PhD in Medicine, University of Sheffield, 2015-2018. Master of Research in Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Birmingham, 2014-2015. BSc (Hons) Biology, Sheffield Hallam Univeristy, 2010-2014.
Master of Research in Molecular and Cellular Biology, BSc (Hons) Biology
2015-present 2nd year PhD at the University of Sheffield, Summer 2014 Barista at the Bean Encounter (independent coffee shop), 2012-2013 Research Assisstant at The Binding Site Ltd, 2011-2012 Costa Coffee.
2nd year PhD student
University of Sheffield
Favourite thing to do in my job: I love to look at kidney cells under the microscope and stain them with fluorescent dyes so I can see what is going on inside them. I could watch them for hours!
I am a scientist, a coffee connoisseur and a keen baker. My three passions go very well together!
I love following recipes, turning raw ingredients into wonderful new creations. This goes for in the kitchen as well as in the lab! And it is this small passion of mine that lead me on my career path as a research scientist. I live in Leeds and work at the University of Sheffield, trying to understand how kidneys work in health and disease. I live with my boyfriend who is also a research scientist, so we often get weird looks on the bus when people over hear our complex conversations!
I’m trying to figure out what causes the kidneys to not function properly when they get ill.
I look at a type of Kidney Disease called ADPKD, which is when someone develops cysts in their kidneys. Cysts are like little balloon sacks filled with fluid which can grow to a pretty large size and take over the kidneys and stop them from functioning properly. Certain patients get this disease as they have a particular gene which is mutated (ill) and can therefore not work as it normally should.
I am researching into different proteins within the kidney to see how they function normally, and what happens to them when a patient has ADPKD to try and understand the relationship of the proteins and how they are important for normal kidney function.
My Typical Day
I wake very early, travel to work on the train, do lots of experiments and planning, and then go home and eat lots of food as I’m starving!
Research uses up a lot of brain power! I am constantly thinking and wondering about many different things.
On a typical day I will arrive at work, lift some reagents out of the fridge or freezer to warm up and go and make a coffee and have my breakfast while I wait. I will then fill in my lab book with protocols of the experiments I wish to complete that day. Once everything is ready I will begin my experiments and make notes of anything important throughout the day.
Some days I do not have any experiments to perform, so instead I do some reading as it is important to keep up to date with all the research that is going on within your ‘field’ – which basically means all the kidney research from across the world. I also put aside some time to analyse my results, as well as plan future experiments.
What I'd do with the prize money
I would use the money to help fund more public engagement activities within schools.
I never received much public engagement from real scientists when I was in school, so I think it is important that you get to know what a real scientist is and what they do so that you can get a better idea of the science world and help you decide whether you might like to be a part of it in the future.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Proud Female Scientist
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Bring science out of the lab into more unusual environments so everyone can learn about it.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Mary Berry. I love baking and so it was a natural progression really…!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really, maybe for sometimes chatting too much when I was excited about something :)
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I’d open a coffee shop or a bakery and play Beyonce all day long!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Queen B obv
What's your favourite food?
Wagamama is life
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Snorkelling in Egypt
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1) Cure kidney disease 2) Unlimited cake 3) Unlimited coffee
Tell us a joke.
A man walks into an Army-Navy shop. He asks “Do you have any camouflage trousers?”. The shop keeper replies “Yes, but we can’t find them!”.