Spotlight on Jessica Gao, Associate Director | Research

Tell me a little about yourself: Hi, I’m Jess, live in Kent with my husband and my young daughter. We moved here from London for its lovely green space and an easy commute to London. I’m Chinese, first came to the UK to study. I studied biology at university and have always planned to work in research labs. Having spent one year as a research postgraduate at a molecular microbiology research lab, I soon realised that I enjoyed interacting with people much more than watching centrifuge spinning and agarose gel running. After a difficult conversation with my lab boss, I put my pipette at the side and never looked back.

What has been the highlight of your career so far? Without any previous experience, I have trained myself and managed the operational part of all institute events. 

What is your favourite thing about working for TAI? It’s a privilege to work for an organisation that has a strong mission and value which I also believe in.  

What motivates you? Multiple things. Autonomy is one. I also really enjoy working in a good and collaborative team. 

If you could have any animal, what would be your dream pet and why? I would love to have a tiger.  They are the biggest cat, powerful and independent.  

Where is your favourite place to go to unwind? When it’s all too much, I let my mind go free and just walk around in woodland.

What is the best advice you have ever been given? You can’t control everything. Things might not go as planned and that’s ok. 

Who does the cooking in your household? I do most of the cooking during the week, pasta is one of the only few things I’m good at (ha!) At the weekend, we normally eat out for a change!