Emilia has a uncommon specialism (Picture: Emilia Molimpakis)
Welcome again to How I Made It, Metro.co.uk’s weekly career journey series.
This week we’re chatting with Dr Emilia Molimpakis, a neurologist with a rare specialism marrying linguistics and psychology.
The 32-year-old Londoner spent 10 years working in labs before starting her own company, Thymia, which is designed to assist well being professionals spot and deal with despair extra precisely.
Her profession has even concerned working as a scientific marketing consultant for online game builders, making use of her data of psycholinguistics.
Now the expertise she’s pioneering may assist these with despair, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, autism and ADHD.
Her curiosity on this space was sparked partially by the tragic dying of a buddy at college – she suffered from despair, and died by suicide.
‘I used to be the one who discovered her and this expertise left a deep and resounding impression on me,’ Emilia says.
‘I couldn’t get my head round how her psychiatrist, who had simply seen her two days earlier than, didn’t see this coming.
‘This prompted me to do a deep dive into the psychiatric system the place, to my shock, I realised that the instruments clinicians needed to hand have been nonetheless these old style pen-and-paper questionnaires which have been discovered again and again to be subjective, biased and non-representative of a affected person’s true psychological well being standing.
‘None of the newest advances I used to be seeing in my discipline and in analysis have been being translated into medical apply to assist clinicians.
‘I needed to do one thing to vary the system.’
And so her profession in neuroscience was born. Here’s how she made it.
What made you get into neuroscience?
I used to be at all times fascinated by the human mind and specifically how we course of language, however I wasn’t at all times a neuroscientist.
I initially studied historical Greek, Latin and theoretical linguistics in my undergraduate diploma and it wasn’t till I took an elective course on neurolinguistics that I used to be uncovered to this wonderful self-discipline.
For my undergraduate dissertation I visited hospitals and psychological well being clinics round Greece, how sufferers with early Alzheimer’s illness and vascular dementia comprehend complicated sentence constructions and that was it: I used to be fully hooked.
I’ve been how our brains course of language and what this could inform us about cognitive operate ever since.
What was that profession journey like?
It was numerous laborious work – I accomplished an MSc at UCL the place I learnt extra about mind anatomy.
Between my MSc and PhD I labored as a Research Assistant at two of London’s finest neuroimaging labs.
There I shadowed knowledgeable professors and practising neurologists, studying the right way to use an MRI machine and extra about sufferers post-stroke.
I used to be extremely fortunate to have had that chance because it put me in nice stead to then apply for a PhD at UCL and obtain scholarships to help me.
An common day within the working lifetime of Emilia Molimpakis
7.30am: Emilia begins the day going by emails.
8:30am: Next she’s in conferences which take up a lot of the morning.
10am: Back to trying by emails which have are available whereas away from the desk.
11am: Now she’ll start experimenting with designs for Thymia.
Emilia at work (Picture: Emilia Molimpakis)
12pm: Time will probably be spent specializing in shopper outreach.
1pm onwards: Emily tends to work finest within the afternoons, so will spend this time engaged on no matter must be the most important deal with that day. That could possibly be talking to buyers, shoppers, recording a podcast, getting ready for medical trials, conducting new analysis, making use of for grants or working extra on the product roadmap and execution.
6.30pm: Emilia goals to be out the door by this time – although she’s typically responsible of working late.
How would you describe your job to somebody who has no concept about what neuroscience truly means?
This is a little bit of a posh one as my present job shouldn’t be the standard job that lecturers decide up after their research – though it needs to be far more frequent, for my part.
Neuroscientists usually work in labs in universities, at pharma corporations and elsewhere, making an attempt to decipher how human and non-human brains work by tying behavioural patterns to particular mind areas.
That being mentioned, I not work in a lab.
I work with expertise designed to seize information on how folks converse, their facial expressions and eye gaze patterns in addition to their broader behaviour patterns.
This data permits us to then feed data on to clinicians to assist them of their remedy selections.
More: Mental health
How competitive is this industry?
I would say that it isn’t as competitive as you may think, simply because the human brain is involved in every aspect of human behaviour and function, so there are many many specialisations you can choose from and so much more we have yet to learn.
There is certainly enough research to be done to keep everyone occupied for decades more.
That having been said, if you are an academic and intend on staying in academia, then as with every other academic discipline, there are fewer positions available than there are people trying to obtain these positions.
In that sense it is very competitive trying to get a post-doc or lectureship.
What do you love about your job the most?
There are two things I love most.
One is the intellectual challenge of developing Thymia’s clinical solution – an incredibly technically and scientifically complex effort combining many scientific disciplines, not just neuroscience, psychology and linguistics (my specialties) but also computer vision, ethical artificial intelligence and multi-modal machine learning.
The other thing I absolutely love is seeing how big of an impact this solution can have on the everyday lives of so many people.
What do you dislike?
Seeing how unbalanced the investment landscape is with respect to female versus male founders.
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