Soapbox Science: How did you get to your current position?
I’m currently a 3rd year PhD student. I got my current position by applying for a BBSRC funded PhD at Newcastle University (where I was undertaking an MRes) when the original project I was due to start fell through, I contacted Prof Quinn to discuss the project in her lab within 5 minutes of hearing the project details I love it.
SS: What, or who, inspired you to get a career in science?
From an early age I loved science and ecology programmes, Sir David Attenborough being one of my heroes. For my 8th birthday my grandad bought me a child’s microscope and chemistry set, we used to spend hours in his garage (my science laboratory) look at samples from the garden down the microscope and making slime, salt crystals and in all honesty probably just a big mess!
SS: What is the most fascinating aspect of your research/work?
Currently I am working on the major human fungal pathogen Candida albicans, I am completely in awe of its ability to survive within virtually every anatomical niche within the host and also to evade the immune response (when taken up by macrophages it makes the switch from yeast to hyphae and punches its way out).
SS: What attracted you to Soapbox Science in the first place?
I was lucky enough that when my supervisor previously took part I got the opportunity to volunteer. I thought the Soapbox science concept was great but I was sceptical at how many members of the public would actually engage with it, this is something I was very wrong about! In particular I remember how enthusiastic some of the children were and this I found really rewarding.
SS: Sum up in one word your expectations for the day
SS: If you could change one thing about the scientific culture right now, what would it be?
The perception what and who a scientist should be, science is for everyone as long as you’re interested, everything else should be irrespective.
SS: What would be your top recommendation to a woman studying for a PhD and considering pursuing a career in academia?
Go for it!