My headmaster wrote many times in my school report that I was going to be an underachiever. I struggled at school. You start reading things that are not necessarily there, so then it made understanding what you were reading quite tricky. When I was eleven, my mum took me to London to go and see a specialist. She was able to conclude that I was dyslexic. Mum and dad moved me to a new school. There I was able to do science, and that’s really where I found my calling.
My name’s Tim Miles and I’m a portfolio leader in Global Health at GSK.
It made me feel really empowered to communicate without utilising words. I could utilise structures and formulas in a way that I could communicate easily and effectively with people. After my PHD, I had the fantastic opportunity to join GSK, which is clearly my dream job. I work in the Global Health Medicine Research and Development Unit in Spain. My responsibility is to identify transformational medicines for patients, who live in lower income countries.
Science saved me, and now I’m trying to use science to help others.
Funnily enough I now see my dyslexia as a real advantage in the workplace because I’m able to think about problems slightly differently to others and as a leader, I now recognise that having neurodiversity in my team is really important.
So, one area where I think neurodiversity is important is our work to get ahead of Anti-microbial Resistance. AMR is a collection of infectious diseases that are becoming resistant to current treatments and what we are trying to do is find novel treatments that overcome this resistance.
If you don’t have that diversity of thought, then you clearly get that herd thinking, moving through the group, and therefore to find those real new innovations becomes a significant barrier. Great ideas don’t just come from one individual, it really comes from great outstanding teams.
You can really make a big impact on the world if you follow your dreams. As my grandma said to me when I was younger “walk tall with confidence” and those words have stayed true to me now, as it did then.