First off, the credentials bit. I graduated from the University of Bristol with a 2:1 BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry, and received my PhD in biochemistry from Imperial College for work on the molecular biology of cardiac transcription factors (you could even read the two papers I wrote about my work: paper 1; paper 2). Throughout this time, I was also writing for student newspapers and newsletters, which should have been a hint of some sort as to the actual career I should choose …
After a postdoctoral research fellowship at Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis studying proteins in signalling pathways involved with cancer, I returned to the UK to find my true calling: working as an editor in medical communications. I gained five years of experience as an editor (a catch-all term for copy editor, proofreader and production editor) at two respected companies, working on a wide variety of materials in a broad spectrum of therapy areas, before becoming freelance.
Since becoming freelance, I’ve worked with several companies, both in-house and at home, providing editorial support and scientific understanding to ensure that their output was accurate and clear. Editing, copy-editing, proofreading, devising house style guides, fact-checking, ensuring ABPI compliance – all done to deadline and respecting the voice of the author.
Now, some humanising facts that make me sound colourful and interesting, and not the robot that most people think editors are:
- When I was 10 years old, I had tea with Margaret Thatcher (I’m not proud of this, but it is an interesting fact)
- Despite having a PhD in biochemistry, I did a week of work experience at Empire Magazine
- I have achieved the dream inspired by my goofy love of The Karate Kid (the original) by being trained in martial arts (Chen-style taijiquan) by a genuine master and national champion. Admittedly, he was teaching me along with a large group of other students, but to me it still counts
- I’ve been a comic book fan for more years than I care to admit, unlike all those bandwagon jumpers who now love the films, as evidenced by my blogging at my non-work-related site, Clandestine Critic
- Despite being British, I don’t drink tea (except for Chinese tea when accompanying Chinese food) or alcohol, and I find the smell of coffee repulsive