Rosana Collepardo-Guevara

We develop chemically-accurate and minimal molecular models of biomolecules (proteins, DNA, RNA and chromatin) to uncover the physical and molecular mechanisms that dictate their self-organisation and phase-separation, and that underpin function.

What motivated you to pursue a career in science?

I grew up in a low-income family in Mexico, which exposed me to the irrationality of elitism, racism, and gender-based discrimination. In contrast, science offered me a safe space, where I felt my ideas (and I) were judged objectively by the scientific method, and not by unconscious biases. As I grew older, I could see this is not always the case for women and other minorities in STEM, and that being a white man or having "academic pedigree" can give you a significant advantage in the way people judge your work, and your suitability for prizes, talks, jobs, grants, etc. Despite this, I am in love with science and my job, because it allows me to think freely, creatively, and outside of the box to solve problems, while still objectively, and propose and evaluate hypothesis based on evidence to contribute to our understanding of how Nature works. I feel extremely privilege at having such a fulfilling job. Very importantly, one of the most enjoyable parts of being a group leader, for me, has been having the opportunity to build an amazing team of outstanding young scientists (where women are majority!) from very diverse backgrounds, and solve problems closely together.

Anything else you'd like to share with us?

I am the proud mum of two young children, and a feminist.