Thank you to everyone who has supported and read my posts over the last twelve months. Thank you also to those whose own posts elsewhere have informed, shared wise words, or entertained. I have learned a lot and enjoyed reading and viewing them.

Wishing you all the best for 2024.

To happiness, hope, positivity, and possibilities.

From Julie
A Tree of Life Sciences®


Taking a moment to smile can mean a lot to someone who needed it 😊❤️.


by Dr Julie Charlesworth 01/01/24

🎄Seasonal messages, a verse, a card, and more…

Time to lighten up for the festive season…


Hip hip hooray!
Christmas cheer.
It’s that time of year.

Dropping hints
Shopping stints
Less worry
More merry

Ding dong bell 🔔
Let all be well!
It’s jingle bells
And cinnamon smells.

Walking on eggshells

Seasonal Greetings
Family meetings
Some travel afar
Some stay where they are.

Fewer silly squabbles,
Wibbles and Wobbles.
Fewer family feuds.
We hope.

Less distance
Less insistence
Less being rude.
A chance to diffuse a family feud.

A chance to savour delightful food.
Savour the festive fervour.
Takes us one step further.
Festive mugs.
Hugs (sans bugs).

©Julie Charlesworth, 2023



by Dr Julie Charlesworth 12/12/23


A few more words and my ‘homemade holiday snaps’ to brighten the days until the New Year:

‘I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.’ Maya Angelou.
😉 😊

A little something to make you smile:
Festive Mug Shots 2023

‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle’ or may be suffering a sadness you know nothing about. My heart goes out to everyone who is finding this time of year difficult.

XMas Lights 2023

‘Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness’

Very best wishes to Life Science students and early career researchers.

I am thinking again about all those embarking on studies and research careers, particularly in life sciences and of course generally as well. How the world and humankind need you! How we should all be encouraging and supporting the younger research generation. For all those students and researchers driven by a passion for their subject it should be a time to really enjoy studying and research for the sake of research; a time to explore interests and have a great life and social life too. It’s not the easiest of times and research can be very frustrating with many ups and downs. It was ever thus. It is however an adventure with opportunities to grasp, whilst keeping a sense of perspective and having fun! Many of us are willing you on to a great future!

Looking forward…

The skills learnt will be transferable for many different career options. Early career researchers have much to contribute, and they deserve to be challenged, encouraged, and supported in their research careers. They also have so much potential in many walks of life and different spheres.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 26/09/23

Holidays: The best laid plans don’t always get off the ground!

Life is an adventure. Overall, I am enjoying the journey but just now the road is a bit rocky.

I am thinking of those people whose summer holidays are coming to a close and the many who are returning to work etc. Others are still on holiday, maybe even stranded abroad for now. Some will be about to have their holidays. There will be many stories. Many people like me were affected by the UK air travel issues on August 28th. My summer break literally never got off the ground this time.

I decided to return home after a day at the airport. On the other hand, my luggage is having an adventure of its own!
There will be sad stories and even funny stories from different people in different situations. At the airport, naturally there were many frustrated travellers. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the feeling of togetherness and sense humour of many people in the face of adversity.
I did have some reservations about being away this time and so on the plus side I get to spend time with family members who may be appreciative of support now.
Sometimes we don’t know who is having a tough time – always try to be kind.

Life happens! Even the best laid plans don’t always get off the ground.
Look for the light. Stay positive!


by Dr Julie Charlesworth 01/09/23

A Career Path from Academia, Research Institute, Industry and Beyond.

At this time of year, I think about those embarking on studies in life science subjects at university, those who have completed their first degrees, and those starting their PhD research.

My previous post was about A levels results day and getting into university.

I have also previously posted about my experience as a PhD student and one of my proudest achievements of achieving a first-author publication in Nature during my PhD years!

I would like students and early researchers to see some of the possibilities beyond PhD and this is why I have been sharing an outline of my own career path. It has been a rich source of stories and experience to discuss when career mentoring my undergraduate and PhD student mentees.

So, what happened after my PhD research at the renowned Paterson Institute?

From academia and research institute to industry; from industry to independent company founder and owner.

My postdoc research experience in industry came about through a chance meeting on a train in my twenties but it proved to be a good choice, and a springboard to many other opportunities…

A subsequent move to Big Pharma provided 20 interesting years; international impact, learning and development I had never imagined.

And then to a further 20 years of exhilarating independence beyond this!

Along this career path I had focus, persistence, and purpose. However, it didn’t always go to plan – and in hindsight that made for a more interesting adventure!

Moreover, my career path isn’t as linear as it looks – it has zigzags, circles, and pauses along the way. All this enabled me to hone and build on my science research skills, discover new specialist subjects, and expand my range of experience and skills.

