Originally from Somerset, I’ve spent time living and working in Devon and North East Scotland before relocating to Cardiff in 2021 to start my position as a Clinical Bioinformatician. This means I spend my time writing computer code to analyse DNA. I live with my husband and our three year old son. When I’m not working or being mum, I love to run (occasionally pretty far) and attend live music events!
My pronouns are:
I’m a clinical bioinformatician. This means I write computer code which takes a large amount of biological data from DNA and I convert it into a possible genetic diagnosis. This helps people with rare genetic diseases, and people with cancer.
My Typical Day:
I wake up (very early!) with my son and get him ready for nursery and get everyone out of the house! I work at the largest hospital in Wales within Cardiff, which is short drive from the nursery. Once I arrive at work, I respond to emails from clinical scientists and laboratory staff, and I will check that any samples being analysed for diagnostic purposes have worked and passed quality control checks. I can then continue working on improvements to the computer code which allow us to detect new genetic changes, or to make interpretation of the results easier for clinical scientists. I finish at 5, pick up my son, and then try and squeeze a run in before bedtime!
What I'd do with the prize money:
I’d love to visit some local secondary schools to run some sessions on genetics, DNA and computer coding. It’s really easy to get DNA from strawberries which you can see with the naked eye, which makes for a great hands-on session to show everyone what DNA is. I’d then talk about the importance of DNA throughout our everyday lives including genetic diseases, the environment, and the food we eat. I’d also love to give some examples about what computer coding can do, and how simple it is to learn, perhaps linking in with some of the coding clubs in the area!
Chilton Trinity Technology College for GCSEs
Bridgwater College for A Levels
University of Exeter for undergraduate degree and PhD
10 GCSEs, 1 AS Level, 4 A Levels, BSc Molecular Biology and PhD Biological Science.
Associate Research Fellow – University of Exeter
Bioinformatician – University of Aberdeen
+ lots and lots of part time work during my studies including in bars, hotels and motorway service stations!
All Wales Medical Genomics Service (part of the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, NHS Wales)
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Running computer girl
What did you want to be after you left school?
A doctor - which I am now, just not a medical one!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Sometimes, I had an answer for everything!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I trained as a laboratory scientist during my PhD, so I'd probably still be growing yeast in a lab.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Oasis (I'm a 90s kid)
What's your favourite food?
A really good risotto
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
More time to do everything, faster legs to get those PBs, greater ability to do DIY
Tell us a joke.
Why was the mushroom so popular? He was a real fungi.