Portraits of inspiring women in translational medicine: Jennifer Kirwan

for me being a scientist means the opportunity to have a really diverse and interesting job that excites me every day I'm dr. Jennifer : I'm the head over the BiH from tableau mix platform and I work in the burning bush and DC campus my route into science is a little unusual I originally trained to be a veterinarian and and after working for a few years as a vet I went and did a PhD in metabolomics in a veterinary related field and from there I ended up working purely in metabolomics our role as a platform is we support other research groups research and this means that we are often working on a very broad number of research projects but we primarily concentrate on hearts guts and brain health and in particular how the three separate organs link together metabolomics is primarily concerned with metabolites and we're all aware that our bodies are made up of millions of individual cells and we can look at each cell as its own individual Factory and metabolites are basically what these cells are producing we use a variety of mass spectrometers these are effectively very fancy weighing scales that can weigh individual metabolites and we use them to look at which metabolites are in a biological system and we can look at which metabolites present what quantity of metabolites are present and how they compare in populations of healthy people compared to populations of people with disease I think what fascinates me is both the individual variation so we can take a hundred people and each of them has their own individual metabolite what also fascinates me is the amount of information you can investigate and find out from any individual study it's a bit like a jigsaw the things slot into place you start to be able to answer some some scientific questions that have been puzzling you and that gives me a real buzz

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