Grace Hatton studied Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (DTMH) at LSHTM, and now works as a Clinical Research Fellow and Clinical Entrepreneur at NHS England. She is the only NHS medical employee to be shortlisted for the incredible Tech Women 100 by JPMorgan Chase & Co. We asked her about her experiences at LSHTM and her achievements since leaving.
Why did you decide to study at LSHTM?
It came recommended to me from several sources (journal articles, former students and clinicians I have worked with), and I was already aware of the international reputation of the DTMH course before I had applied. I knew that I wanted to take time out of my training within the NHS, and thought it would be a perfectly-timed opportunity to return to studying.
Were the relationships you formed at LSHTM useful – in what way?
Incredibly so, and arguably more useful than the course content – which is saying a lot, because the course was been beyond my expectations! Not only when you consider the breadth of information covered but the world-class speakers that my cohort heard from. I’ve since partnered with another student on my course to set up an NGO in India focusing on maternal healthcare and have of course made countless friends for life (helpful when travelling, as it means I’ve now got a couch to sleep on in almost every country!).
Tell us about your projects and why you were nominated for Tech Women 100?
I belonged to a research group based in the pharmaceutics department at UCL which carries out work in the 3D printing of medicines. I published a great deal of work internationally relating to the work I did there, based around the printing and the personalisation of medicines. I also set up a company off the back of what I had learned with a PhD student. I have been very concerned about the gross amount of waste that goes on in healthcare environments and I also wanted to take advantage of the increasing shift towards sustainable industrial practices. So we are currently developing patents that utilise recycled plastic feedstock to generate healthcare devices (watch this space). It was off the back of this work and my work going forward (collaboration with the European Space Agency on the horizon in their use of 3DP for aerospace studies) that I was shortlisted for the award. My mum has printed the webpage off and framed it in the downstairs bathroom at home, apparently!
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
The diploma has complemented my career as I will be pursuing further work and research in infectious diseases in 2020 as part of an organisation based in Mali. The diploma has also allowed me to make numerous connections with staff, visitors and organisations affiliated with the School that complement my role and work as a Clinical Entrepreneur within the NHS. I hope to pursue work that doesn’t necessarily fit into any pre-defined niche, and a role that allows me to continue to combine both my passions for clinical practice and research would be ideal.