I live with my partner in Manchester. I am a scientist during the day and enjoy powerlifting in the evenings.
I grew up in Manchester but have been living in Aberdeen for 4 years for my PhD. I have now moved back to Manchester for work. I love the city and want to inspire young people to get into science.
My pronouns are:
I am a Senior Scientist at QIAGEN. I help to create tests for patients who may need specialist treatment on clinical trials.
At QIAGEN, we create kits to test samples from patients who are unwell. These patients may have changes in their DNA that mean they are able to have special treatment. Our kits help us see which patients have these changes, and who is able to have the treatments. These treatments are not available to everyone, and are usually still being tested in what is called a clinical trial. These trials test if the treatment works well enough to be made available to everyone.
My Typical Day:
I wake up at 5:30am and start work from 7am. I start by reading emails and messages while having my breakfast. Some days I may be doing experiments in the lab. Other days I may be writing documents to help others with their experiments. I go home at 3:30pm.
When I get to work, I often have lots of emails or messages from my team. I spend an hour reading and replying to these while I eat my breakfast. My days can be very different. Some days I will be in the lab doing experiments. Other days I will be at my desk writing documents, or planning experiments for the future. Some days are a mix of both. Most days I have meetings. These are to talk about what we have been doing, and what we plan to do.
I have my lunch at 1pm and read a book. In the afternoon, I send out emails to my team to update them on their tasks for the next day. I go home at 4pm.
What I'd do with the prize money:
If I was voted a winner, I would like to use it to offer placements/work experience/building tours etc. Growing up I had no idea that jobs like mine existed, or were accessible to me. I would like to show students from the local community that this is something they can do too.
I went to primary school in Heywood and secondary school in Bury. Both of these places are in Manchester and are close to where I work now.
After I finished school, I went to college in Bury and studied for A Levels.
I did my undergraduate degree in Biomedicine at Lancaster University and graduated in 2017. I did a Master’s degree in Molecular Parasitology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and graduated in 2018. After that, I moved to Aberdeen for my PhD at the University of Aberdeen. I submitted this in September 2022, and will be graduating in the summer.
GCSE’s (2012): 11 grades A* to A
A Levels (2014): Maths, Chemistry, Geography (Grade B)
AS Levels (2014): Biology and English Literature (Grade A)
BSc Biomedicine (2017)
MSc Molecular Parasitology (2018)
PhD Molecular Biology with Physics (2022)
All of these qualifications help me with my job now.
I have had many jobs, most of which are not related to my job now.
During school and college, I worked as a waitress in my auntie’s restaurant and worked as a steward for music and drama shows at Manchester University. This was escorting people to seats for the shows. I worked here on weekends and in the holidays.
At university in Lancaster, I worked as a shop assistant in a clothes shop. I worked here throughout my degree. I worked mostly in the holidays, and then one weekend per month.
In my second year at Lancaster University, I worked in a research lab in Ghana for 3 months researching mosquitos.
In the summer between my undergraduate and Master’s degree, I worked for the exam board AQA. This was checking moderated coursework marks.
During my PhD, I worked as an exam invigilator. This was for students with disability related needs who could not sit in the main exam hall. I also worked as a demonstrator. This involved helping in the undergraduate labs, teaching students and helping them with lab work. I also marked their coursework. I did these jobs for the whole 4 years of my degree and usually worked about 6 hours per week.
Having all of these jobs, even the ones that aren’t jobs in Science, helped me to learn how to manage my time as I had to manage working with learning. Each of these jobs gave me skills that I can use now in my job as a Scientist. These also taught me the value of hard work and not giving up.
I am employed by QIAGEN.
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, I usually got in trouble for talking too much!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?