Dr Sunni Patel

Investigating risk factors & systemic biomarkers for Type II diabetes & cardiovascular disease in at-risk populations
Aston University, Birmingham, 2011
Tell us a bit about yourself – what was your PhD about and where did you study?

I did my PhD at Aston University, Birmingham investigating risk factors and systemic biomarkers for Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease in at-risk populations; South-Asians, those with a family history of Type II diabetes and those with a history of gestational diabetes.

What do you do now? What did you decide to do next after gaining your PhD?

I’m currently a business director at a large global pharmaceutical. Immediately after my PhD, I did a postdoctoral fellowship in Canada and a MBA back in Birmingham. I went to the corporate sector starting off as global research lead, then a consultant after which I worked in medical education and commercial operations.

Has having a PhD helped in developing your career? If yes, what has been the biggest impact? If no, why do you think that is?

Yes! Undoubtedly! It really helps me to look at problems in a variety of ways and finding unique solutions as well as leverage the knowledge within, and outside, my network to build confidence.

What’s one piece of advice that you’d offer prospective students considering a PhD?

Make sure you are 150% behind your topic and research as passion will always prevail and you will always confidently be able to defend something you are wholly behind.

And what one thing would you suggest that new PhD graduates should do next?
Take your time and think about where you want to make an impact. Don’t rush and the same time consider all opportunities, near or far, as it will open so many other doors you never thought were available to you.

Lastly, what’s your favourite memory from your time as a PhD student?

The patients and the impact that the research made on their lives.

Thanks Sunni! How can our readers find out more about you and get in touch?

I have started a passion project about gut health as I have Crohn’s disease and want to share the ‘art of being gut healthy’ with others. The platform is on IG: @dishdashdeets and on www.dishdashdeets.com

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