Hello. I'm Furaha Asani (she/her). I'm an interdisciplinary scholar, mental health advocate, award-winning teacher and speaker, writer, and research & development consultant. I was born and raised in Nigeria, studied for my undergraduate through to my Masters in Biochemistry at The University of Johannesburg, then obtained a PhD in Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease from The University of Sheffield. I then undertook a postdoctorate research post at Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) before branching into project managing a programme in co-production with Leicester-based community organisers from marginalised communities to identify future healthcare research priorities, in a place-based context. I am now Research Lead at Pervasive Media Studio in Watershed, Bristol. In this role I project manage several programmes focusing on responsible innovation in creative technology, and I also manage a team of four fabulous action researchers and creative producers.
Throughought my research career I've been various combinations of a laboratory demonstrator, peer mentor, and tutor, and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). I've delivered work to audiences made up of my peers and colleagues, the general public, school students across an age range from nursery all the way through to A-levels, and higher education students studying/researching at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
My research interests lie in responsible R&D and identifying actionable roadmaps to implement this, global health equity, mental health & mental hygiene, immigration precarity and borders at large, anti-racism in research, and science in pop culture.
Between 2019 and 2021, I was caught in the UK's hostile environment and lived under the threat of deportation from the UK during this time. Due to these circumstances I lost my academic career and wasn't able to access the NHS (even during the peak of the pandemic). This traumatic experience has only made me more deeply invested in public health equity and accessible healthcare as a tenet of social justice. In addition to speaking quite openly about this experience, I also strive to be open about having lived with mental illness from my earliest memories: I have been clinically diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). All of my work and working practices are infused with all my learnings from my experiences.
My story-telling sweetspot- be that in my writing or when I'm appropriately sharing a case study from my own lived experience or observations I've made- lies at the intersection of healthcare equity, social justice, and creative expression in many, many forms.