Fort Pitt Grammar School then University of Kent (BSc) then Imperial College (PhD)
GCSE’s, A levels, BSc in Biochemistry, PhD in Molecular Genetics.
Alldays convenience store, Kent county council, pubs, coffee shops, an X-ray department and then Harvard for 3 years after my PhD and ever since at UCL.
Post doctoral Scientist
Institute of Healthy Ageing at University College London
Me and my work
I try to make worms live longer by changing their genetic makeup or environment.
Our medicine and lifestyle has improved so much over the years so we are now living much much longer! This is quite an achievement but the down side is that more people suffer from age related diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
Myself and other scientists like to research ageing using worms because they don’t live very long but do have a lot of similarities to humans. Amazingly, scientists have found that changing the genetic makeup or environment that the worms live in can make them live twice as long but also delay or improve the symptoms of the nasty age related diseases.
My research aims to understand these genetic and environmental changes in detail. The hope is that in the future we might be able to use them to improve the health of old people.
My Typical Day
Check on my worms, computer work, thinking, coffee (repeat) – but really every day is a bit different!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Happy, Curious, Calm.
What living thing amazes you the most?
I’m always amazed by the way plants can survive in the weirdest places.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
If we’re talking science then I would say my PhD years were the most fun!
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
No, I was as good as gold – how boring is that!
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
I’d love to make and sell cakes.
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
I have travelled a lot, met and worked with a lot of interesting people and have kept an open mind.
Who or what inspired you to become a scientist?
My lecturers at university and other scientists I’ve met along the way.
What would your superpower be?
If I could change one thing about the world...
My favourite CHRISTMAS LECTURE memory is:
The most Fantastic thing about Life is:
Show us where you work:
A typical afternoon in the lab
Worm food – worms are grown on agar plates covered in bacteria.
Worm pick – this is what I use to pick up worms, they are only 1mm long so it takes practice!