University of Manchester 2004-2007, Xaverian Sixth Form 2002-2004, St Peter’s High School 1997-2002
GCSE’s, A-levels, Bachelor’s degree, Masters in Research
University of Manchester
Favourite thing to do in my job: I love working (or playing!!) in the lab, I love experimenting and I also really like working as a team and helping other scientists who are in the early stages of their careers. I love knowing that one day the work I do might help save a life or make sick people healthy again.
I study cells and tissue from both humans and animals to understand the healing of wounds and cuts to make sure that everyone’s body will heal the way that it should.
I give the cells certain chemicals that make them think that they are “injured” and then I look at the genes present in the cells to see why the disease is caused in real life humans. When we understand somebody’s genes we might be able to work out why things go wrong in their body and they end up with a disease which means they can no longer lead a normal life.
I want to know whether there are particular genes that causes people to be more at risk of having a wound that doesn’t heal or a wound that develops a scar so drastic and big that it means they cannot use that part of their body anymore. That way the people with these genes can be given certain drugs to make sure that they are always healthy.
My Typical Day
I have my morning cup of tea, a great start to the day whilst I check my emails! Then I go into the lab and “feed” my cells as they always need looking after.
My normal day involves me doing different experiments to measure the reactions of the cells with the chemicals that I have added to make them respond like they would in a human with a disease. Sometimes I have to present my work to other scientists which helps me to understand my work better. I also help to teach some of the undergraduate students who are studying at university. I also make sure I check the news to see if there are any exciting science discoveries that have been reported!
What I'd do with the prize money
I would arrange for some of the famous scientists I know to bring school kids just like you into their workplace and have a fun day experimenting in the lab, to show you what it is actually like to be a scientist!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Happy, chatty, sciencey!!
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Had the opportunity to travel to the USA many times to present my work.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No, I was a complete geek!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Lived in Canada for a while to learn a new science technique from a famous scientist. I got to work in a really fun lab and then at the weekends I was able to spend time visiting places in Canada like Toronto and Niagara Falls.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
That I would always be happy, never have to worry about money (so I could travel the world!) and always have a job working in a lab!
Tell us a joke.
What’s the difference between Chemistry and cooking…? In Chemistry, no matter how delicious it looks, you should never lick the spoon…..!