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8 March 2021

Celebrating the women who are working to drive Cambridge Cognition forward – Part 1

To celebrate International Women's Day, we’re sharing the stories of a few of the amazing women we’re proud to say are part of the Cambridge Cognition team. In part 1 we will be speaking to Chief Operating Officer - Fiona Cree, Operational Scientist - Iona Pickett and Director of Statistical Science - Elizabeth Baker.

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. To celebrate this, we’re giving you the chance to get to know a few of the women that help to make Cambridge Cognition everything that it is today. From the impact our new Senior Director of Business Development has made, to the exciting projects our Director of Statistical Sciences is working on, we celebrate the impact that they’ve had on our workplace and dive into their background and what inspired them to work for Cambridge Cognition.

In part 1 of this 2-part series, we will be talking to Operational Scientist Iona Pickett, and Elizabeth Baker, our Director of Statistical Science, but before we get started, let's hear from our Chief Operating Officer, Fiona Cree.

Fiona Cree - Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer and lead of the Clinical Science and Operations teams, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing these amazing women who, with their colleagues at Cambridge Cognition, are working to make a difference for patients across a range of neurological and psychiatric conditions.

After graduating from University of Glasgow with a degree in Immunology, I worked for many years in global clinical and project leadership roles within GSK and small biotech companies. Attracted by the quality of the science underpinning Cambridge Cognition’s tests, I joined in May 2019 and thoroughly enjoy the variety and many intellectual and practical challenges of my role. It has also a pleasure and privilege to mentor colleagues across the business.

The healthcare technology sector in which Cambridge Cognition operates offers so much opportunity for women to develop their careers. As you will read from the various posts from my colleagues for International Women’s Day, we work across a wide range of academic and drug development projects. The increase in high-frequency testing using digital technology and the introduction of voice assessments will undoubtedly improve the detection of change in, for example, neurodegeneration which in turn will lead to improved treatments for these challenging conditions. I look forward to being part of making that difference!

Iona Pickett – Operational Scientist

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I graduated from the University of Cambridge in Natural Sciences (Psychology) last summer. I wanted to use the skills I had learnt in my degree and was keen to stay in Psychology. My position at Cambridge Cognition is my first role post-university and I’m enjoying every minute of it so far!

What is your current role at Cambridge Cognition? 

I’m an Operational Scientist, which means I get to work with a lot of different teams on a lot of different projects. The variety is my favourite aspect of the role, it’s given me the chance to learn so much in a lot of different areas which has been so valuable as I start my professional career.

What motivated you to choose this career path?

I wanted to both use and build on the skills I’d gained in my degree while also having the opportunity to contribute to research. Cambridge Cognition has definitely provided that – I’ve already worked on a range of interesting projects within so many different areas, allowing me to learn a great deal about clinical research.

During my grad job search, one of the things which made Cambridge Cognition stand out was how employee-focussed they were. It was clear they wanted to invest in their employees’ development. That’s definitely been the case for me so far, and it’s been great being in such a supportive environment even though I’ve been working remotely and haven’t actually met anyone in person yet!

Seeing so many women in leadership roles is also one of the reasons I chose Cambridge Cognition, it was a real wake-up call to how male-dominated it had been in previous institutions!

Are there any interesting projects you are currently working on?

One of the first things I worked on was a blog post about COVID-19 and cognition, which is still one of my favourite pieces of work I’ve had the chance to do in my short time at Cambridge Cognition. It was so interesting to read research right at the cutting-edge of what we understand about the disease, and it really changed my perspective on what challenges we might face after the pandemic is over. If you’d like to read the blog post it’s available here

I’ve also been working on some research on the relationship between chronic illness, fatigue and mental health, which I’ll be presenting at the Chronic Illness and Mental Health conference in March.

Elizabeth Baker - Director of Statistical Science

Tell us a little background information about yourself?

I joined Cambridge Cognition after completing my PhD at King’s College London. Core to my PhD was applying longitudinal analysis techniques for understanding rate of cognitive decline and the relationship with risk factors for decline in Alzheimer’s and dementia more broadly. I was keen to understand how these methods could be applied to cognitive endpoints in clinical trials to support the development of much-needed therapeutic interventions.

What is your current role at Cambridge Cognition?

In my role as Director of Statistical Science at Cambridge Cognition, I’m involved in a range of different projects. I support researchers in identifying statistical approaches suitable to their research question and the delivery of their end-of-study analysis. I also work with a great team of operational scientists and data managers who are passionate about supporting clients with the delivery of cognitive endpoints within their clinical studies.

What motivated you to choose this career path?

Being within a research group developing digital health technologies and clinical decision-making tools, I was keen to work for an innovative technology company. Cambridge Cognition is leading on developing tools that realise near-patient assessment for real-world evidence and healthcare interventions.

Are you currently working on any interesting projects?

There are always interesting projects to be involved in at Cambridge Cognition. Most recently, I have been working to support the development of a cognitive screening tool. We’ve developed the functionality to indicate distance of participants performance from a comparative normative sample. This tool could support medical practitioners in evaluating global cognitive health of their patients.

How would you like to see your career progress within Cambridge Cognition / your chosen field?

I would like to continue to develop a successful data strategy whilst developing skills in project management with a view to progress into a leadership position bridging operational delivery and statistical insight.

Hopefully, the chance to get to know some of the amazing women who work here at Cambridge Cognition has given you an insight into the important work they are all doing day-to-day. In the next post, we will be talking to Emma Dominic, our Academic Sales Manager, and our Senior Director of Business Development, Lindsey Hagan.

If you’re interested in becoming part of our exciting team, then keep an eye on our available positions – We’re always looking to expand our team!

Tags : cognition | cognitive science | recruitment | international women's day

Author portrait

Fiona Cree - Chief Operating Officer, Iona Pickett – Operational Scientist & Elizabeth Baker - Director of Statistical Science