient benefits.

What has been the highlight of your career in academic research?

The opportunity to supervise students, seeing them develop and take ownership of a project, and eventually become independent researchers.

Why should more women get involved with academic research?

To get the best people into research, our academic staff need to come from the entire medical workforce and reflect the diversity in our society.

What advice would you give to women considering a career in academic research?

Develop your own sense of self-belief, be brave and don’t fear failure. We all struggle at times with work life balance and general work stress but focus on specific objectives that are achievable within a timeframe.

Is there a woman you look up to or is inspirational in academic research? And if so why?

As a radiation oncologist I have always admired Marie Curie, the pioneer in discovering radioactivity and the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She combined her research career with a busy family life, leaving a great legacy for society.

Read more interviews with inspiring women working in clinical radiology and oncology