Dr Thea Newman was trained in theoretical physics at the Universities of Oxford and Manchester, and has spent 25 years working in academia in Europe and the US. Since 2000, she has applied physics thinking to a range of problems in biology, including ecological dynamics, embryo development, gene regulation, DNA repair and, more recently, cancer initiation and metastasis. From 2011 to 2014 Thea was Editor-in-Chief of the UK journal Physical Biology. Thea has had a parallel career in university management, serving as both a Dean and the Vice-Principal for Research at the University of Dundee. Thea left full-time higher education at the end of 2017 to pursue a range of new initiatives, including establishing the independent research consultancy Solaravus. Thea is an advocate for the academic community tackling problems of both fundamental and applied significance using ambitious cross-fertilisation of ideas from one discipline to another.