Dr Juliette Hughes

Lecturer in Anatomy, Medical School, Edge Hill University

My anatomy journey started in 2012 with a BSc Anatomy and Human Biology at the University of Liverpool, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Like many people in the final year of their undergraduate degree, I was entirely unsure about what to do next. The uncertainty led me to extend my undergraduate degree by adding a 4th year to complete an integrated Master’s of Biological Science, which included an incredible 6-week research internship at Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand) and an anatomical research project using MRI scans to investigate masticatory muscle size and age. After graduation I spent 3 months as a Medical Lab Assistant in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry (Royal Liverpool University Hospital).

I then secured a PhD studentship at the University of Liverpool (Nov 2016), studying a rare metabolic connective tissue disorder called Alkaptonuria. My PhD was entirely lab based and included in vivo mouse work, histology, mass spectrometry and a little bit of molecular biology. Alongside my PhD I gained teaching experience as a casual anatomy demonstrator at the University of Liverpool. At the end of my 3-year PhD, I transitioned to a post-doc position in the same research group to continue my alkaptonuria research (December 2019 – December 2020). During this year, I submitted my PhD thesis and passed my viva in September 2020. I also completed a short course and portfolio to become an Associate Fellow of the HEA (June 2020), during which I gave my first 2 anatomy lectures; one to second year dental students and the other to first year anatomy students.

In January 2021, I began my first teaching post as a Lecturer of Anatomy at Edge Hill University, where I teach anatomy to Physician Associate and medical students. When I applied for the anatomy lectureship, I was still in two minds about whether to pursue a full research career by continuing with post-doc research/fellowship applications or whether to move into anatomy teaching. I choose anatomy teaching but still have a strong passion for research and hope to build a research profile as an Early Career Researcher at Edge Hill.

I am the first person to go to university in my family and also a woman in science. I would never have predicted or foreseen when studying my A-levels, or even my degree, that I would one day obtain a PhD or become a lecturer. Anything is possible when you put your mind to it.