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WIS A Day With...2014 Expert Speakers

Warwick WIS were delighted to feature four expert speakers, representing different departments of the Science Faculty at the University of Warwick.

  • Claire Haworth, Department of Psychology (Behavioural Genetics)
  • Judith Klein, Warwick Medical School (Warwick Systems Biology Centre)
  • Carolyn Parkinson, WMG (International Institute for Product and Service Innovation)
  • Elizabeth Stanway, Department of Physics (Astronomy and Astrophysics Group)

Biographies of each of our speakers can be found below. Each expert provided their own innovative talk at WISADayWith...2014, outlining how they came to be where they are today.

Dr Claire Haworth


Claire is a Reader in Behavioural Genetics in the Department of Psychology.

Claire studied Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, and then spent a year working as an assistant psychologist, specialising in traumatic brain injury in childhood. She never thought she would be an academic, but while doing research in a clinical setting she saw the benefit and impact of evidence on people’s lives and decided to give it a try. Funded by an MRC studentship, she completed an interdisciplinary MSc and PhD in Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry, at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. Since her PhD she has been funded by two consecutive fellowships, the first an interdisciplinary fellowship from the MRC and ESRC, and her current fellowship from the British Academy.

In June 2013 Claire moved to Warwick to establish a new group in Behavioural Genetics. She is interested in understanding why people are different from one another, using genetically sensitive study designs to investigate the roles of nature and nurture in human development.

Claire enjoys writing and speaking about her research to audiences from a diverse range of disciplines. She was recently interviewed by Sky News, Radio 5 Live and BBC World News about her research on genetics and education, and previously appeared in the BBC4 documentary The Gene Code, The Why Factor on BBC World Service, and Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. You can follow Claire on Twitter here: @cmahaworth

Professor Judith Klein

J Klein bio

Judith Klein-Seetharaman is Professor of Biomedicine and Systems Biology at the University of Warwick, jointly appointed by the Warwick Medical School, Division of Translational and Systems Medicine, and the Warwick Systems Biology Centre. Prior, she was tenured Associate Professor at the Department of Structural Biology at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, Professor in Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway University of London, UK, and held adjunct appointments at the Language Technologies Institute in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, USA, and the Research Centre Juelich, Germany, amongst others.

She is currently an FP7 People Funded International Incoming Fellowship Awardee and holds grant from industry, and the Human Frontier Science Program. She was the director of the Erasysbio-funded Salmonella Host Interactions Project European Consortium ( and was the founding co-director of the NSF-funded Center for Biological Language Modeling ( and the Data Integration and Bioinformatics Core Director of the NIH funded Pittsburgh Centre for HIV Protein Interactions (

She obtained her PhD with late Nobel Laureate Har Gobind Khorana at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, USA on conformational changes and folding in rhodopsin. She holds dual undergraduate degrees in Biology and in Chemistry from the University of Cologne, Germany. She has published over 100 papers and has received a number of awards, including the Margaret Oakley Dayhoff Award of the Biophysical Society for the “most promising young woman in biophysics” awarded for her “remarkable work in computational biology embracing the full spectrum of experimental biophysics” in 2007/2008.

Carolyn Parkinson

C Parkinson

Carolyn Parkinson is an innovation business specialist with a scientific background and leadership experience to CEO level. Carolyn works as a Technology Transfer Specialist for WMG. Her role involves working with a wide range of external businesses, from her base in the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI), a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Carolyn commenced her career in the late 80s as an analytical chemist, firstly in pharmaceuticals and later in industrial chemicals. Exposure to the commercial aspects of business piqued her interest and saw her change tack to pursue business and leadership roles. With a love for both science and business, she has spent the rest of her career finding ever more creative ways of bringing these two passions together.

Carolyn has extensive experience working at the university-business interface, including spinning out a scientific instrument company from the University of York. Carolyn raised over £1m in start-up business finance and led the company from research project through to product launch and international sales. She has held numerous consulting and business advisory roles, working primarily with university-linked innovation and business growth programmes.

Dr Elizabeth Stanway

E Stanway

Dr Elizabeth Stanway is an assistant professor in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Group of the Department of Physics at Warwick. She has
been at Warwick since 2011, having previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States
and at the University of Bristol in the UK. Her PhD, completed in Cambridge in 2004 and entitled "Probing the End of the Dark Ages",
explored the first galaxies to light up the early Universe, pushing the limits of observational data at the time. Her work in this field
also earned her the Royal Astronomical Society's Winton Capital Award for early career stage researchers in 2010.

Her primary research area is star formation in galaxies in the distant Universe - studying the small building blocks which combine to form
massive galaxies like our own. This can be accomplished both by direct observations of the most distant known galaxies, and by exploring
local analogues which reproduce the physical conditions prevalent in star forming regions at early times, and so act as aids to
interpretation and analysis of the more distant data. Amongst the interesting local sample she has studied are galaxies which host gamma
ray bursts - the most luminous explosions in the Universe.

In her spare time (and, yes, even a lecturer gets a little), she is a keen gardener and an unreformed science fiction geek, with a long
standing fascination of the subject - both for its own sake and for the light it sheds on our understanding of the Universe in the present
and in plausible futures.