After obtaining my BSc, I worked as a Research Technician at several MRC Research Laboratories. I later trained as a Paediatric nurse, specialising in Intensive Care.
In 1998, I was offered a 1 year sabbatical to work with Professor Farooqi, a somewhat more junior researcher at that time, who was developing her research interests in childhood obesity. I established and developed my role as co-ordinator of the Genetics Of Obesity Study (GOOS), which has become the largest cohort of severely obese children worldwide. I have worked closely with Professor Farooqi for 18 years leading on co-ordination of several research studies including the first clinical trial of leptin therapy in rare patients with congenital leptin deficiency. During this time, I have worked closely with patients and families to communicate our research, provide support and establish links with health care professionals and schools. I have developed a website (www. goos.org.uk), information leaflets and regular newsletters for patients and am currently developing a children’s website. Through my research and many interactions with patients and families, I have realised the tremendous stigma and bias they face and am highly committed to working with colleagues and patients to deliver a change in this arena.