As a research team leader, senior lecturer and Head of BSc Programme Development, plus Head of BSc Medical Biosciences, Ana has an intellectually challenging, diverse, fast paced, but most of all, fun set of responsibilities, whose favourite spot on campus remains her light flooded office in the Imperial Centre for Translational and Experimental Medicine (ICTEM) building on the Hammersmith Campus. This profile was produced for Diverse@Imperial 2017.

Ana Costa-PereiraWhat was your first job? 

I’m not sure I have ever had a job as I’ve always been blessed to be paid to do what most love: cancer research and teaching the next generation of scientists. I started back in 1999 when I became a postdoctoral research fellow in Ian Kerr’s laboratory in what was then the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (later the London Research Institute and now The Francis Crick Institute). That really was my first job and what made me as a scientist.

If you could improve one thing at Imperial, what would it be?

I would create teaching spaces that enable us to teach using blended methodologies and which truly enable students to learn collaboratively and I would gift academics the gift of time…

What are you reading at the moment?

I love getting lost in a really great book and sadly that is a luxury that haven’t enjoyed in quite a while. So, at the moment, I’m hopping and flicking though several pedagogic books regarding higher education and two kids’ psychology books.

"I was 3 years old when I decided I wanted to be a doctor; by 13 I was unsure whether to become an astrophysicist or a cancer scientist but by 14 I just knew that what I really wanted to be was a cancer scientist. There was no turning back."

 What was the last book you read? 

Blue Skies and Bench Space – adventures in cancer research by Kathy Weston, which holds a special value to me.

What’s your favourite moment in the College year?

Paradoxically, summer holidays since they provide me with more thinking space, as well as time with my family.

 If you could give your 18 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Travel more. Rest more.