First chat, let's do it!
Liverpool Univeristy BSc Pharmacology,
Imperial College London Masters in Public Health
UCL: pending PhD in Social Epidemiology
Odd jobs I’ve worked: McDonalds, Chinese takeaway, Chinese herbal practitioner, music theatre in Liverpool. 2002-2006 James Black Foundation where I worked as a pharmacologist. I was helping to design a new drug to block acid reflux in the throat which then leads to cancer. 2007-2012 cancer epidemiology at Imperial College London
I have just completed a PhD in social epidemiology, still waiting for my final exam…I like get into anything that is a bit weird and tells us more about ourselves.
I’ve lived in the outskirt of London with family. Our house is so close to the train tracks the house shakes when trains go past.
I decided to became a student again a few years ago and finally completed my project last week, I am very sleep-deprived but relieved!
I’m my spare time I like to go to evening classes and seminar about things I enjoy, making things and thinking about things are my favorites.
I am also an artist and I paint weird abstract squiggly things on canvas and paper.
Does someone’s parents’ jobs in the past influence their jobs now, what about their health? Does where a person lives affect if they will find a job? Is it really important to their health that a person finds something to do after finishing school? If a person is not working and they are ill, were they already ill at the start so they couldn’t get a job, or did not working make them ill?
As a social epidemiologist, I do the investigative work behind such questions. I have access to information sampled from everyone in England and Wales in the census, about who they are, where they live, what sort of job they do, who their parents are/were, together with whether they were in good health or not over their lives, and ultimately, when they died. I am searching through this wealth of data and trying to find if being out of work after finishing education (school, college or university) is linked with a particular outcome (deaths). By trying to avoid the pitfalls, I can make sure my findings are strong and be relevant to as many people as possible.
My Typical Day:
Number crunching at the desk, meetings, discussions, emails, phone calls, students!
Being a PhD student people think it’s like going to college or university, except it’s not, it’s more like a job. The upside is that I decide when I start work and when I finish, the downside is the same. You may find yourself listening to an interesting seminar with free lunch (yes it happens) one day, or going for a stroll in supermarket at 2pm, the next you could be working very late into the night because you forgot about a deadline.
Typically, I would be working on some data, testing my ideas with statistical models that fit the pattern of information and figure out what the sea of numbers are telling me. Whatever results I find I need to make sure that there are viable theories from the scientific community to support them, so onto the journals I go and I look through the scientific articles other scientists have published. Usually these are full of inspirations! Then I write this up as work to include in my thesis (all 65000 words of it, and you thought your school assignments were bad!).
During the term-time, I do a little bit of teaching to BSc students. My last session was about how to work out if two quantities are related to each other statistically, e.g. for the same age, is a person’s height related to their weight?
What I'd do with the prize money:
The research group I work at does a lot of engagement events, trying to help people who may not initially be interested in a STEM and in particular, social statistics find a way in.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Imaginative, free-spirited and a little loopy
What did you want to be after you left school?
A biological scientist of some sort
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I kept getting told off for talking too much
Who is your favourite singer or band?
The Smiths, some say that they are depressing but I think the words are funny
What's your favourite food?
SUSHI! I could eat this everyday until I kick the bucket
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To be able to speak to cats, to play the piano; time travel.
Tell us a joke.
What did the 0 say to the 8? “Nice belt!”