Dr Christy Hung: Race Against Dementia Fellow, University College London

Dr Hung has relocated from Cambridge to London to become the Race Against Dementia Fellow. Dr Hung’s project, funded by Race Against Dementia, will investigate the role of autophagy, which is a sort of cellular ‘garbage disposal’ system that remove and recycle damaged material to prevent the build up of toxic waste within the cells. Over the five-year project, Dr Hung will investigate whether boosting this ‘garbage disposal’ system could present a new approach to prevent, halt or reverse the symptoms of the disease.

"Getting this fellowship is a career-defining opportunity. I am very grateful for Sir Jackie’s vision in bringing Formula One to dementia research. As far as I know, Formula one is famous for precision, innovation and automation. Formula One engineers are very good at problem solving. That is why I am very eager to learn from my mentors, who are world-leaders in their fields, and apply their mind-sets into my research. I truly believe that by working closely together we can create life-changing breakthroughs."

Dr Christy Hung

Published 6th June 2020

Focus, Constant Learning and Winning Culture – lessons from Professor Mark Jenkins

Like many researchers around the world whose laboratories are shut down, RAD fellows are exploring ways to stay productive and keep our scientific research going through the coronavirus pandemic. We are using this time to reflect on the progress of our own research project, plan for future experimental work and undertake career development activities.

For example, we had a virtual workshop – ‘Performance at the Limit: Lessons from Formula 1 Motor Racing’ with Professor Mark Jenkins (Professor of Business Strategy and Group Head of Strategy at Cranfield School of Management) during the lockdown.

Professor Jenkins is an incredibly enthusiastic and engaging speaker. He incorporated real examples and stories throughout his presentation to demonstrate what makes a successful Formula 1 team, and more importantly, how we could apply these valuable lessons to dementia research. I feel particularly inspired when Professor Jenkins highlighted the importance of constant learning and self-review – F1 racing teams spend two hours at the track after each race to discuss what went wrong even when they win a race! I believe it is important that we make the best use of every opportunity to review our performance and obtain constructive feedback, such as presenting our work in group meetings, departmental seminars and international conferences.

Professor Jenkins also highlighted how teamwork and collaborations play a huge role in cultivating the winning culture in F1 teams – each member in the team thinks as an individual but works together as a team. These ideologies remind me of my visit to Campus Biotech, a truly vibrant and collaborative life sciences hub in Geneva, with the RAD team in November last year. I believe Campus Biotech is a good example to demonstrate the possibility of creating an innovative and collaborative environment that brings every scientist together. By bringing together expertise from a variety of biotechnology and life sciences disciplines under one roof, it allows scientists to work as a team and translate cutting-edge research into clinical solutions.

The RAD Fellows (Ellen, Claire and Christy) along with Mark and Paul Stewart and Penny Moyle, visited Campus Biotech last year.
The RAD Fellows and Dr Mark Jenkins