Sad to see the women have been kicked out!
Trinity College Dublin (2004-2008) University of Cambridge (2008-2012)
BA in Human Genetics and a PhD in Biochemistry
Dept of Genetics Harvard Medical School and the University of Cambridge
Postdoctoral scientist at the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
Favourite thing to do in my job: Experiments using cool microscopes which allow me to see things that are happening on a very small level!
I work as a postdoctoral scientist at the University of Cambridge and try to figure out how the cells in a fertilised embryo grow and develop into fully formed beings!
I look specifically at a protein which helps cells decide what type of cell they are going to be! I look at cells which don’t yet have any real identity/job and see what effects pop up when I take away the protein I am interested in. This is generally how we try to figure out how things work in biology! If we are interested in a particular gene or protein we simply get rid of it and see what happens to development!
My Typical Day
I spend my day looking after cells, doing experiments and reading/listening/talking about the area of science I work in!
I cycle to work and generally get in around 9.30 a.m. I usually spend some time figuring out what I have to do for the day and then maybe start an experiment or…have a cup of tea! This is very important in our lab! After this I continue my experiments and sometime we have a seminar or a lab meeting where we share our research and get feedback. I never look after my cells ’til the afternoon, and I’m not sure why this is but that’s how I do it! Generally we play some music while we work in cell culture and this means there can be quite a good atmosphere in that room! After I finish work for the day we sometimes have scientific discussion groups or we go out socialising, wahey!
What I'd do with the prize money
I would use it to make a video collection of conversations with students in the builiding so they can share their experiences and path they’ve taken in the hope of inspiring other young people to do the same
When we’re at school I don’t feel like we get enough information on what it’s like to work as a scientist on a day to day basis, it would be great to get some insight and make it freely available to young people over the internet!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Irish, fiery, dancer
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
I went to Japan this year to present my work and saw Kyoto and Tokyo, that was pretty cool!
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I had a really great science teacher called Mr. Behan and he inspired me!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Once or twice!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Probably a medical doctor
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I have lots! Arcade Fire, Daughter, Bon Iver, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alt-J, Florence and the Machine, Calvin Harris…
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Spent the summer living in Boston, it was a bit of an eye opener!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To live a long and happy life with the people I love, to finally get to where I want to be in my career, and to have fun doing both of the above (seems like a lot to ask!)
Tell us a joke.
What do you call two dinosaurs that have been in an accident? Tyrannosaurus wrecks