Professor Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova
Published on: 16 May 2016
From Bulgaria to University of Exeter, via New Zealand, USA, France, and Bristol; Professor Krasimira’s education, and career, has seen her travel the world.
Now, as Professor in Mathematics for healthcare in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, her work addresses how applications of mathematics could be used in the improvement of healthcare and healthcare technology. Professor Tsaneva-Atanasova will be speaking at the Exeter Soapbox Science, taking place this month.
What is your current research about?
In my current research I develop and analyse mathematical models of various disease conditions, including (but not limited to) Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and impairments in motor coordination. The focus of my current research lies on projects that could make a difference to experimental scientists and clinicians, and potentially society through the applications of mathematics for personalised prediction and decision in prevention, diagnosis or treatment of health related conditions.
How can a member of the public understand the impact of this research?
The most fascinating aspect of my research is the art of mathematical modelling. I develop and analyse mathematical models in order to help the understanding of living system. Every living system is incredibly complex and fascinating! Mathematical insights into the workings of these systems ultimately would give the possibility to predict and control their behaviour. Such level of understanding defines our ability to tackle some of the big challenges faced by our society today, such as health and aging.
The Soapbox Science event is an outreach platform for promoting women scientists; who were your inspiring female role models?
I have been extremely lucky to have inspiring female role models around me since very young age. My mother - who is a maths teacher- of course has been a great inspiration and very supportive of my interests in mathematics and physics. My maths and physics teachers in school, mostly female, have been great too!
I have also had wonderful academic mentors over the years – some of my female professors during my undergraduate studies in Bulgaria and in particular my female mentor at the University of Bristol (Hinke Osinga) where I started as a lecture in Engineering Mathematics back in 2007.
How do you think that more females can be encouraged to continue with STEM subjects?
Generally it would be better if more support were provided to younger female academics, especially when they are just starting their careers, more role models and advice.
Do you think that it is more difficult for a woman to get recognition in your field
Statistics clearly show underrepresentation of women in STEM subjects and in particular at senior level positions. There are many reasons for this and perhaps one of them is that it is indeed more difficult for a woman to get recognition in this field.
But I think this is changing and we are definitely seeing more women in STEM.
What are your top tips for academics who want to communicate their research?
The communication has to be clear, tangible and allow the public to relate to the research that has been explained. Passion and enthusiasm always help