Helen holds a Royal Academy of Engineering/EPSRC Fellowship investigating the detection of waterborne pathogens. Prior to joining Heriot-Watt she held this Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh. She obtained her PhD entitled "Techniques to manipulate the environment around and inside single cells" from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden in 2008. This interdisciplinary project developed a miniaturised fluidic device for studying biological signalling.
Between her Phd and starting the Fellowship Helen worked as the Knowledge Transfer Officer for the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, brokering collaborations between mathematicians and industry as well as other academic disciplines. She was also the Life Sciences Programme Tutor at the International Study Centre at Heriot-Watt. Helen has also worked on a biosensors project in the Textor Research Group at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and for Mitsubishi Electric AB on an MSc thesis project entitled "Future Display Technologies".
Summer 2012 she has been awarded a British Science Association Media Fellowship and will be spending 3 weeks at the Scotsman as a science journalist.