Dr Samantha Pitt, a senior lecturer at the School of Medicine, has been elected as the new president-elect for the International Society for Zinc Biology (ISZB). The ISZB brings together scientists from different parts of the world with common interests to share ideas, technologies, network and raise awareness of zinc biology.
Despite having a background in calcium research, Dr Pitt developed an interest in zinc after attending a meeting with the society in 2014. Having now been involved in the society since then, her research has evolved to investigate how zinc shapes calcium responses in cardiac muscle to regulate the beat to beat of the heart.
As president-elect, Dr Pitt will hold the position for two years before moving into the president role of the society for another two years. As president of the society, Dr Pitt will be responsible for making strategic decision as well as bringing forth her own vision. For the future, Dr Pitt hopes to increase membership, improve visibility of the society and make sure that the society is engaging with the next generation of zinc scientists. As a model for young female scientists, Dr Pitt hopes to also promote diversity, equality and inclusion in the society.
As for the next steps for zinc biology, Dr Pitt notes that the lack of tools has held zinc biology back but that with the development of new probes and technology the hope is that research in this area will grow. It’s hoped that with the continuation of research there will be an understanding of the role of zinc in biology and pathophysiology and the development of therapies to restore normal zinc function.