University of Dundee

Beatriz Baragana Q&A

Beatriz Baragana is from Asturias in Spain and moved to Scotland in 2001. She is the portfolio manager in the Drug Discovery Unit for the apicomplexan drug discovery projects (malaria and cryptosporidiosis). Since lockdown, Beatriz has helped to start a coronavirus project in the DDU funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

What COVID-19 project are you working on?

We are starting a project to find treatments for coronavirus infections. We are looking for new medicines to treat COVID-19 and other coronavirus related diseases that could emerge in the future. The idea is to have a treatment ready for future viruses of this type and avoid new pandemics. 

What do you normally work on?

My normal work is looking for new medicines for other infectious diseases that affect small children in Africa and Asia like malaria and cryptosporidiosis. 

What’s your typical day?

I am working from home since lockdown at the end of March. I have lots of meetings using [Microsoft] Teams and the rest of the time I manage the projects, prepare presentations, read relevant literature... Before I had more informal chats with the members of my team and it was easier to find out what was happening in the lab. 

What’s it like to work in the School of Life Sciences?

The School is a great building to work in with lots of light and great views. It has open spaces to meet informally with a cup of coffee. It makes social interactions very easy. Now we have virtual coffees with the team to keep in touch.  

What activities are you undertaking to de-stress?

I have started with the Couch to 5K app from the NHS. I have done the first three runs for week one I am not sure if I will be able to complete the nine weeks but I will try. 

What can’t you wait to get back to once remaining lockdown measures are lifted?

I had to cancel my planned trip to visit my family in Spain the first week of August. I will go to Asturias as soon as I can!

Quick fire questions:

  • Tea or Coffee? Tea
  • Morning or Afternoon? Morning
  • Cat or Dog? Dog
  • Sough dough bread or banana bread? Banana Bread.