Name: Dr Cecilia Johansson
Current role: Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Infection, Faculty of Medicine, National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College London
“My passion for immunology started during my undergraduate studies at Umeå University (Sweden) and developed during my PhD at Lund University (Sweden). One of the great advantages of a career in science is the opportunity to explore the world and meet many interesting and amazing people. I therefore decided to move to the USA for a postdoc at the National Institutes of Health. After three incredible years in the US, I returned to Europe but didn’t make it all the way back to Scandinavia. Instead, I moved to the UK and ended up at Imperial College London where I have had the opportunity to develop my independent research group focused on understanding how our immune system fights lung infections.
“An academic career is not always straightforward. With short-term contracts, the pressure of getting grants and of publishing fantastic papers, it often feels that 24 hours in a day is not enough. In addition, most of us have many other commitments/interests/dreams in life besides work. I am (in no particular order) a mother of two small kids, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend, a house owner and a cat-owner, at the same time as being an academic scientist. With all those ‘roles’, you often feel that that you are not advancing on any front. There is no universal solution to how to manage your work–life balance, but to accept that time is precious and that the different ‘roles’ will require various degrees of commitment at different times. As both life and science constantly take you in unexpected directions, you just need to do your best and go with the flow. Importantly, remember to enjoy yourself along the way!”