Meet Abby, our new Scientific Projects Officer!

Sep 13, 2023

We’re so excited to introduce Abby our new Scientific Projects Officer, who joined the Beacon team this September.  

Get to know one of the newest members of our team and email them at to say hello.

Welcome to the rare family, Abby!

What were you doing before you joined Beacon?

This summer, I completed a chemistry degree with the University of York. I loved learning about so many different topics, gathering knowledge and exploring the links between chemistry and society.

In my final year, I undertook a masters project in industry working at LifeArc. As a synthetic chemist I was involved in designing and making novel compounds for fragment libraries to be used in screening efforts against drug targets.

I also had the opportunity to work on equality, diversity, and inclusion in the organisation and learned about engaging the workforce and creating resources in an accessible, engaging and targeted manner.

Picture of Abby

Why did you choose to join the Beacon team?

Picture of Niamh in London with her best friend.

When I came across the opportunity at Beacon, I knew I had to apply. Being able to combine science with community impact is exactly what I want to do. Working at LifeArc taught me so much about life sciences, drug discovery, and all the challenges that come with it but I wanted to get closer to patients. Rare disease research is underfunded and undervalued – there are so many drug repurposing opportunities waiting to be explored that can improve patient outcomes and use resources in a much more efficient way.

It’s really important to create a space for patients to be listened to and actively involved in research and that’s what Beacon do so brilliantly.

Plus, they’re a lovely bunch 😊

What do you want to achieve most at Beacon?

First of all, I’d like to learn more about the rare disease space, how patients can inform scientific work, how we can educate and empower them, and ultimately be led by them.

I’m really keen to make a difference to people’s lives and to help upskill individuals and groups. I’m looking forward to contributing to the work REMEDi4ALL are undertaking, creating resources that can used by many patient groups and applied to different rare diseases.

Niamh in Cornwall with her sister and boyfriend

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Niamh is with Harry Styles at BBC Radio 2.

Outside of work, I play tuba in a brass band which takes up quite a few weekends! I also love being outside climbing, walking, or camping. To wind down I enjoy anything crafty like sewing, painting, and baking. At the moment I’m planning to turn some old bed sheets into summery dressing gowns.


What’s your favourite book/film/TV show and why?

Right now my favourite TV show is Good Omens, I’m a big fan of anything Neil Gaiman does.

I think everyone should read The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin – it had a big impact on me when I first read of is definitely the most important book to me.

I love the film Baby Driver – it’s very silly but also very serious and has an amazing soundtrack.

And that’s a wrap!

We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about one of our newest Beaconites, Abby.

Remember to email them to say hello and join us in welcoming Abby to the rare family!

Niamh pictured in Cornwall with her family.

Read more blogs