Professor Cait E. MacPhee CBE FRSE FInstP FRSE FRSC

Interdisciplinary science

I am Professor of Biological Physics in the Institute of Condensed Matter and Complex Systems in the School of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Edinburgh. I am also part of the Physics of Living Matter and Soft Matter Physics groups. Additional interests include Astrobiology and the origins of life, the challenges of interdisciplinarity (I was originally trained in the biosciences but moved across to physics), and overcoming the challenges and barriers to women in STEM fields. To provide an illustration of why I am interested in the latter: when I became Professor, I was the first female Physics Professor in the 440-year history of the University of Edinburgh. Granted, Physics didn't exist as a discipline for most of those 440 years, but it was still surprising.
I am originally from Australia - with the accent to prove it - and I have two children. I am a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Biology. In 2016 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and awarded a CBE in the New Year's Honours List.
Artist's depiction of a biofilm; Rosaria Campilongo
Artist's depiction of a biofilm; Rosaria Campilongo

Brief Curriculum Vitae

1995 BSc (Hons), Department of Biochemistry, University of Melbourne
1999 PhD, Faculty of Medicine, University of Melbourne
1999-2000 PDRA, Oxford Centre for Molecular Sciences, University of Oxford and Research Fellow at St Hilda's College
1999-2001 Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, University of Oxford
2001-2005 Royal Society University Research Fellow and Lecturer, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge
Research Fellow in Girton College, Cambridge
Fellow of King's College, Cambridge
2006-2011 Royal Society University Research Fellow, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh
2011 - Present Professor of Biological Physics, University of Edinburgh