Forbes 30 under 30 2021: Sigourney makes it onto prestigious list

Congratulations to Sigourney Bell (Class of 2009) who has received the wonderful accolade of making it onto the Forbes 30 under 30  list for 2021! Not only is Siggy a current PhD student at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, busy researching paediatric brain tumours, her passion for STEM outreach compelled her to co-found Black In Cancer, which strengthens networks and highlights Black excellence in cancer research and medicine. The first Black in Cancer Week ran online in October 2020 and highlighted the contribution of Black researchers, physicians and patient advocates working in cancer research and medicine. It was a huge success with 80.5 million impressions on Twitter. Siggy explainsBlack people with cancer often experience huge disparities in survival, access.. and provision of care. Our aim was to create a holistic environment to network, support and educate all Black people that working in or affected by cancer.”  On 27 April, Siggy launched the Black in Cancer Pipeline Programme which aims to redress Black underrepresentation in higher education and the cancer workforce and supports students through their scientific training with professional development workshops, career talks and mentors. BlackinCancer has also just announced a postdoctoral award for Black cancer researchers with innovative ideas.

Being a Sydenham High girl has always been a proud part of my academic past and provided me with so many of the skills that have led me to where I am today. Sydenham High helped me to realise that no subject is off limits to women and that we truly are capable of anything. The supportive environment meant that I was able to pursue my love of science and truly taught me to “fear nothing”. Having brilliant female science teachers gave me the visibility that I needed and led me to pursue my scientific career. I never envisaged doing my PhD at Cambridge or co-founding an organisation, but looking back, all the extracurricular skills I gained from a number of programmes certainly led me to this point!”

Siggy follows alumna Bianca Cole-Miller who was a previous Forbes 30 under 30 winner in 2018 – let’s hope we see yet more young achievers from Sydenham High on the list in future!

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