Hi, I’m Lucy and I live near Cambridge. I am a development scientist working at a global genetics company. Outside work, I love to bake, hang out with my friends, and explore new places
I moved to Cambridge just after university, to make the most of the opportunities with all the science parks around here! I started work at LGC, which wasn’t really related to what I wanted to do, but I wanted to get some lab experience. It was a great place to learn, as it was accredited, which means the lab has to work to quality standards, so that was a great introduction into the world of science and how to work in a lab.
After a couple of years, I moved to a genetics company, Illumina, as my passion was genetics and I was really keen to start work in this field. I worked on the 100,000 Genomes Project, processing samples through in the lab, and now I work in their Development team to help bring in new technologies.
My pronouns are:
I work as a Development Scientist for a global genetics company, bringing in new technologies to help personalise medical treatments for people
I work in a lab that does whole genome sequencing for the NHS. This is where we sequence (or “read”) someone’s entire genetic code, which helps doctors to find out where the problems are, and whether certain medicines will work or not. My lab did a big project called the 100,000 Genomes Project, in order to prove that we could do it at a high throughput, and now we work with the NHS so your doctor can now order the genomics test if you need it.
My job now is a development scientist, so I help bring in new technologies into my lab, which helps us process samples faster/send back good quality data. This is important if youre waiting for a test result from your doctor!
My Typical Day:
I usually start work at 8am, I live quite close so its a nice 15min drive. I would have breakfast at my desk while checking emails and any messages, then meet with my team-mates to catch up on what everyone is doing, and whether anyone needs help.
Then normally I go into the lab and spend the morning doing lab work, or ordering things we need for the lab.
I have lunch with my friends, and then in the afternoon, I tend to go back into the lab, or have some meetings to talk about new projects or results. Then its home time at 4!
I usually start work at 8am. I usually have breakfast at my desk while checking emails and any messages, then meet with my team-mates to catch up on what everyone is doing, and whether anyone needs help. There is usually several projects going on at one time, and its good to discuss the plans with my team as they may have different ideas
Not every day is lab work – if I have lab work I like to do it in the morning, so I can process results in the afternoon and see if my experiment has worked. These experiments could be changing different things, such as temperature, incubation times etc. I also go and shadow different departments to see if they have any new tech that would be helpful for my lab!
I have lunch with my friends, and then in the afternoon, if I have lab work, Id go back into the lab. If its an admin day, I could be ordering things we need for experiments, writing presentations so other teams can see what we are doing, and making sure the bosses are up to date with any project progress.
Then its home time at 4!
What I'd do with the prize money:
Id really like to bring a group of students around my lab for a tour, and some shadowing, as I know its really difficult to get lab experience when you are still at school.
Alexandra Park School, London
Chichester High School, West Sussex
Portsmouth Grammar School, Hampshire
Kings College London
GCSEs, A-Levels (Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Geography)
BSc Genetics – Swansea University
Msc Forensic Science – Kings College London
2008-2010 – Care worker for Enable Ability, providing respite care for children with disabilities.
2014-2016 – Scientist for a contract research company LGC, working on clinical trials
2016-2020 Lab Assistant for Illumina, processing samples for the 100k Genomes Project
2020-present – Development Scientist at Illumina
Development Scientist for the Dev team of ILS, where I help to bring in new tech to speed up the lab work, or increase the quality of the data.
Illumina (Illumina Laboratory Services)
What did you want to be after you left school?
Initially a Dr, but then I realised I loved science and not medicine
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No, I did try to stay out of trouble if I could!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I would love to own a cafe on the beach and make cakes!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1 - Go to Iceland to see the Northern Lights. 2 - Health and happiness for my family. 3 - a really good cake for my birthday
Tell us a joke.
What kind of dogs do scientists have? Lab-radors