Little did I know how many different opportunities would unfold over the years and this has given me many stories and some yet to tell.

As a graduate biochemist, or even after attaining my PhD I could not have predicted that writing, medical communications, and science communications would feature so strongly later in my career.

The richness and sometimes uniqueness of chances and experience put me in good stead for subsequent contributions as a consultant, a writer, and a communicator. I founded my own independent company, and I was able to contribute as a specialist in some areas or as a generalist across different disciplines.

I hope that by sharing the opportunities that unfolded for me I can be an inspiration to those considering a career in life sciences or related areas.

After 47 years as a scientist, I have done my bit and contributed to science and humanity. That is all I ever set out to achieve. Through A Tree of Life Sciences® I find I can ‘live the dream’.

The adventure in Life Sciences and beyond continues…

And still the joy of discovery in science research resonates!

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 24/08/23


Previous post: PhD. First-author publication in Nature. Grateful for the chances that made this possible.

Positivity and Perspective on Results Day, 2023.

Congratulations again to those students who are happy with their exam results!

Whether grades exceed expectation or are disappointing, positivity, and perspective are important.

Results Day is something many people will relate to, whether directly affected this year as a teenager, a parent or for another reason.

I have written about this previously. My message remains the same to students, parents, and university admissions alike. Don’t despair, think laterally, take a chance.

I just wanted to add that being proactive and persistent will improve the likelihood of luck, chances, and opportunities. Hard work always pays off in the end.

Enthusiasm and focus still count for a lot these days.

Remember most successful people have a few ‘blips’ along the way and learn from adversity.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 17/08/23

I am thankful to Manchester University for taking a chance on me as an 18 year old many years ago.

Some Sweet Summer Surprises.

Savouring sweeter moments whilst weathering the stormy times. Here are a few photos and a video clip to raise a smile and lift your spirits.

Ruby Wedding roses in bloom again and every year since 2020.

Sweet tastes of yesteryears – making shortbread according to my well-thumbed little old Be-Ro recipe book. Being a trifle frivolous preparing a traditional dessert with a little help from my young grandchildren.

A fearless fledgling bird appears at our window. (It is a young blue tit.)

Finally, a garden feast attracts a flurry of bird activity. (The shiny discs ward off bigger birds and squirrels, providing opportunity for the little birds.)

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 09/08/23

Life’s Cruel Blows.

We all tend to take each other’s mental and physical wellbeing for granted. We often ask but without conviction ‘How are you?’ and receive the usual response ‘I’m fine, I’m OK’. This has prompted me to express some sentiments in verse.
When life deals the cruellest blow.
And what you know
Is not yours to share.
When sorrow runs deep,
Emotionally draining.
All you can do is show you care.
In the bleakest times,
Speaking in rhymes
Seems a tad trite.
Try as you might,
You cannot see the light.
You can just about cope.
Simply touch, hug, and give authentic love.
A gentle kiss and above all this,
A tiny spark of hope.
Because in this moment we see.
It is not just you and me.
It is We and so much more.
For, in such times it is humanity itself.

©Julie Charlesworth, 2023

Be kind in business as well as in life generally. You never know what someone is going through.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 25/07/23

Midsommer celebrations in Sweden; hope and positivity.


Fika, flower crowns, festivities, and culture.
It is the halfway point in the year and perhaps a time to spread some rays of sunshine from a wonderful European experience. I have just returned from a trip to Sweden. From Stockholm to Dalarna – what a great place to spend the summer solstice and midsummer!

Snapshots of Midsummer trip to Sweden 2023
We can share and learn much from different and similar cultures.
Life throws all sorts of stuff at us all. It is important to try and keep some hope and positivity even in the most difficult times.
The Dala Horse is a symbol of good luck, strength, and courage.
I enjoyed the midsommer traditions and festivities that celebrate the arrival of summer including a traditional floral crown.
It was my first attempt at making a flower crown and I was happy to wear flowers in my hair for the celebrations.
‘Legend has it that flowers and herbs picked on the summer solstice have magical properties.’
The Maypole, or Midsummer Pole (Midsommarstågen) – a local centre of the day’s festivities with dancing and songs around the Maypole. Many people participated (I joined in a little too).
Midsommer is a time for family and friends.
Fika, flower crowns, festivities, good food, and culture.
Sweden has much to offer.
(And of course, some superb science too!)

Fika is a concept, a state of mind, an attitude, and an important part of Swedish culture. It’s about making time for friends and colleagues to share a cup of coffee (or tea) and a little something to eat. Many people think we should make time for ‘fika’ every day.

To finding hope and positivity even in the most difficult times.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 27/06/23