Dr Dianne Newbury

University Research Lecturer & Career Development Fellow, Wellcome Trust Centre for Genetics

Although Dr Dianne Newbury always liked science at school, it wasn’t until much later in life that she decided to be a research scientist. This decision was largely due to inspirational mentors who encouraged her to take up a career in research, rather than simply study science.

After studying Genetics at the University of Nottingham, Dianne joined Dr Tony Monaco’s group as a research assistant in 1997, exploring dyslexia and language impairment. After one year as a research assistant she embarked upon a DPhil in Dr Monaco’s lab.

“I was really interested in genetics and wanted to learn more about human genetics. At that time the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics was really the place to do such research, especially if you were interested in human disorders.”

Shortly after completing her DPhil she gave birth to her first child. Dianne then worked part-time as a post-doctoral research assistant for the next 8 years, to achieve a balance between her research career and family life. She had a second child during this time and returned to working full-time in the lab in 2009, once both of her children were in school. She believes that she has achieved a good work-life balance as the flexibility of a research career enables you to fit work around other commitments, enabling her to spend important time with her family.

 “It is a great career – you are in control of your own research and you can be flexible and fit it around other stuff.”

“I think that the thing about having a career in something that you are interested in is that my career is also one of my hobbies.”

In 2010, Dianne was awarded a MRC Career Development Fellowship enabling her to be an independent researcher. Her group studies Specific Language Impairment, where children develop normally in all areas but have a problem, with language.

“I think that I have been really lucky. I have been given a lot of support from the Department and from the Group Heads that I have worked with”.