Bridget (neuroscience): my science career

My undergraduate research project was when I discovered a passion for science and the excitement of working at the cutting edge; of being able to ask, and hopefully answer, questions for the first time. There are many others who can say the same, and my experience makes me a huge supporter of undergraduate projects. Since that first exposure my research has focused on neural mechanisms of acute and chronic pain, including associations and interactions with affective states. Throughout my career my research has been funded continuously by grants from the RCUK and the Wellcome Trust, I have delivered undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, trained sixteen postgraduate students (all but three of whom have gone on to pursue research or medically-related careers) and have published 68 peer reviewed papers and review articles.

Not what I expected at the start of the journey – I thought it was about being at the laboratory bench, I’m a scientist after all! An academic career is what you make it, it is multifaceted and you can explore all sorts of avenues that are intellectually stimulating and make best use of your skills. Currently, together with my collaborators, I run a vibrant research group and was, until recently, Head of School. Along the way I’ve taken on diverse management and scientific roles as outlined in the following time line.



PhD University of Birmingham


Research positions Universities of Birmingham, Leeds and Bristol


Lectureship University of Bristol


First research grant awarded (The Wellcome Trust)


Moved to rural Gloucestershire where I met my future husband, John


Promoted to Senior Lecturer in Physiology


Awarded a General Certificate by the Royal Horticultural Society


Married John and gained step daughter Hannah


Elected Meetings Secretary of The Physiological Society. In this position I became the first female Executive Committee Member of the Society in its then 130 years history


Promoted to Reader in Physiology


Elected Director of Bristol Neuroscience


Promoted to Professor of Systems Neuroscience and became Head of the former Department of Physiology


Became step-granny to Harry


Elected Academic Member of the Board of Trustees, University of Bristol


Elected Honorary Member of The Physiological Society, which is bestowed on ‘persons of distinction in science who have contributed to the advancement of physiology and to the work of The Society’. Only eight women have been afforded this honour in the 140 year history of the Society.

Bridget Lumb
Professor Bridget Lumb

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