Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Head of Operations and Planning - UK DRI Centre



+44 (0)20 7594 1356j.podesta Website




E501Burlington DanesHammersmith Campus





I lead all business and research operations for the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) Centre at Imperial College London, and am the Mentoring Champion for the Department of Brain Sciences.

Currently, there are around 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, but many more will be affected. Through research, the UK DRI will transform the lives of people living with and affected by dementia. 

I joined Imperial in 2010, to establish the CRUK Centre - a centre of excellence within a national network.  In my role as Centre Manager, I brought the CRUK Centre and the ECMC successfully through three competitive renewal cycles. 

I moved into research management after several years at the bench, so I have first-hand experience of the needs of our researchers.  Originally from New Jersey, USA, I completed my BSc (Hons) in Molecular Biology at the University of Liverpool (UK) and my PhD in Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery at the UCL School of Pharmacy. During my PhD, I studied the therapeutic potential of siRNA utilising novel delivery systems including cationic liposomes and functionalised carbon nanotubes.  I have held research positions at Princeton University and the Institute of Neurology, UCL.

The diversity of my role means no two days are the same – from supporting multi-million pound collaborative grant applications to developing a social media presence.  I love building networks and have facilitated numerous multidisciplinary workshops that have led to innovative grant applications.  We are uniquely placed at Imperial to apply world class expertise in engineering and physical sciences to clinical challenges. 

I have the privilege of working closely with scientists at every level, from world experts in their fields to PhD students just beginning their careers, as well as with our funders and their generous supporters. I am a strong advocate for Coaching and Mentoring. As Mentoring Champion for the Department of Brain Sciences, I am keen to support all our research and professional services staff, particularly during challenging stages of career transitions. 
I am open to career conversations.