Favourite Thing: My favourite thing to do is to look at cells down the microscope. Its really cool to see them move around and do things all by themselves. I find it amazing that so much is going on in a cell, but can all work together to make a real live person.
I did my GCSE’s and A levels at RGS High Wycombe, leaving in 1996. Then did my degree and masters at Birmingham Uni, and PhD at Cardiff
I have a BSc in Medical Biochemistry, a research masters degree and a PhD in cell biology
I’ve done lots of different jobs, from working on supermarket checkouts to labouring on a building site, gardening and data entry. Science is much more interesting though.
I’m currently a post-doc (which means I do research in a lab) for Cancer Research.
Cancer Research UK
Me and my work
I’m trying to figure out what keeps the cells in your body healthy, and stops them wearing out.
I see living things as a big puzzle. We’re all here and can walk about, but we don’t really know how our bodies, or the cells they are made out of, actually work. My job is really to try and figure this out (or at least a small part of it!). If we can work out the basics of how cells and the body works, hopefully we can get better at fixing it when something goes wrong.
My Typical Day
After getting up too late and rushing to work, I spend most my day either doing experiments at a bench, looking down microscopes, or scratching my head.
I spend a lot of time looking at cells down the microscope, to see what they’re up to. I try to get cool movies that show me what’s going on. I also do quite a lot of reading the work done by others, and thinking – trying to piece it all together.
This hurts my head quite a lot, but fortunately we also do quite a lot of sitting around drinking coffee and talking through experiments, which helps.
What I'd do with the money
I’d use it to help school children come to visit the labs, or set up visits to schools to do this in real life!
This sort of thing is really fun for both the scientists and students. It’s really interesting and important to tell people about science, and all the cool things we do, and don’t know. I’d use the money to help finance school trips to the cancer research labs,or university where I work, as well as take a display out to schools to try and do this sort of thing face-to face.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Enthusiastic, chatty, annoying.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
At the moment, I’m listening to My Chemical Romance a lot. Got to love a bit of angst.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Travelling after uni. Basically an extended holiday for a year in really cool places. What could be better?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I’d want enough money to never worry about it, enough time to do everything I wanted, and to be a bit smarter.
What did you want to be after you left school?
When I left school I wanted to be an engineer, but I changed my mind at the last minute as I found I really wanted to learn about living things.
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
I was never exactly the teacher’s favourite, but had the knack of just about staying the right side of the line…
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
The best thing is always when you’ve done an experiment and seen something that no-one else has seen before. That time, when you are the only one int the world that knows something is priceless.