International Day of Women and Girls in Science was proclaimed by the United Nations and is another step forward in combating stereotypes that undermine gender equality also in science.

To celebrate International Women in Science Day 2024  HHT Ireland is very happy to spend the day in the company of Paula McMorrow, Chief Medical Scientist of Blood Transfusion and Haematology laboratory,  in Portiuncula University Hospital, Ballinasloe. Co Galway and to whom we asked some questions.

  • Question 1: What triggered your passion for science?

My secondary school teacher Mr Collins taught maths and science. He was young and enthusiastic and encouraged me to pursue Medical Laboratory Science as a career.

  • Question 2: How did you develop an interest in HHT?

My work colleague Marie introduced me to the topic. Marie comes from an HHT family, although she herself did not inherit the HHT gene.

  • Question 3: How does your work impact the lives of patients with HHT?

As my work involves me providing clinicians with Haemoglobin & Red Cell Count results on their patients with anaemia and also providing blood & blood products when required for transfusion, I feel it has a huge impact of the lives of patients with HHT.

  • Question 4: What struggles does a woman involved in science have to face?

I think struggling with working-on-call can be an issue for women involved in science as hospital laboratories are operating 24/7. This can have an big impact on family life.

  • Question 5: What message would you like to give to young girls interested in becoming scientists?

To any young girl interested in becoming a scientist, I would tell them that it is a rewarding career as you are always learning new skills and technologies as they become available.


We truly hope that Paula McMorrow’s words can help all those young women who have a genuine love and interest in science. Thanks to Paula and to those who, like her, carry out their work with dedication and hope for a bright future!

Interview by Marie Ralphs.