University of Aberdeen 2003 – Present
B.Sc Biochemistry (Hons), now finishing my PhD
University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen
Favourite thing to do in my job: Meeting up with other scientists – It’s great to find out what other people are doing, what’s new and maybe think about where scientific research is going next.
I am a researcher in Microbiology
People and animals are not the only ones that can get infections – bacteria can too! Bacteria can become infected with viruses called bacteriophages. I am looking into how one type of bacteriophage can infect its bacterial host. Many different components of bacteriophages could potentially be very useful. They could be used to kill bad bacteria, to deliver drugs to a sick part of your body or even be used to make important chemicals/fuels. I am a scientist who wears a white coat and lights a bunsen burner on a regular basis – my work can be a lot of fun!
My Typical Day
Form a plan, execute it, look at the outcome and discuss the meaning.
Doing research is like unraveling a story and each day can be very different. But one thing that is very important is to have an objective and to know what you are trying to find out. I try to get one step closer to finding out what that story is. My work involves working with bacterial cells. I often have to grow the cells in dishes, or on media to turn them blue so that I can see if they are right. I also work with DNA and proteins – extracting them from cells, altering their sequence and testing them in experiments.
It’s very important to record the work in research so you can check what you’ve done. This is very much like keeping a diary where I write and put in pictures I’ve taken.
What I'd do with the prize money
Towards science research where funding is harder to come by
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Enthusiastic, bouncy, dynamic
What's the best thing you've ever done in your career?
I spent a year working in the Czech Republic – Great to see how research goes on in another country
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I just loved science at school – seemed like a natural career choice
Were you ever in trouble at school?
On occasion, but never anything too serious.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
An outdoor activity instructor
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
I don’t have a favourite, I just love it all.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
A Skydive – awesome experience
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. Travel more 2. Discover or invent something that would change the world for the better 3. Be taller
Tell us a joke.
A inflatable child was very careless with a pin he brought into his inflatable school. The teacher shouted in anger ‘you’ve let me down, the school down and worst of all yourself down’.