Alina Andras

I was born and grew up in Iasi, a big city in the North-East of Romania during the difficult times when freedom of speech, food, clothes and healthcare were scarce. Growing up, the main ‘escapes’ were education, reading and attending cultural events like concerts, theatre, operas or ballets. My mother taught me from an early age to learn for myself and that knowledge and education are some of the very few things that an oppressive regime cannot confiscate. I studied Biology and also Computer Engineering in Iasi, followed by Environmental Sciences in Slovakia and Hungary. I successfully secured a full scholarship, from the British Commonwealth Office and the Soros Foundation, to pursue doctoral studies in Neuroscience. I was awarded my PhD In Neuroscience from the University of Manchester. 

My first postdoctoral job was at Newcastle University to study factors responsible for neurodegenerative disorders. This proved a good moved as not only I worked on a very exciting project, but it is also where I met my husband. As I was interested in IT application for medical research, I took up research posts in genes expression in human brain and heart development with a 3D reconstruction and virtual reality application component.  

My interest took me to positions where I worked in clinical trials management (in primary and secondary care) at sponsor level, in global studies in neurosurgery and nephrology that recruited patients worldwide including Sri Lanka, India or China. As the National Institute for Clinical Excellence uses Cochrane systematic reviews as the basis for their policies, it was only natural to pursue work as a systematic reviewer and I was fortunate to co-author several protocols and full systematic reviews. I am continuing this avenue and remain a member of Cochrane Collaboration as a personal pursuit.  

I like cooking and aim to add a new recipe to my ‘portfolio’ on a regular basis. I have two children, Amalia and Albert. I am active at the Parents Teachers Association at my children’s school and provide grant application support at their schools. I am passionate about helping young people achieve their potential through education and ensuring they have the best opportunities to succeed whilst growing into responsible and caring individuals. 

I am very excited to be the ECLIPSE Research Programme Manager. I am interested in evidence-based medicine and provision of care, and I have in-depth understanding as a carer for family members’ experience of living with skin conditions that are not yet fully understood.