NUKEMS (or NI-UKEMS) was established in 2017 and aims to actively represent New Investigators (NIs) within UKEMS and its linked societies. NIs are scientists with the equivalent of up to 4-6 years of post-doctoral experience, working/ studying in academia, industry or elsewhere.

The NUKEMS committee is made up of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Membership Secretary, and currently, 6 ordinary members, and we are all NIs.

NUKEMS runs the ‘Sunday Session’ at UKEMS, traditionally held as an educational session prior to the main annual conference. Past sessions have included:

  • Poster pitches/ talks with peer voting and prizes
  •       Senior UKEMS scientist panel discussions on what makes a good interview candidate
  •       Mock job interviews with audience participation
  •       Personal career progression talks by senior UKEMS scientists
  •       Socialising with other NIs

The past year has presented us with a unique set of circumstances, so we will be delivering some of our usual session content online – keep an eye on our social media and these pages! Our committee is here to support UKEMS NIs, so please get in touch with any ideas on what you would like to see from us.

Remember to become a UKEMS member and follow our social media for updates!

Follow us on Twitter: NIUKEMS 

Connect with us on LinkedIn: NI UKEMS

Follow us on Instagram: niukems

Meet our New Investigator committee

Dr Fiona Chapman


Fiona's bio.

I joined the NUKEMS committee as Secretary in 2017, during my studies for my PhD on exposure science in in vitro genetic toxicology at Swansea University (supervised by current UKEMS President, Prof. Gareth Jenkins). Following my PhD, I worked on in vitro toxicology in drug development at Cardiff University before starting my current position as a Pre-Clinical Toxicologist at Imperial Brands. I became Chair of the NUKEMS committee in April 2020. I have been a member of UKEMS since 2015 and am very grateful for the amazing support they offer to their New Investigators, from opportunities to present to a great selection of funding opportunities.

Dr Beth Rogoyski


Beth's bio.

Dr Beth Rogoyski completed her PhD under UKEMS former president Prof. Karen Brown at the University of Leicester in mesothelioma prevention and drug repurposing. Although still an honorary fellow in Karen’s research group, Beth now deputy leads the Biomedical Sciences Programme at De Montfort University, and lectures on a few undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Beth is generally a keen educator and communicator, having co-created providing resources and advice for online teaching, and runs In any remaining spare time, Beth is an LGBTQ+ and Women in STEM equality advocate, amateur artist, and lazy sportswoman.

Mr Alan Dawson


Alan's bio.

I obtained my MBChB and BSc (Medical Sciences) with a First Class Honours in 2010 from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. From 2010-2012, I was appointed to the Academic Foundation Programme at NHS Grampian, Aberdeen and the University of Aberdeen. I obtained my membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 2012. Following this, I entered core surgical training within NHS Grampian and in 2013, I successfully obtained an ST1 run-through programme in Cardiothoracic Surgery in the East Midlands Deanery.

In 2015, I became a National Institute for Health Research Academic Clinical Fellow (NIHR ACF) in Cardiothoracic Surgery and joined Professor Dean Fennell’s laboratory in August 2016 focussing on malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). I currently works as a Cardiothoracic Surgical Registrar at Glenfield Hospital, a national referral centre for the treatment of MPM and also in the Thoracic Oncology Research Group headed by Professor Dean Fennell. I have recently completed a Masters of Research (Clinical Sciences) degree and I am currently undertaking my PhD in the field of neoantigen identification and response in MPM supervised by Professor Dean Fennell at the University of Leicester.

I joined the NUKEMS committee in 2020 and I hold the position of Committee Secretary. I wish to help support all New Investigators through the NUKEMS society and raise awareness of NUKEMS to early career medical researchers.

Dr Lucy Swithenbank

Membership Secretary

Lucy's bio.

