Noelia Dominguez Falcon

Dr

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Personal profile

Career

I am a multidisciplinary scientist that has worked in different fields such as molecular biology, pharmacology, cancer therapeutics, stem cell biology, and tissue engineering. After completing my bachelor’s degree (2012) in marine biology in my home country Spain, I specialised in biomedicine by doing a two-year master’s degree, including a year-long research internship in industry. I mostly worked on cancer therapeutics, particularly in the study of the cellular mechanisms that lead to chemotherapy resistance. I studied cellular signalling, the role of pivotal transmembrane proteins in cancer signalling, the use of pharmacological inhibitors, and the effect of marine natural products on anti-cancer progression. I then moved to the UK in 2015, having spent the past seven years at UEA.

At UEA, I started as a visiting researcher in the labs of Professors Maria O’Connell and Mark Searcey (School of Pharmacy) and then as a research technician from 2015 to 2017, in Dr Aram Saeed’s lab (School of Pharmacy), collaborating with many scientists at the School of Biological Sciences. I then obtained my PhD under the supervision of Drs Aram Saeed and Graham Riley (BIO) in 2020 and worked as a senior research associate until September 2022. During this time, I have worked on the development of medical implants and 3D scaffolds using 3D printing, alongside key fields such as polymer chemistry, material science, and the study of material-cell interface. My PhD was based on the application of regenerative medicine approaches (stem cells in particular) to fabricate an artificial tendon construct for tendon regeneration.

My research and teaching interests reside on all aspects related to tendons and tendinopathies, ranging from stem cells, investigation of tenogenic phenotype, tissue markers, growth factors, cellular signalling, gene and protein roles in cellular differentiation, as well as mechanisms of disease and overall physiology of healthy and damaged tendon tissue.

External Activities

Since 2020, I have dedicated my spare time to women in STEMM advocacies. Particularly, I am the host of a podcast titled “I belong here”. I interview female scientists across the world from all backgrounds and age groups, with the main aim to know the person behind the science, demystify a career in science, and overall educate all generations by the exemplification of female role models. 

I have been interviewed by BBC Radio Norfolk four times to their breakfast and evening shows, and also by other organisations such as the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce, Girl Up Norwich, Youth STEMM Awards, and invited to speak on BBC’s International Women’s Day 2022 show.

Most recently, in May 2022, I was honoured to win a UEA Engagement Award, in the category of Achievement award for excellence in engagement due to my podcast initiative.  

The impact of the podcast has also spread to local schools. I have been invited by the City College of Norwich, Langley school and Kings Lynn Springwood Highschool to give motivational talks to students exemplifying my career path. The podcast has also grasped international interest. The biotech company Hello Bio interviewed me for their online interview blog. After the interview, I was invited to write other two blogs, which were highly popular on social media, and they now collect over 6000 views. I have also been invited by the Equality and Diversity Blog series from the school of Biological Sciences at UEA to write about my scientific trajectory. 

The podcast is being listened to in 27 different countries and it has over 25000 interactions on social media and it is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.  

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Science, University of East Anglia

Award Date: 16 Dec 2020

Master of Research, Polytechnic University of Valencia

Award Date: 14 Jun 2014

Bachelor of Science, Catholic University of Valencia

Award Date: 14 Jun 2012

Network

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