Emma King

Yay it feels like spring!

Favourite Thing: Well I don’t work in the laboratory any more but I love seeing what research groups all over the world are up to. I think that new advances in science always bring with them new challenges for regulating that technology and new ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI). I also really love doing outreach work and talking to members of the public about their feelings towards different areas of stem cell research.



Combe Bank School, Sundridge nr Sevenoaks


Genetics BSc(Hons) at University of York, Social Research MA at University of York, Science and Technology Studies MSc(Res) University of Edinburgh

Work History:

One year placement at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute


ESRC Innogen Centre, Univeristy of Edinburgh

Current Job:

PhD Student

Me and my work

I am currently doing a PhD, so I am spending three years studying the regulation of stem cell research and how that impacts on the development of new therapies.

Well I did a degree in Genetics and worked in a lab for a year as part of that. I decided that what I liked best about science was asking questions about the ethical impacts and the way that such research is governed. I was given the opportunity to do a Masters and PhD at the ESRC Innogen Centre at Edinburgh Uni, part sponsored by the Scottish Stem Cell Network and Scottish Blood Transfusion Service.

So now I don’t work in the lab any more but I get to spend all my time looking at the other aspects of stem cell reseach, such as where we get tissue for research from and how we can make sure therapies are developed in safe and efficient way.

My Typical Day

I’m not sure I have a typical day! Becasue my day isn’t built around lab work I’m free to do whatever needs doing at that time.

I don’t really have a typical day! Sometimes I can spend all day doing admin stuff – answering emails, booking rooms or conferences or travel tickets.  I can spend all day reading or writing or going to meetings. Sometimes I have to transcribe my interiew data which takes forever! I try and walk the two miles each way from home to work and go to the gym at lunchtime – it gets me away from my desk for a bit. It can also be quite lonely working in an office by yourself so we have staff coffee for the whole building every Friday morning, and I try and meet up with other researchers at least once during the week.

After work my time is taken up with lots of hobbies – I sing in a choir, go sea kayaking, am in a knitting group and swim in the sea once or twice a week.


What I'd do with the money

Organise a slightly alternative event about stem cells.

 I would really like to run a slightly alternative event about stem cells – especially looking at really interesting ideas like using stem cells to grow invitro-meat and develop red blood cells for transfusion. There are also researchers who look at things like the portrayal of vampires in popular culture – so it would be great to work with them on the event!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Chatty, messy and fidgety.

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Don’t really have one but probably the Barenaked Ladies

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Learn to sea kayak

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

To have better concentration, to not have to worry about money and to be able to eat as many biscuits as I like and not go to the gym and still be healthy!

What did you want to be after you left school?

A scientist who work in a lab… I also wanted to be a dendrochronologist because it sounded cool!

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Not really, but I did once (accidentally) throw a discus at my teacher. That didn’t go down too well.

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Probably all the outreach work that I’ve done, you never know what is going to happen!

Tell us a joke.