Hi I am Lucy Swithenbank and I hold the position of membership secretary on the NIUKEMS committee. Outside of this role I work at Swansea University within the Genomic Medicine program. I previously completed my PhD at Swansea University as part of the Genetic Toxicology research group. I have been part of UKEMS for the last 5 years and I really look forward to supporting all of the New Investigators through their early career progression in such a great society.

Demi Pritchard

Ordinary Member/ Social Media

Demi's bio.

I’m Demi, I’m currently in the third year of my PhD at Swansea University as part of the In Vitro Toxicology Group. My project investigates various non-genotoxic carcinogens and their mechanisms of action used to promote oncogenesis. I studied Biology (BSc) at Cardiff University and I carried out an integrated professional training year (PTY) at Swansea University.  I was employed as a research assistant in Cardiff University between the completion of my BSc and the start of my PhD. I have been a UKEMS member since 2016 and attended the Leuven, Oxford and Cambridge conferences.

Linda Reilly

Ordinary Member/ Social Media

Linda's bio.

I am a second year PhD student with the In Vitro Toxicology Group at Swansea University. My project is in collaboration with AstraZeneca and investigates the use of automated high content imaging for carcinogenicity testing in vitro. I obtained my Bachelor of Science and Masters in Toxicology from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Prior to starting my PhD, I was a Trainee in the Scientific Committee and Emerging Risks unit at the European Food Safety Authority and worked as a Junior Toxicologist at Delphic HSE.

Anup Rai

Ordinary Member

Anup's bio.

Hi, I am Anup. Ever since early age, I was curious about science and innovation, mainly working in laboratory and creating something novel. This curiosity transformed into passion motivating me through my education at University of Huddersfield where I completed my undergraduate in Bachelor of Science (Hons) Microbial Sciences followed by Masters of Science in Infection, Immunity and Human Disease from University of Leeds. This is where I developed my scientific skills and resources that aspired to carry out my passion as a career. 

I joined Covance in 2017 as a Research assistant in Genetic Toxicology Department. My job role involves carrying out in vitro assays such as in vitro micronucleus and chromosomal aberration assays to identify the substances that causes genotoxicity/DNA damage and structural chromosomal aberrations ensuring the safety of the compounds in the process of early drug development. Apart from this, I also carry out non-standard projects such as validation and trial projects, check laboratory stocks and supplies, training new staffs and liaising with professionals to carry out daily lab process smoothly. I enjoy my work as it had fulfilled my passion to work in lab and fuels to learn new things every day. 

Besides science and work, I am a yoga enthusiast. I practice yoga and mindfulness which helps me to manage my work challenges, remain balance and stay productiveI also enjoy travelling as this connects me to the variety of people, their cultures and backgrounds.

Dr Rebekah Beck

Ordinary Member

Rebekah's bio.

During my PhD at the University of Manchester, I developed a keen interest in the effect that pharmaceutical and environmental compounds have on the DNA methylome signature. In 2019, I started my first postdoc in the David Phillips group at King’s College London. Continuing along a similar vein of research, I focus on establishing mutational signatures of defined mutagens as part of the Mutographs of Cancer – CRUK Grand Challenge Project.

Harshini Asurappulige

Ordinary Member

Harshini's bio.

Harshini Shanika Asurappulige, BSc. in Biomedical Science (University of Northumbria, Newcastle), MSc. in Cellular and Molecular Immunology (University of Colombo, Sri Lanka). PhD in Cancer Research (University of the West of England, Bristol): working on, Identifying the genetic polymorphism of cytokines followed by chemotherapies and recognise cytotoxicity/genotoxicity against BM/HSC in haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. 

Alex Afarinkia-Vinader

Ordinary Member 

Alex's bio.

Hi, I’m Alex, I graduated in Biomedical Science from Keele University in

2019 and then started working at Covance Laboratories in Harrogate. Here I work
as part of the Genetic and Molecular Toxicology team as a Report Coordinator,
drafting scientific reports for a wide battery of in vitro and in
 testing methods, including the bacterial reverse mutation assay, HPRT
gene mutation assay and in vitro human lymphocyte micronucleus assay.