EATRIS Meets Courtney Stewart-Ferguson

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m originally from the UK. I emigrated to the Netherlands just before Brexit.  Started off my career in the field of accounting, then made the switch over to IT & Project Management a few years ago and have never looked back.

What is your role within EATRIS and what does a typical week look like for you?

I am a Team Assistant & IT Coordinator.  My week varies from day to day, which is what I enjoy within my role.  It usually consists of resolving technical issues (laptops, printers etc.), arranging meetings, working on the backend of SharePoint sites, updating databases, providing access to internal and external collaborators, training on programs and many other varied tasks.

What has been the highlight of your EATRIS experience so far?

Creating a Training Matrix SharePoint site. Was pretty much within the 1st month of arriving at EATRIS and a totally different setup to what I’ve previously created via SharePoint in the past so was good to learn something new. Apart from that, I am learning new things almost every day, participating in several exciting projects and thoroughly enjoying the versatility of my combined role.

What is translational research for you?

Turning ideas in science into reality. Making technological advances, as well as ushering in the new world of AI, which will be a driving force within science and research for years to come.

Why did you decide to work in the translational medicine field?

I was extremely intrigued by what was happening in the world regarding the pandemic.  I also wished to expand my knowledge on the science and collaborators working behind the scenes to bring some form of normalcy back to the world following COVID.  I’ve always had a passion for IT and AI ties in quite well with this, so it felt like the right decision to join such a great infrastructure in EATRIS.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Ensure that you enjoy what you do in life, whether it be work or your personal life.  We only have one life, so you must live it to the fullest.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

I like to go on holidays, attend concerts, spend time with family, cycle and go to the gym.

If you were a drug, vaccine or diagnostic, what would you be and why?

I’d be a happy pill that you only need to take once a day. I like to be happy as much as possible and make those around me happy also. Laughter is another way to have good health, and it requires the usage of more muscles to frown than you need to smile.

What would surprise people to know about you?

Skydiving is still on my bucket list, as I’m a natural thrill seeker. My hidden talent would probably be that I am a pretty good footballer.