Boston is Science | Nikla

Boston is Science | Nikla

Heartbreak's Boston 2022 capsule collection is a loving celebration of the people behind our global leadership in scientific innovation and medicine. The design uses the four colors representative of DNA's code chemicals in a nod to the researchers, ground-breakers, care-givers, nurses, & physicians who run these streets every day: the people who make Boston what it is.

We're turning the spotlight on five athletes from that community in acknowledgment of and gratitude for their work. The collection drops Thursday. Join the launch experience in Cambridge by registering here.

Nikla Emambokus

Outgoing, enthusiastic, dedicated, and curious - this is how we knew Nikla as a team member and athlete first. Nikla is also Editor-in-Chief of Med & Executive Editor of Medicine and Metabolism. She grew up on a the small island of Mauritius, earned a scholarship to Cambridge University then a Ph.D from Oxford in molecular medicine and biochemistry. She came to Boston first as a bench scientist working at Harvard. Now in scientific publishing, she gave us this color on her journey: 

"I did lab research on blood stem cells at Oxford and then Children's Hospital in Boston. Despite my love for research, I didn't want to keep specializing in one area at the expense of falling out of touch with other aspects of research and being a scientific editor/publisher allowed me to do that. I joined Cell Press, one of the top three science publishers, and ended up in a completely new area of research that I had never been trained in but fell in love with (all roads lead to metabolism) and eventually became the Editor-in-Chief of Cell Metabolism. I pushed the journal into publishing more clinical research because solving diabetes in mice is all well and good but we need to apply the bench research to the bedside. With persistence, I got to launch our flagship medical journal, Med, that is meant to sit alongside Cell. It's been exciting AND very challenging. Med covers all aspects of contemporary medicine. My goal is to not just publish exciting basic research with close clinical applications and clinical trials but also provide a platform to bring scientists from Biotech/Pharma and policy experts to the fold. The development of covid vaccines has shown just how powerful it can be to have basic researchers, clinicians, Biotech/Pharma and policy people working together. We need more of this. My job as the Editor-in-Chief of Med is to keep tabs on all the cool medical research and clinical developments going on and lure them to Med! We also publish Special issues to promote thought leadership and promote conversations around themes that greatly impact health such as Diversity, Race and Ethnicity, Climate change, Sex and Gender."

What are you most proud from the perspective of a Bostonian in the scientific/medical community?

"Too many to choose from but recently sickle cell disease treatment, Crispr-based diagnostics, postpartum depression therapy. I am also particularly happy about how academia, clinicians, biotech/pharma and policy people worked together to generate covid treatments: Accelerating these types of collaborations among medical stakeholders to improve global health is my ongoing dream."

What's your relationship to the Boston Marathon?

"I'm fiercely proud of its history (though its history with regards to gender and diversity could be better), Still angry and incredulous about the bombing (I heard the bombs in Cambridge), Meb and Des, I usually volunteer and it's extremely rewarding to give back and meet the runners from all over the globe; it's also an aspirational "some day, maybe" for me which gives me goose bumps."