From structural immunologist to freelance medical writer

 

Franklin Women roving reporter Dr Louise Randall speaks with Julia Archbold on her career journey from medical research scientist to freelance editor. Want to connect with Julia? You can find her on Twitter or email

You are on a new adventure and just started your own business. Can you tell us a bit about what it is?

Julia_workselfie1My new business is in science editing and writing. The business is called Corrected. At the moment, I’m freelancing to three major science and medical writing companies. I also have some of my own clients. Typically, my clients are non-native English speakers. Some of the bigger companies send me manuscripts that they have translated from a different language, whether it’s Chinese or Japanese. It’s sometimes translated directly from that language into English, so the grammar needs correcting after that. For example, the Chinese language is very different to English. They don’t have verb tenses at all. In a science article, there needs to be past tense and present tense. So I fix that up. I also fix up the flow of the article. There are little things that you can change to improve the readability of the paper. And then I will proofread it. I have to be very meticulous. I also format it for submission to a particular journal if they ask for that. I’m loving it. It’s going really well. There’s been a little bit of a hurdle to get the clients but that’s starting to pick up now and I’m starting to get busy.

Before this you were a health and medical researcher with a PhD at Monash. What was your research area?

My research area was in structural immunology. I was looking at crystal structures of proteins involved in our immune system. My PhD was on organ transplant rejection and graft versus host disease, and trying to understand at the molecular level how that all happens. Structural biology was my training. More...