Many thanks to the awesome ladies at @IWS_Network for the chance to share my #immigrant #womanofcolour #womaninscience👩🏽‍🔬story throughout this week as part of their Voices Without Frontiers program!
iwsnetwork.ca/voices-without…
#IWSvoices #WomenInSTEM
I was born in #Guyana 🇬🇾
➡️ Amerindian name meaning “Land of Many Waters”.
➡️small in size (<800, 000 people), rich in natural resources
➡️only English-speaking country in South America
➡️Diversity of people with amazing cultural mix @IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM ImageKaieteur Falls - world's la...Photo Source: Guyana Times
Genetically I’m Indian - ancestors brought to ‘British Guiana’ from India during colonial times to work on #sugarplantations.

Culturally I’m #Caribbean as #Guyana shares historical and cultural ties with other Anglo-Caribbean countries.

@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM East Woman in the Anglo-Car...
I grew up in a village on the coast of #Guyana in one of three counties called #Berbice. High school was far away and involved waking up at 5-6 am, riding a bike (for about 30-40 minutes) then taking a bus to school 1-2 hours away.
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM A part of the Coast of Guyana
Young me was was fascinated by people, I saw in books & tv, in white lab coats mixing colourful liquids in the lab and getting stuff to foam and explode.
I thought it would be fun and wanted to do this when I grew up.
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM
Hey everyone, to continue from yesterday.

So in high school I had an awesome #chemistry teacher that made me love the subject & I knew then that chemistry is what I wanted to do at Uni.
Great #teachers make a huge difference in high school.
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM
After HS my family had financial difficulties & Uni was put off. I worked as a primary school teacher then a lab technician at the Albion Sugar Estate in #Guyana where #sugar is produced from sugar cane. I remember vividly one of the things...
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM Sugar caneSugar and sugar cane
I did was measure sugar purity & content using a #polarimeter - my first encounter with #measurementscience 📏🧪.
I liked the job but my father valued education so this was prioritized over other things to give me what my parents never had.
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM
I spent 4 yrs at the Uni of Guyana majoring in Chemistry & working in between. One summer science job I had was being involved in a project to quantify heavy metals in fish using Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy - more measurement science!
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM Flame Atomic Absorption Spe...
I finished at the top of my class with a feature in the local newspapers (pic). I then taught high school & A-level chemistry while applying for graduate schools in Canada (that didn’t require GRE😀);I wanted to work in scientific research.
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM Image
Day 3 of story sharing
I came to #Canada in 2006 for #gradschool. Moved from hot & humid #Guyana🔥 to super cold & dry #Edmonton #Alberta 🥶The move (& weather) was quite the challenge because I was solely on my own.
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM Banff, AlbertaBanff, Alberta
I joined groups, made friends, kept busy, found a #soccer team⚽️, played on/off (love the sport) to stay fit.
Spent 1st sem. in #organic chem prog. then switched to #analytical b/c I realized I didn't want to do organic synthesis for life😃.
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM Banff, Alberta
This was the beginning of #masspectrometry for me.
I used Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance MS (instrument in pic) to study fundamental properties of peptides & #proteins. I loved it & love working with analytical instruments!
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM Me in grad school at Univer...
Life then took a turn in a horrible direction. My dad passed away to the shock of everyone (at only 54) & things got a bit overwhelming for me, my #mentalhealth was at its worse, so I took a break from #gradschool.
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM
My “break” lasted 4 years in #Toronto during which (fortunately) I was still doing mass spectrometry. I worked in #Proteomics at the University of Toronto at a #Genome Centre & added more instrument experience to my mass spec repertoire.
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM ImageImage
To finish my story. Thanks all who read thus far!

I didn’t finish grad school so decided to give it another go. I looked for positions in Europe & chose the Uni. of #Manchester 🇬🇧 for their distinguished history of mass spec innovators.
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM During my PhD with mass spec
A highlight of my PhD was a best paper award for my work - journals.elsevier.com/international-…

It was also exciting to be part of the #football world.
I got a coaching qualification from the English FA & coached kids in my spare time @FletcherMoss_FC
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM At Old Trafford, Manchester
I finished the PhD in just over 3 yrs (the work experience paid off). With a background in analytical chem. you can work in so many areas (happy I didn't stay in org. chem😃) so I looked for opportunities in both #industry & #academia.
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM
I returned to 🇨🇦 & took a job @ Medicago in R&D as a #Scientist
using my mass spec background to characterize #biotherapeutics like #antibodies & virus-like particle #vaccine candidates including one for #COVID19.
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM Virus structure vs. virus-l...
I currently reside in #QuebecCity with my partner & cat. My journey so far has not been a straight or easy one but there were many rewarding periods & I’ve met & been supported by many amazing people along the way for whom I am grateful ❤️🤗.
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #WomenInSTEM ImageImage

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