Jess Tyrell

Jess Tyrell

Jessica Tyrrell is a Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation Non-Clinical Fellow based at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University’s Truro Campus. Jess is currently working to improve our understanding of the causes of type 2 diabetes and obesity by analysing data collected in the UK Biobank. She has previously used the Biobank to investigate a range of factors associated with Ménière’s disease, as well as the impact of the disease on mental health and wellbeing. Her expertise in this area allowed her to contribute to the development of a mobile phone application used for daily monitoring of Ménière’s disease.

Jess says that her proudest professional achievement is having received such a prestigious fellowship so early on in her career, since it allows her to concentrate on her research and work on becoming firmly established in her field. She is also pleased with the outcome of her work on Ménière’s—a disease from which Jess herself suffers; she says that this first-hand experience has “certainly changed my perspective on how a chronic illness can alter your everyday life…so it was very rewarding to be able to contribute to research in this area.”

There have been a number of role models in Jess’s life, including her mother and grandmother, as well as a variety of female colleagues—including some who inspired her to pursue a career in academia. A number of Jess’s friends are similarly employed in traditionally male-dominated fields, such as the armed forces and the business environment. She says: “They all make very important contributions in their daily work, and I’m sure having women in some of these roles improves the success of these services and the lifestyle of others working there.” She is encouraged about recent improvements to equality in the workplace, but points out that we still have a long way to go.

Given the often very stressful nature of academia, Jess thinks it’s critical to look for silver linings in every cloud. She said: “I think you just have to look to the future and not dwell on things you can’t alter, because sometimes something amazing happens!”