Dr Charlotte Dean - Senior Lecturer

Dr Charlotte Dean is one of the module leaders on the postgraduate programme in Genomic Medicine. She tells us about her area of research and her career highlights to date.

Charlotte Dean

What is your role at NHLI?

I am a senior lecturer - my job involves teaching and research.

What is your research about?

We want to find new regenerative medicine treatments for lung diseases like emphysema, and also bronchopulmonary dysplasia where not enough alveoli form in premature babies. We identify factors that are required to generate the lungs (lung development) and then see if we can harness these same factors to repair or grow new lung tissue.

What have been the highlights of your career path so far?

I have really enjoyed each stage of my career from undergraduate through to running a lab. I did my post-doctoral work in the USA and that was really enjoyable and stimulating. 

What led you to choosing your career in this particular field?

I have always been a developmental biologist but I began my career in neuroscience. After my PhD, I decided it would be good to try something different so I worked on the lacrimal gland of the eye and this then led me to work on the lungs. I find lung biology fascinating so that is where I have focused my research.

What is your favourite part of your role at NHLI?

The variety of my job is probably the most enjoyable thing. In one day I may be teaching classes, then catching up with scientists in my group about their research projects, writing a grant and attending a research seminar - it is never boring.

What advice would you give yourself as a young person about to start your career?

Take advantage of any opportunities that come along. For example, go to a broad range of seminars, attend meetings, apply for opportunities to work abroad etc. 

What would you be doing if you weren’t in the world of academia or science?

It's hard to think of something not related to science or academia that I would want to do. Perhaps being a writer. 

What advice would you give to students considering joining NHLI?

There is a lot of really interesting research going on at NHLI and you will be taught by the academics who are doing this cutting-edge research. This is a great opportunity so make the most of it. Ask lots of questions and ask for advice, it is always good to hear from lots of different people.