Madeleine O’Higgins

Goal for 2013: To facilitate the rapid submission of the team’s papers and quick turnaround on revisions to maximise publications in the coming year.

I am from Dublin, Ireland and joined the Fehlings lab in April 2011. My job title here is Research Communications Specialist and I am involved in the editing and submission of research papers, abstracts for conferences, article reviews and grants. My involvement with these varies from proof-reading to pick up typos to cutting writing down to fit a word count to active writing and reorganization of pieces, particularly where English is not the first language of an author. I also help with press releases and describing the group’s work in lay terms for potential donors and I project manage some grants.
My undergraduate degree from Trinity College, Dublin was in psychology with courses in neuroscience throughout the 4 year degree. I completed my PhD on postnatal depression and the mother-infant relationship at the University of London in London, England. I then took a break from academia and worked as a helpline officer for a young person’s helpline. My next role was in writing articles based on research undertaken by the psychology department in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and this writing role led to my current position. The basic level of neuroscience I had from my undergraduate degree has stood me in good stead in getting to grips with the work in the Fehlings lab. Coming from an outsider position also puts me at an advantage when the work needs to be described to those without in-depth knowledge of the area.
I love the challenge of scientific editing and scientific writing and very much enjoy becoming familiar with the different research projects in which the Fehlings team plays a part – both clinical and basic science work.