EducationThe Petersfield School (99-04), Alton College (04-06), Imperial College (07-11)
QualificationsBiomedical Research MRes, Biology BSc, and a VTCT 2 in Massage
Work HistoryWHSmiths, Lush, Massage Therapist, Labs in France and Imperial College.
Current JobPhD Student
I’m at Imperial College London but funded by MRC & Asthma UK Centre
My Work: I grow human lung cells and work out how their machinery might help to treat asthma.
Asthma is surprisingly common, and we have a lot of really good treatments for it too. Unfortunately we don’t have good treatment for about 1/10 patients, which ends up making their life really hard or even life threatening!
I’m looking at a part of the machinery of lung cells (a single protein for three years!), and how it turns on and off different genes. We think that its really important in what happens in asthma, and it should help us understand the disease.
I chose this project because it was a really interesting interaction between the lung cells and the immune system which is often overlooked in asthma.
My Typical Day: Sometimes relaxed, sometimes hectic, the only thing that is always a part of my day is coffee and tea.
I always start my day the same, but what I get up to and when I finish varies, I’ll pick what I did today to give you an idea of what it’s like.
Cycle in to work, have a delicious coffee and work out what I’m going to do for the day
Fed the lung cells that I grow
Detected what levels of immune system-activating secretions are given off my lung cells when I expose to them to an allergen
Tea and lab meeting at 12:00, half of it was spent with someone presenting what they had done in the last 6 months. The other half was spent eating cake for two people’s birthdays!
Quick check of emails and facebook.
Run a quick experiment using samples from earlier on in the week, I detected if the gene for my favourite protein is turned off or on if we stimulate the lung cells with an allergen.
Chance chill out! Delicious drink and analysed results to find out what’s been going on when I expose my cells to allergen.
Head to the pub with friends from work!
Some days are so busy, other days I’m just reading up on what other research as shown and chatting to people in the office to avoid the reading!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Curious, hairy, caring.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Thinking back, probably my A-level biology teacher, he was super enthusiastic
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Nothing horribly serious, had my fair share of detentions.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
My girlfriend says that this should be something about her.