Natasha Craven joined us at the start of October 2020 on a part-time basis as our Research and Admin Assistant.
Having completed two years of a BSc in Biomedical Science, Natasha has developed excellent research and analytical skills, becoming extremely competent in data handling. Within the degree there is a module titled ‘Human Genetics’, giving an introduction to medical genetics, learning about genetic disorders caused by chromosome and gene alterations, and demonstrating how the genetic makeup of an individual can directly or indirectly affect their health. This opportunity sparked an interest in not only rare genetic diseases but also aiding the enhancement of the support available to these individuals and their communities.
As a Mental Health Active Listening Volunteer for both the Samaritans and nightline, Natasha has been there to listen and support callers faced with mental health issues, where this is through phone calls, instant messaging, emails or face-to-face. As a Student Advisor for Student Minds, Natasha advises the organisation on strategic decisions, programmes and policies, including working on producing the national University Mental Health Charter.
Over the Summer Natasha joined the Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS) Foundation UK through the University of Keele Internship Programme, supported by Santander University Bank. The aim of the placement was to help determine the demographic profile of the syndrome across the UK. Acquiring, collation and analysis of data from multiple public sources is a significant challenge over a three-month period without adding in the complication of Covid-19 restrictions and remote working. We were impressed with how Natasha approached the project, the methodologies she adopted drawing from existing skills and new knowledge gained, how she managed the time over the phases of the project, and the professional presentation of the results through the technical report, research poster, and online presentations.
Nigel Over, Chief Executive Officer, says,
Natasha impressed us during her Summer internship on the UK SMS Demographics project gaining positive feedback from our international community of clinicians, geneticists, researchers, and families. Natasha’s knowledge, experience, and adaptability to deliver innovative solutions naturally fits with our culture and vision. I am delighted to welcome Natasha to our team as our part-time Research and Admin Assistant whilst she completes her degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Keele.Nigel Over, CEO