Thanks for voting for me :o)
Favourite Thing: I like discovering things that no one knows about. Like a gene or protein which we didn’t know was responsible for a disease. I also like that these discoveries can be used to develop new medicines and improve peoples lives.
Royal High School Broughton High School
Edinburgh University – Doctorate in Reproductive Biology. Edinburgh Napier University – Masters in Drug Design and Biomedical Science. Heriot Watt University – Honors in Microbiology.
Lab901 – I helped develope a machine for seperating different proteins
The University of Edinburgh
Me and my work
The ovary is one of the only organs in our bodies which doesn’t scar and I am trying to find out how this happens. Other organs and tissue inside the body can develop scars espically after surgery and this can lead to extreme pain. By finding out how the ovary does not scar we can create new medicines to prevent scarring in the future.
Each month the ovary ruptures to release an egg and heals again without any scars forming. This is unique because most organs including your skin develop scars after they are injured. This means that the ovary heals in a special way from other organs and tissues.
This is an ovary releasing an egg.
We think that the hormones which are made in the ovary also protects the ovary from developing scars. By finding out how the ovary heals without scarring we can develop new medication to prevent people developing scars in the future.
This is important for people who have abdominal surgery as they can develop internal scars as well as other groups of people like those on special types of dialysis (peritoneal dialysis). These internal scars can cause extreme pain, make some women infertile and sometimes even cause organ failure.
To study this I run experiments on cells:
I grow cells from the ovary and compare them to the same type of cell from elsewhere in the abdominal cavity to see if they behave differently.
I treat the ovary cells and abdominal cells with hormones and see which hormones can stop the cells producing proteins which will make a scar.
I also grow the cells in a petrie dish where they grow in a single layer on the bottom. I then make a “scar” in the cell layer and watch over time as it heals to see what hormones can affect the cells healing.
My Typical Day
I made a video of my day – Its below!
I keep a photo-blog of my day to day work as a PhD student. Basically each day I take one photo of what I am doing and upload it.
Being a PhD student can be very stressful and we often spend weeks (sometimes months, even years) repeating the same experiments over and over again. In the end it all blurs into one memory and sometimes we can forget just how hard we worked for one graph.
I think it will be good to look back on all my photos to see what I was doing each day during my PhD, hopefully I will have lots of happy memories but I expect there will be lots of moaning too.
I think this sums up my typical day more than words.
What I'd do with the money
I’d use it to fund a project that I’m developing called Non-Fiction Science. We remake famous movies like Jurrassic Park in schools but we change a part of the script to correct the science that is wrong. The pupils get to dress up and act out the scenes or film them. Then we edit it into a 5 minute movie.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Old Nintendo Games – Dinosaurs – Food
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Foo Fighters or anything rock/metal.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Ever? I spent my student loan on a plane ticket to Thailand on a whim one day, that was stupid but so much fun.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To travel the world. To always have my friends and family. To never get old.
What did you want to be after you left school?
A doctor or biologist.
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
Yes lots. I ended up going to a different school after third year. But after leaving to go to collage I became more focused and motivated to study.
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
I got to write for New Scientist magazine.
Tell us a joke.
I think you might be ovary-reacting…..