Dr Emma Yhnell B.Sc. FHEA PhD

Dr Emma Yhnell

B.Sc. FHEA PhD

Health and Care Research Wales Fellow

School of Medicine

Email:
yhnelle@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2068 8456
Location:
3.34 - Desk 21, Hadyn Ellis Building, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision

Research overview

I am a Health and Care Research Wales Fellow working in the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI). My fellowship is focused on exploring computerised cognitive training (brain training) for people with Huntington's disease.

I have a molecular background and completed my BSc Hons in Biochemistry before a PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience and Huntington’s disease. My research has a strong translational element. I am also interested in the implications that my work has for other diseases and disorders of the brain.

Engagement and outreach

I am a keen public speaker and believe that public understanding and engagement in research is essential. I relish opportunities to tell the general public more and get them involved in my research. I am a STEM ambassador and can often be found at public engagement and outreach events. I am a keen science communicator and have published several communication pieces, in addition to my primary research. 

For my further information on up and coming engagement events see the engagement tab and my Twitter feed.

Research funding

Health and Care Research Wales Fellowship Award 1st October 2016 – 30th September 2019 Dr Emma Yhnell £329,695.00

Jacques & Gloria Gossweiler Foundation 1st April 2016 – 30th September 2017. Dr Emma Yhnell - Lead Applicant, Prof Monica Busse, Dr Claudia Metzler-Baddeley and Prof Anne Rosser - co-applicants £94,714.00

Biochemical Society Scientific Outreach Grant September 2017 ‘Giant Genes’ £985

Education and Qualifiations

2016 - Present Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Trials, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

2012 - 2015 PhD Behavioural Neurosciences, Cardiff University

2014 Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)

2009 - 2012 BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, Cardiff University

Career Overview

2016 - Present Health and Care Research Wales Fellow, Cardiff University

2015 - 2016 Research Associate, Cardiff University

Honours and awards

British Science Association Charles Darwin Lecture 2018

Hay Festival Speaker 2018

Soapbox Science 2018

Pint of Science 2018 

CITER Young Investigator Award, 2017

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), 2017

Womenspire Chwarea Teg Rising Star 2017, Finalist

Most Dedicated STEM Ambassador in Wales Finalist, April 2017

WeAreTheCity Rising Star Nomination, March 2017

NMHRI Travel award to attend British Neuroscience Association conference, 2016

SET for Britain Research Presentation at the Houses of Parliament, 2016.

NECTAR Travel Award (2014 and 2015)

Biochemical Society Travel Grants (2013 and 2015)

The Biochemical Society Scientific Communication Writing Award Winner, 2015

Best PhD talk at Careers in Neuroscience Satellite Event for NECTAR, Galway, Ireland 2014.

Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant to attend Hereditary Disease Foundation Conference, Boston USA

Shortlisted Finalist for the Max Perutz Science Writing Award, MRC London, 2013.

Biology Researchers in Schools Certificate, Cardiff University, 2013.

Professional memberships

Cardiff Institute for Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER)

The Federation of Neuroscience Societies (FENS)

The British Neuroscience Association (BNA).

The Higher Education Academy (AFHEA).

The European Huntington’s Disease Network (EHDN).

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Ambassador.

The Biochemical Society.

Academic positions

Lecturer at The Centre for Continuing Professional Education and Development (Jan. 2016 – Present)

Research Associate, The Brain Repair Group Cardiff University (Oct. 2015 – March 2016)

PhD Student, The Brain Repair Group, Cardiff University (Sept 2012 – Sept 2015)

Speaking engagements

I believe public engagement in science is essential and I am always happy to take up public engagement opportunities.

I am a STEM Ambassador and give talks at schools and colleges as well as hosting visitors to the unverisity.

Huntington's Disease Ireland - Key note speaker June 2017

Brain Games 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 at Cardiff Museum

Keen Twitter user @EmmaYhnell

Committees and reviewing

Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI) Public Engagement Committee

Institute for Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences (IPMCN) Public Engagement Committee

Cardiff Institute for Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER) Public Engagement Committee

Teaching Overview:

I enjoy teaching and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). I am a module lead, lecturer and conduct pedagogic research.

Lecturing and Module Leadership:

I lecture at the Centre for Continuing and Professional Education and I am module lead for 'Diseases and Disorders of the Brain.'

I have experience in lecturing undergraduate students and I give lectures on my research for the School of Biosciences in the module Mechanisms of Human Disease.

Pedagogic Research:

I am also involved in several educational research studies with colleagues in the School of Biosciences. These have included research into the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification (WBQ) and further studies are ongoing.

Research Overview:

I am a Health and Care Research Wales Fellow specialising in Huntington’s disease. My fellowship focuses on using computerised cognitive training for people with Huntington's disease. I am interested in disorders of the brain and what can be done to help people who are living with these disorders.

I am also involved in a study funded by the Jacque and Gloria Gossweiler Foundation which looks to explore the underlying biological mechanisms associated with cognitive training, with colleagues in Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC).

My PhD was completed in 2015 with Prof. Steve Dunnett in the Brain Repair group and looked to explore pre-clinical models of Huntington's disease.

Major Research Funding:

Health and Care Research Wales Fellowship Award 1st October 2016 – 30th September 2019 Dr Emma Yhnell £329,695.00

Jacques & Gloria Gossweiler Foundation 1st April 2016 – 30th September 2017. Dr Emma Yhnell - Lead Applicant, Prof Monica Busse, Dr Claudia Metzler-Baddeley and Prof Anne Rosser - co-applicants £94,714.00

Events coming up soon... 

I'll be giving the Charles Darwin Lecture at the British Science Festival in Hull in September. More information:

https://www.britishscienceassociation.org/news/top-researchers-recognised-ahead-of-british-science-festival 

Engagament and Outreach Activities

I am passionate about engaging the general public in science. In addition to formal academic talks, I have given over 40 talks at public engagement events to local, national and international audiences. This includes; the general public, school children, patients and elderly people.

I am involved in several science communication groups, events and committees including:

- British Science Association Charles Darwin Lecture 2018

- Hay Festival 2018

- Soapbox Science Presenter 2018

- Pint of Science Speaker 2018

- STEM Ambassador

- #WhyWeDoResearch campaign Tweetchat presenter

- Wales Gene Park Speaker

- British Science Association (Cardiff Branch) SciCafe Presenter

- Cardiff University Brain Games volunteer and presenter (2013-present)

- Cardiff University Directory of Expertise for Media Engagement

- Cardiff University Engagement Champion 2016 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzB822uyeSg)

Engagement Grants

Biochemical Society Scientific Outreach Grant September 2017 ‘Giant Genes’ £985