Profile: Penny Coggill – Protein Domain Family Database annotator, Sanger Institute
I have been on this Campus since I decided to return to work after nearly 30 years of living abroad, bringing up three children and a lot of voluntary work.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and if I had known in 1999 what I know now about all the opportunities for re-training in Cambridge that AWiSE has encouraged and championed …well, I might not have applied to the Sanger, and I do love my job and the campus is a great place to work.
After an initial degree in Natural Science, a Masters in Animal Nutrition and 2 years as research assistant in dairy-cow nutrition I went to work for Beecham Pharmaceuticals in their Medical Information group in London. Two years later the company opened a European HQ in Brussels and I went out with a small nucleus of people to service the Medical Directors with all relevant backup information on the company’s products and new drugs for trialling. Life in Europe is exciting and full of opportunities, so we made the most of our chances of travel and good eating.
Amongst later voluntary work back in England I was involved in bringing science to the female general public, and in so doing came across Joan Mason shortly after she had set up AWiSE from here in Cambridge. I believe passionately in the importance of supporting women in their scientific life, helping them to overcome the hidden and the not-so-hidden prejudices that make it that much more difficult to gain status and position and pursue dreams. Networking is key to finding out how to improve one’s chances, and I’m immensely proud of what Cambridge AWiSE has achieved thus far and will do my utmost to improve its worth in the future. It is people who count and AWiSE has many fine members with much to share.