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Dr Kate Hughes

Kate Hughes

University Lecturer, Pathologyhughes

I applied to Vet School with the career goal of becoming a mixed practice vet, but I soon realized that I would want to specialize fairly early in my career and to undertake some form of post-graduate training. With this in mind, during my veterinary degree I intercalated in Anatomy and Human Biology and was awarded a first class BSc (Hons). Looking back, I think that the pivotal point in the evolution of my career plans came soon after this when I spent a summer as a Fellow of the Cornell Leadership Program for Veterinary Students. I was gravitating towards a research career but I wanted to retain a clinical perspective, and I soon realized that anatomic pathology might be a very good ‘fit’.

Following graduation and 18 months working as a clinical veterinarian, I undertook a Senior Clinical Training Scholarship (residency) in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology at the University of Cambridge. After my postgraduate training in pathology, I secured a Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship to study for a PhD in the laboratory of Professor Christine Watson in the Department of Pathology, Cambridge. I feel very fortunate to have undertaken my PhD in Christine’s lab, as she is a great role model as a female Professor who has built a dynamic and diverse lab team who have made, and continue to make, a big impact in the fields of mammary gland biology and cell signalling.

I feel extremely privileged to be able to combine diagnostic veterinary pathology with research, and I hope I am able to impart some of my love of pathology to the students

 

Following my PhD, and post-doctoral studies, I returned to the Veterinary School and I now hold a University Lectureship in Veterinary Pathology and an Official Fellowship at Girton College. I am a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, and a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Recognized Specialist in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology.

I feel extremely privileged to be able to combine diagnostic veterinary pathology with research, and I hope that I am able to impart some of my love of pathology to the students I teach through College and at the Vet School. My College commitment, adds to the challenge of balancing a role where I have service, research and teaching obligations, but Girton also provides a supportive and friendly environment in which to meet and socialize with others who work in entirely different fields.

I am immensely fortunate to work in the Department of Veterinary Medicine where my colleagues’ tenacity and commitment to excellence in both clinical service and research inspire me on a daily basis and where well-established mentoring schemes are in place. Achieving a healthy work-life balance is a challenge for most early career academics, and I would count myself firmly in the group for whom this is still a work in progress, but outside of work I find time to go jogging and I enjoy time spent in the outdoors, surrounded by nature. I am also lucky to have wonderful family and friends who have inspired and supported me throughout my career to date, and continue to do so.