Prof Tessa Holyoake is Director of the Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre at the University of Glasgow and winner of the inaugural SCF prize and Evans Forrest medal awarded in recognition of her work in leukaemia research and cancer stem cells.
Describe what you do in one sentence?
I have a wonderful job that straddles working in the clinic with patients and their families, in the laboratory with ever evolving technologies and with our students aiming to mentor future leaders in leukaemia research.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Everything! The job is demanding, challenging and exciting – I never get bored and working with patients and their families is hugely rewarding.
What is the best decision you have ever taken?
To convince my then husband–to-be to give up his job (temporarily) and spend time with me whilst I was working in the Terry Fox Laboratories in Vancouver BC where I completed a two year post-doctoral fellowship.
What is the most important message you like to get across about cancer prevention?
Take personal responsibility for your life – be vigilant, eat well, sleep well and get out and enjoy exercise in the wonderful Scottish countryside.
What would people find surprising about you?
I manage to maintain a “normal” work life balance – favourite hobby is mountain biking.
How do you relax?
Spending time with friends mostly outdoors in Scotland – running, cycling, hiking, cycling holidays all around the world.
Five a day?
Definitely eat fruit and veg 5 a day and harass my research and administrative staff very regularly!
When was the last time you were on a bike?
Saturday 21st November – Edinburgh to North Berwick.
Choose one thing that you consider represents the best of Scotland?
The wild west coast.