Dr Cassandra Coburn

Dr. Cassandra Coburn is a scientist, editor and author. She received her PhD in Genetics from UCL in 2012 for her discovery and elucidation of the phenomenon ‘death fluorescence’ in the small nematode worm C. elegans. Her research was received with fascination worldwide with the Wellcome Trust making a film about death fluorescence.

Cassandra then went on to become a Deputy and Executive editor at The Lancet group, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious medical journal groups. In this capacity, she had the privilege of travelling the world to meet scientists, clinicians, government and NGO leaders. She has given talks in China, Japan, the USA and Europe, and has led multiple specialist commissions to address inequities in healthcare provision worldwide. A career highlight was launching a research programme for cancer care at the United Nations, alongside former US Vice President Joe Biden.

She writes for both academic and general publications, including The Spectator, The Observer and The Reader’s Digest. Described by her PhD supervisor as a pathological optimist, Cassandra is passionate about using science to inform and drive change in the world and believes that scientific knowledge can and should be interesting and accessible to all.