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Photo: a Researcher in a lab coat

Meet the vet turned MS researcher

Dr Myfanwy Hill

Hi I’m Dr Myfanwy Hill, an MS researcher at the Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair - although I started out as a vet!

I grew up in a small town called Battle, on the south coast of England. Mildly interesting fact: this is where the Battle of Hastings happened in 1066, in Battle - not in Hastings!

Alongside being a bit of a science nerd, I’m also a theatre geek. I spend lots of my spare time reading plays, going to the theatre and sometimes even directing or acting in plays. I’m also a qualified vet, and sometimes supervise animals on film and TV sets.

Following my mentor into MS research

Professor Robin Franklin – one of the leading MS researchers in the UK - has been a mentor to me throughout my career. And I followed him into the field. Funnily enough, he originally trained as a vet too!

Developing ways to see myelin repair

Other people in our lab are working really hard to develop treatments that can repair myelin in the brains of people with MS. But to do this, we also need to have techniques and tools that allows us to see when myelin has been regenerated in the brain.

I’m developing a completely new technique which will allow us to visualise myelin being repaired in the brain. I’m using MRI to see inside the brain and watch as stem cells become new myelin making cells, in a way which has never been done before.

I think brains are beautiful

On a day-to-day basis, the most exciting thing about my research is the beautiful images we generate. I love brains, I think they're so beautiful and a lot of the images our work generates are incredibly beautiful too.

Overall, I feel like our group and our field is making real progress towards discoveries which really could change how we diagnose, treat and manage MS. That’s really exciting.

What more money for research would mean

Successful research comes from a combination of sufficient funding, great ideas and the brightest people.

We all spend a lot time in the lab, carrying out the experiments needed to address the big challenges and questions in our field. More money would mean more people to work on our questions.

It would make sure that we could bring the best, most passionate scientists, technicians and other support staff together to work on the projects that we think matter. This would mean we could answer questions faster, share our findings more quickly, and ultimately do more and better science.

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