School: Caritas college, Ballyfermot. Undergraduate: UCD. Postgraduate: RCSI
I have a bachelor of science, and I will be graduating with my PhD on the 15th November!
During college, I worked in a pharmacy advising patients what medicines to take when they were sick
I am currently a cancer biologist, specifically working on breast cancer
Favourite thing to do in science: Zapping cancer cells with drugs in the lab!
I'm a 28 year old cancer biologist from Dublin!
I have always had a passion for science, which led me to study pharmacology in University College Dublin (UCD) after school! I had a very keen interest in breast cancer research, as my mother had breast cancer when I was 14 years old. This lead me to undertake a PhD in breast cancer research in the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI), on Stephen’s Green in Dublin. I have just completed this, and will be graduating with my degree on 15th November….. exciting! I am still working in the lab in RCSI as a postdoctoral researcher. Next year, I hope to move out of Ireland for a year or two, and get some experience in an international lab!
My research is focused on breast cancer, and searching for new ways to treat this disease
My Typical Day
I spend most of day at the lab bench, working on breast cancer cells and trying to understand how they function differently to normal cells.
I usually start my day by responding to the emails in my inbox, catching up on any new scientific discoveries, and planning my experiments for the day (all over a nice cup of tea of course!). I then need to look after my breast cancer cells which are growing in the lab. They are living cells, so I need to make sure they are supplied with the nutrients they need, and are kept at a cosy 37 degrees Celsius (just like looking after a baby, ha!). I often expose these cells to different drugs, or alter their DNA, to see how they react. This can give us a good idea as to how these experiments would work in an animal model (a mouse or rat), and then in a human. We have lots of great equipment here in RCSI to carry out these experiments. At the end of the day, I analyse all of my data on my laptop….. there’s a lot of math, which sounds difficult, but I have lots of great friends here to help me out! My day usually finishes at 5 or 6 pm…. home to watch Netflix!
What I'd do with the money
I would like to donate the money to the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin.
I would like to donate the money to the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin. I have always been a huge fan of the gallery and I think they do an excellent job in engaging and educating the public in different areas of science. I would like this money to go towards their next exhibition.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
My favourite band is the xx, they're from London!
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I went on holidays to New York last year which was amazing!
What did you want to be after you left school?
A scientist of course!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Maybe for chewing gum.... woops!
What was your favourite subject at school?
Biology and maths
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Help the Irish Cancer Society to raise money to fund cancer research and help patients
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
My biology teacher in school made science interesting and fun!
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To work in a lab in New York... to own a golden retriever puppy and.... to have 3 more wishes ;)
Tell us a joke.
How does an astronaut sever dinner in space? On a flying saucer!