sick in bed today :( blurgh!!!!
Favourite Thing: My favourite thing is getting experiments to work and then telling everybody about it! Science is tricky and it sometimes feels like the fairies come and tamper with things in the night, but once in a while everything goes to plan and I feel an enormous sense of achievement, especially when I’ve found out something that could have a big impact on someone else’s quality of life. Thats the most important thing to me and sharing it with others, both in research and in my ‘real life’ is great!
Ormskirk Grammar School (1995-2002)
The University of Manchester (2002-2010) BSc(hons) Anatomical Sciences; PhD Medicine
From cleaning toilets to working behind bars I’ve done it all! But by far the most rewarding is doing research!
The University of Manchester
Post-doctoral Research Associate
Me and my work
I’m a stem cell biologist that loves working at the clinical interface – I work in a lab but always have one eye on how my research could be used therapeutically!
I work at The University of Manchester and have spent virtually my whole research career here, from undergraduate student, to PhD student, to my first job as a ‘post-doc’. For my PhD I was based in the maternity hospital in Manchester and indulged in the gory fun of placental biology! I researched placental stem cells and how they are vital to forming the blood vessels in the placenta. Having enough well formed vessels is really important so that the baby can receive all the nutrients it needs from mum, otherwise it will not grow appropriately and this can lead to all sorts of problems, even later in life when they are in their 40s! Now I work on wound healing, and how bone marrow stem cells are involved in the cleaning up and repair of skin wounds. I’m really interested in diabetic wounds, because these often dont heal properly and are the leading cause of amputation in the developed world today. 15% of all diabetics will at some point suffer such a wound and so its very important that we try and find out WHY the healing goes wrong and HOW we can make it better.
My Typical Day
A typical day is a crazy mix of excitment, frustration, problem-solving and sometimes celebration!
I love my job because its so variable- some days I will spend the whole day in my lab coat carrying out experiments and teaching students, whilst others I will spend managing my technician, delivering talks, attending workshops and preparing written work to be published. I’m very fortunate to have such a flexible role, and I think the fact that I plan what I want to do with my own day/week/year is just fab! Then I go home and either run climbing sessions for my local Scouts, go training with my running club or crash out and watch Corrie!
What I'd do with the money
I like to spend more time running public engagement sessions in primary schools, so additional resources for making them more interactive would be great
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Coffee-drinking, moutain-climbing, lab-coat-wearer!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
At the moment I’m listening to alot of the Chilli Peppers in the lab but thats because I haven’t uploaded new stuff to my iPod in a while
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I enjoy mountaineering and once spent a summer in Greenland where I climbed 3 unclimbed peaks and got to name them!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
What did you want to be after you left school?
A doctor- my A-level grades weren’t good enough so I decided I’d do biology first, then medicine. Then I got hooked on research and the rest is history…..!
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
I was a total goody-two-shoes I’m afraid. I’m doing my best to make up for it now though!
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Going to international conferences- I’ve been all over from Austria to San Diego, and once all the talks are finished I always take the opportunity to explore
Tell us a joke.
Biology always seems to grow on you