I completed my PhD in 2013 funded by a Wellcome Veterinary Training Fellowship at the University of Bristol. My PhD and early postdoctoral research focused on cellular mechanisms by which bone adapts to its mechanical loading environment. Unexpected findings made during that period led me to change research fields and I am now starting my own research group funded as a Wellcome Clinical Research Training Fellow at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. This fellowship is allowing me to apply my training in mechanobiology (the engineering-inspired merger of mechanics and biology) to mammalian embryology. My research specifically focuses on the mechanisms by which cells in the early mouse embryo generate the mechanical forces required to bend the flat neural plate into a tube, the precursor of the central nervous system. Failure of these processes leads to neural tube defects such as spina bifida.