Photo:

Lilian Hunt

sad to be evicted but good luck to the rest!

Favourite Thing: Making baby fishes glow!

My CV

Education:

I went to Sir Henry Floyd in Aylesbury until 2009, The Buckingham School until 2010 and King’s College London for university 2010-2013

Qualifications:

AS level Physics, A level Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Performing Arts, BSc Hons degree in Molecular Genetics (and various sports coaching qualifications!)

Work History:

I’ve worked in tea rooms, cafes and for catering industries since I was 14, including every summer whilst at university.

Current Job:

I’m currently a PhD student

Employer:

The MRC – National Institute for Medical Research

Me and my work

I look in the gaps between genes in DNA for something new and interesting…

I’m a developmental geneticist in the Systems Biology department. Don’t worry, none of us can really say what ‘systems biology’ actually means anyway! What I do is take groups of people with similar diseases and disorders that seem to occur from when they were developing as an embryo or foetus and sequence their DNA. I only look at the specific bits of DNA that aren’t gene regions – the ‘gaps’. It used to be called ‘junk DNA’ but now we know that there’s some important stuff in there too. If I find interesting differences in these groups of people’s DNA then I can try and see if that’s related to their disease or disorder.

My Typical Day

Preparing lots of DNA for sequencing at the moment!

My typical day will change depending on the time of year. It’s not that I’m a seasonal worker but sometimes experiments seem to come in bulk! Right now, I get into work nice and early and have about 7 hours of lab bench work to do to prepare a lot of human DNA to be sequenced. If I manage to squeeze in multiple tea breaks then that’s a bonus!

 

What I'd do with the money

Create a sensory science experience for children who can’t access the mainstream curriculum.

There are plenty of children with a range of special educational needs and autism spectrum disorders who are in schools specifically built to help cater to their needs. I want to create a sensory based science lesson that can be brought to those pupils and run by myself and other volunteers alongside their current teachers and teaching assistants. The money would go into creating the resources so that they are aimed at a broad range of children with different needs who all can’t access the mainstream curriculum. Science should be for everyone and I think that through reaching all of the senses: taste, touch, smell, feel and hear, it can be brought into any classroom in an enjoyable way.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Excitable, energetic and eclectic.

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Bastille

What's your favourite food?

Sunday roast – it’s all about the yorkshire puddings!

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Played rugby at Twickenham stadium

What did you want to be after you left school?

An astronaut or a forensic scientist

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Rarely, I was very good at not getting caught!

What was your favourite subject at school?

Biology

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

I’m only at the start of my career so the best is yet to come!

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

Watching CSI when I was younger sparked it all off.

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A tree surgeon

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

To be stronger for rugby, smarter for work and tidier for my girlfriend!

Tell us a joke.

There are three kinds of people. Those who can count, and those who cannot.

Other stuff

Work photos:

myimage2

This is the front entrance of my work where I go in every day, the building is pretty big and cool looking. It was used as the set for Arkham Asylum in the film Batman Begins!

myimage1

This is my lab bench, well my part of the lab bench I work on! My colour scheme for all of my things is orange where possible (you’ll see orange labels on all my bottles and pipettes!). I have to keep the orange line to separate my bit of the bench from others because of the DNA preparation I do. I keep my section sterilised when doing experiments with human DNA samples to stop them from being contaminated!