Pretty excited to answer some questions soon!
- ISC Lahore – Middle School, High School (2006-2012)
- University of Manchester – BSc (Hons) Psychology (2012-2015)
- University of Manchester – MPhil Mental Health (2016-2017)
- University of Manchester – PhD Mental Health (2017-present)
- High School Diploma
- Advanced Placements
- BSc (Hons), MBPsS
- In high school I spent summers working at a junior school summer camp
- During uni I did placements during my holidays in Pakistan as an intern in a private psychological practice, a cancer hospital and for a school psychologist.
- After undergrad I was a clinical assistant psychologist at a government hospital in Pakistan.
- After masters I was a research assistant at the University of Manchester and an assistant psychologist at a social enterprise that worked with children.
- PhD student at the University of Manchester working on the DOME Project: Dementia in Ethnic Minorities.
- Clinical neuropsychology research assistant at the Salford NHS Trust
- Research assistant at the University of Salford, working on the CICA Project: Communities In Charge of Alcohol
I’m a llama loving psychologist from Manchester doing research in dementia.
I was born in Ireland, bred in Pakistan, buttered in the UK. I live with my husband, 25 houseplants, and my friend’s cat Ollie, who thinks my house is his and keeps sleeping over here.
In my free time I love to knit, write, bake, swim, play with Ollie and do escape rooms!
I’m an Irish Pakistani who spent years living in both countries before moving to Manchester ten years ago. I live with my husband and plant family now. I’ve been interested in psychology and the mind since I was 13 but I also love…
Reading (thrillers are my fave), Puns, Knitting, Making my own costumes like this Deadpool cap, Playing the Sims 3, and Swimming! I adore llamas, Netflix, rainy weather, tea and any show narrated by David Attenborough (there is no cooler episode than Blue Planet -The Deep).
In school I struggled with science subjects like chemistry and physics and didn’t think I could be a scientist- but because science is so big and varied I was able to do research in stuff I’m actually good at like biology and the brain.
My pronouns are:
I’m looking at why people from different backgrounds and cultures are not getting the help they need for dementia and what I can do about it!
I do research on dementia and people from different cultures, like ethnic minorities. I noticed ethnic minorities like British South Asians don’t get as much help as everyone else for dementia. They can’t get into clinics and hospitals as much as they should, have trouble understanding information on dementia and it’s not spoken about enough in their communities.
They also have a tougher time with dementia tests. For example, a lot of older South Asians aren’t as good at speaking English as they are South Asian languages like Urdu. They’re also better at recognising things from their own culture than western culture. If we give them English dementia tests with western culture questions they might fail, even if they don’t have dementia. Or they have dementia but can’t complete the test and then they don’t get help.
I made a South Asian dementia test in Urdu to make it easier for South Asians to get a proper diagnosis of dementia (you can read about that here!). Now I’m interviewing people who work in dementia clinics to ask what it was like to work with British South Asians and why they think it’s so complicated to give them help. I’m also interviewing British South Asians who have dementia and the people who care for them to ask what the clinics were like, how we could make it easier and more informative for them, and what they would like to know about dementia.
It’s all about asking them what they want to see from research and making it happen!
My Typical Day:
Interviewing people, analysing data, writing about research and helping other people write, speaking to others about my research, studying, teaching, coming up with creative projects- all kinds of things!
My days are either very calm or super busy.
On busy days I interview people with dementia or their family and friends or those who work in dementia services. I also teach undergrad students, prepare posters and presentations, speak at conferences or hold my own seminars and workshops.
On calm days I cosy up at home or in my office and do online research, analyse my data, write up my work to be published or write blog posts, edit other peoples’ blogs and writing, reply to emails and catch up on paperwork. I also mark student’s assignments, prep lessons, go to classes or study on mental health, statistics, research methods and scientific writing or just read about dementia and other psychology related things.
What I'd do with the prize money:
One complaint South Asians with dementia have is that they don’t know what research is out there and how that research can effect them. I’d love to start a regular newsletter specially for British South Asians that explains dementia research studies and their impact in an easy to read way.
I think it’d be great to have a newsletter for British South Asians that explains what dementia research is out there and how it could impact them that’s simple and easy to read.
I’d love to set up a small team of myself, maybe one or two other psychology researchers who are interested in science writing, and an illustrator, who can produce the newsletter every 2-3 months.
I’d want the newsletter to cover 1-2 dementia research studies in every issue. The newsletter issues would be available in English, Punjabi and Urdu and also use drawings to explain things if needed.
The newsletter would have a website that allows people to sign up to receive a copy. I would also reach out to organisations, charities, libraries and community centres and mail them copies to distribute so people don’t have to rely on the internet.
This could help people feel updated and see how the research can impact them.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Knitter extrodinaire and researcher
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
What was your favourite subject at school?
English and Biology
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
A few times for things like passing notes or skipping a class, though not often!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I thought about being a lawyer
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Segwaying through Prague freehand- if you went really fast it felt like flying!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Seeing the future, Reading people's minds, Having more hours in the day
Tell us a joke.
Do I know any psychology jokes? I'm afreud not.