Burnham Grammar School (GCSEs), Henley College (A-levels), The University of Nottingham (Masters degree), University College London (doctorate)
MSci in Chemistry with Computational Chemistry, and a PhD is Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
I did a PhD at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, before moving to Barcelona in Spain
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Every human being has trillions of cells, each of which have around a trillion protein molecules inside them. I study how these molecules bind to one another and assemble into the pieces of molecular machinery which perform everyday biological tasks, from converting food to energy to movement, healing damaged tissue, keeping infections at bay, and maintaining all your organs in good shape. This is important for understanding how life works in healthy cells, but is also important for disease. For instance, protein binding is used to send signals between different parts of the cell, which tell the cell when its a good time to grow and divide. However if this system is broken, the cell can grow and divide uncontrollably and form a tumor, which could lead to cancer.
My Typical Day:
I do a lot of computer programming, reading scientific papers, and analysing results from my computer simulations.
I walk to work, but other than that most days are unique. Sometimes I spend days on end writing computer programs to solve a problem I’m working on, other days I will sit and think about the problem, or read papers by other scientists who have tackled it. If I have results I think are good enough to publish, I will talk thorough them with other people in my lab and write a manuscript outlining my investigations. Sometimes I spend all day looking at computer generated images of a protein molecule, trying to understand which parts are important or figuring out how the protein would change if it had a mutation.
What I'd do with the prize money:
I would buy a 3D printer and make 3D models of proteins to teach how they bind to one another.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Inquisitive, adventurous and friendly
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, but lets not get into that
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I’m listening to a lot of Porcupine Tree at the moment.
What's your favourite food?
You can’t beat a good steak and chips
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Nothing. Really. I’ve got a job that I love and I’ve just become a dad. I couldn’t be happier and to want anything else would feel like taking for granted what I already have.
Tell us a joke.
What’s orange and sounds like a parrot? A carrot! I know, it’s terrible.