Dr. Emma Bell
B.Sc.(Hons) M.Res. Ph.D.
Dr. Bell is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada. As a bioinformatician, they combine biology, statistics, and information engineering, to ask biologically and clinically meaningful questions of genomics data. They aim to improve gynaecological healthcare outcomes for women, non-binary and trans people. Dr. Bell believes a scientist's responsibility to society extends beyond the walls of their lab. Thus, they seek out opportunities to engage with those outside academia.
Dr. Bell was born and grew up in Hertfordshire in the U.K, to Sri Lankan and English parents. They are queer and of non-binary gender, using they/them pronouns. They live in Toronto, Canada on the traditional territory of many First Nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples.
In 2011, they graduated from King's College London with a B.Sc.(Hons) Biomedical Science (first-class honours). They studied genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, evolutionary biology, and embryology. The College awarded them Final Year Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement. They then worked as an Editorial Assistant at BioMed Central, the open-access scientific publisher. In 2012, they re-entered academia after winning a highly competitive Medical Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership award. This funded both their masters and doctoral degrees at Imperial College London. They completed an M.Res. in Biomedical Research followed by a Ph.D. in Clinical Medical Research. During their Ph.D. they experienced depression and anxiety, as 1 in 2 graduate students do. They speak openly about their experiences of poor mental health, in the hope that those with similar struggles feel less alone. After nomination by a former student, they were long-listed for an Imperial College Student Academic Choice Award.
In 2019, they moved to Toronto to join Dr. Daniel De Carvalho's team at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The De Carvalho Lab conducts world-class research on the epigenetics of and immune response to cancer. The U.K.'s departure from the European Union influenced their decision to emigrate. Brexit will reduce the funding, resources, and personnel available to U.K. scientific research.
In their spare time, Dr. Bell enjoys crafting, the Toronto queer arts scene, and fostering animals with the Toronto Humane Society. In January, Sophie the Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy joined their little family.