Dr Pinar Uysal-Onganer, Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology, was recognised by global campaign network 1 Million in STEM as a female role model in their campaign to bridge the gender gap in the industry.
1 Million in STEM is a global network, community and campaign organisation showcasing female role models in STEM to the next generation of girls and sharing their stories. The organisation was set up to recognise the 26 per cent of STEM workers that are female and to encourage more young women to pursue a career in STEM.
Dr Uysal-Onganer is a cancer biologist and leads the Cancer Research Group at the University, is a member of the American Association of Cancer Research, the British Society for Cell Biology and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.
Her research experience involves a range of cell signalling mechanisms, and the functional molecular aspects of cancer. She was the first person to demonstrate functional upregulation of crucial proteins called voltage-gated sodium channels in small-cell lung cancer, within and outside of living organisms. Currently, she is working to explain the role of a group of cell transmission pathways called WNT signalling in cancer, focusing on small molecules called microRNAs and their significance in different malignancies.
Talking about why she loves working in STEM, Dr Uysal-Onganer said: “I have always been fascinated by science and want to show young girls that they can make a difference. It is possible to achieve their goals as long as they are passionate, determined and prepared for hard work.”
She added: “I love the interest of young people and their questions always motivate me. Whenever I do a talk in primary or high schools, I feel more and more hopeful for the future of scientific achievements. Their motivation is pure curiosity which is the best!”