It has been great fun - can't believe it's over!
Clifton College, Bristol (1999-2003), University of Manchester (2003-2013)
BSc Cell Biology, MSc Immunology and Immunogenetics, PhD by Published Work
University of Manchester (2007-present)
After completing my PhD studying gene expressions in two disorders (keloid scarring and Dupuytren’s disease), I am now looking at the good and bad effects sun exposure has on our skin. While excessive sun exposure can cause skin cancer, UV from the sun is important for making vitamin D in our body. To further complicate the argument on whether sun exposure is good or bad for you, there has been speculation that higher levels of vitamin D is related to a reduced risk in some cancers.
I work with volunteers with a range of skin colours, from the lightest to the darkest skin; suprisingly there have not been many studies focusing on the pigmentation aspect in this area of research. It is exciting that my current work is directly relavent to the general population.
My work is funded by the Cancer Research UK.
My Typical Day:
The only thing consistent about my “typical day” is that it changes on a monthly basis.
As a biomedical scientist, I wouldn’t say there is a “typical day”. I would say things changes on a month to month basis, and varies drastically depending on the project/job.
Clinical months/days: I would be working with research nurses on the recruitment and scheduling of patients or participants. Sometimes I would also be involved in collecting excised samples in the operation theatre.
Lab months: I could be repeating a number of lab procedures everyday one month, followed by a completely different set of procedures on the next. The length of each protocol varies; some are easy to manage and allow you plenty of tea breaks, others are harder to predict and you could end up being in lab for hours with very limited time for food or water. Generally speaking, there is a lot of physical activity during the months when I’m doing experimental work, which my friends who work in desk jobs are very jealous of.
Write-up months: After all the labwork has been done, there will be 1-3 month of data analysis, and then 1-3 months of writing up. A lot of reading are involved during this time. Background reading is also very important at the beginning of the projects. At the moment I just make computer scripts for analysing my images, read, and write up my experiment all day.
The ratios between the amount of time spent in the lab/at the desk writing varies drastically from project to project.
What I'd do with the prize money:
Making an illustrative blog/webcomic relating high school sciences and maths to research. (for both teachers and students)
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Curious, creative, cheerful.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not that I am aware of.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Two Steps From Hell.
What's your favourite food?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Rich, draw like a pro, all my loved one can stay healthy and forever young.
Tell us a joke.
I never wanted to believe that my dad was stealing from his job as a road worker. But when I got home, all the signs were there.