Distinguished Speakers

Distinguished Speakers

We invite inspirational male and female scientists and opinion leaders to share with us their perspective on the societal, cultural and personal issues facing women in science. All talks are followed by networking sessions.

Below are short filmed interviews of our speakers to capture the salient points of their talks.

The Sex in Science programme is a joint initiative of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI).


Dr Patricia Alireza

Dr Patricia Alireza is a physicist from the University of Cambridge Cavendish Lab.


Professor Dame Kay Davies

Professor Dame Kay Davies is Dr Lee's Professor of Anatomy at Oxford University and a fellow of Hertford College. Director of the MRC functional genomics unit, a Wellcome Trust governor and a director of the Oxford Centre for Gene Function.

Professor Dame Athene Donald

Professor Dame Athene Donald, Professor of Experimental Physics and Equality and Diversity Champion at the University of Cambridge


Jeremy Farrar

Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust


Inspiring Scientists

Inspiring Scientists event for International Women's Day 2014. Richard Durbin, Karen Steel and Laura Huckins talk about the female scientists who have most inspired them in their career to date.


Dr Sally John

Dr Sally John was Head of Human Genetics at Pfizer at the time of the interview and is now Vice President of Genomics and Computational Biology at Biogen Idec.

Professor Dame Anne Johnson

Professor Dame Anne Johnson, University College London, Wellcome Trust Governor


Professor Suzanne Leal

Professor Suzanne Leal, Director of the Center for Statistical Genetics and Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine

Laura Liswood

Laura Liswood, senior adviser for Goldman Sachs, Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders and author of The Loudest Duck.

Professor Ottoline Leyser

Ottoline Leyser is Professor of Plant Development and Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.


Dr Maria Martin​

Dr Maria Martin, Team Leader, UniProt (Development), EMBL-EBI

Professor Cynthia Morton

Prof Cynthia Morton is Professor of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Biology and Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, Director of Cytogenetics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dr Elizabeth Murchison

Dr Elizabeth Murchison, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge


Research careers in academia and industry​

Contributors: Pauline Williams, Cristina Rada, Julie Barnes, Ana Cvejic and Jane Greatorex

Professor Curt Rice

Professor Curt Rice is a professor at the University of Tromsø; he leads Norway's committee on gender balance in research and heads the board of Current Research Information System in Norway.


Professor Sir Mike Stratton

Professor Sir Mike Stratton is the Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, joint head of the Cancer Genome Project, and Professor of Cancer Genetics, Institute of Cancer Research.


Professor Dame Janet Thornton

Professor Dame Janet Thornton was Director of the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute and is a fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge


Professor Sir Mark Walport

Now UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser for the UK Government, Professor Sir Mark Walport was Director of the Wellcome Trust at the time of the interview.

Professor Paul Walton

Professor Paul Walton, Professor of Chemistry at the University of York and Athena SWAN Champion.

Professor Jane Worthington

Professor Jane Worthington, Professor of Chronic Disease Genetics, University of Manchester


For further information contact Dr Saher Ahmed: saher.ahmed@sanger.ac.uk