Brain expert Jodi flying high in dementia research

By Tamsen, aged 13, of Priory Community School Academy, and Jill Dando News reporters

Inspirational Jodi Parslow, aged 25, formerly of Priory Community School Academy (PCSA), in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset is now a Doctoral Researcher at King’s College London, looking at dementia and things that go wrong in the brain in hopes of finding new therapies to control these conditions.

She has also completed a First Class Degree in Medical Neuroscience from the University of Sussex, and a Master of Research Degree in Neuroscience, and volunteer trips to Tanzania to help orphanages. 

Speaking exclusively to Jill Dando TV this week, interviewed by 15 student reporters aged 9 to 17, she explained her passion to treat brain diseases. 

Jodi in Tanzania

Her advice to aspiring scientists is that “things never go right the first time, so be resilient and you’ll get there in the end”.

She said: “I’m really excited about the brain as it is the most complex thing to study. It’s the only organ that has the ability to think about itself.”

“When I was at Weston College, I also worked as a nursing assistant with patients who had dementia and their families and seeing how little options were available to them. It led me to think ‘what can I do to change this’.”

Jodi completed her university dissertation by interviewing doctors in Tanzania during a volunteering trip to hospitals, clinics and orphanages. 

She also fundraises for charities in her spare time and raises money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

She urged other students to get into the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and careers after leaving school and is especially passionate about inspiring young girls to enter STEM, which she talks about on her equality podcast, The Academinist. 

She said: “Working in STEM is one of the very few work sectors which allow you to learn every day, constantly improve yourself and your knowledge, inspire others and leave something behind.”

Casey, Finlay, Oscar, Megan, Samara, and others at Jill Dando News interviewed Jodi as part of their latest Jill Dando TV interviews which started with the Prime Minister in Downing Street in 2019, and has taken them to NASA HQ and to the homes of stars of sport, writing and the stage.

Students from The Priory Learning Trust schools, Worle Community School Academy, The King Alfred School Academy, Priory Community School Academy, St Anne’s Church Academy, Castle Batch School Academy and Pawlett Primary School Academy took part in the interview.