Leading up to International Women’s Day on 8 March, we’re sharing the stories of many womxn researchers working in ASSET. Today PhD student, Roxanne Keynejad, shares her journey by answering a few questions.

Sewit Timetewos, Tigist Eshetu and Mekdes Demissie, Roxanne Keynejad, and Dr Tesera Bitew.

How did you become interested in research?

I became interested in research after I realised that there was a lot we could improve about our clinical treatments for people with mental health problems.
Describe your research career thus far?
I’m in the last year of my PhD, which is a randomised feasibility trial of brief problem-solving therapy for pregnant women experiencing intimate partner violence in rural Ethiopia. Before this, I researched pathways to mental healthcare and the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups in north-East London, adolescents’ perceptions of HIV risk in Kenya and cognitive processing in functional neurological disorder and mild cognitive impairment.
Why do you think research in your field is important?
Mental health is integral to living long, healthy, happy lives. We need to identify the most acceptable, feasible, safe and effective ways of integrating mental healthcare into health systems, especially for the most vulnerable groups in society.
Do you have a womxn research & global health hero? Tell us about them.
Prabha Chandra is an inspirational perinatal psychiatrist who invests heavily in the development of the next generation while also advancing her clinical academic field.
What is one thing you want to see changed between now and this time next year?
Sharing of COVID-19 vaccines between high-income countries and low and middle-income countries. Coronavirus has proven that global health is a truly global endeavour which cannot be achieved alone.