What is your job title?

PhD Student

Please describe your journey into STEM?

My journey into STEM began when I was younger, going into work with my mum on the weekends. My mum works in the local hospital haematology lab, processing patient blood samples. I loved watching her make blood films and looking at them under the microscope, learning and identifying all the different cell types. With a keen curiosity for biology throughout school I applied to University to continue my studies. Throughout university I continued to love being in the lab, looking forward to practicals and organising summer research projects. Now I am a PhD student and I spend every day in the lab, investigating complex questions and carrying out different experiments.

What is a STEM-related question or challenge you would love to solve one day?

I want to understand what factors contribute to memory loss in dementia and old age. My research, specifically focuses on the role of blood vessels in the brain which are vital for ensuring the brain receives an adequate blood supply. When these vessels get damaged the blood supply to the brain becomes compromised which can affect our memory. I want to work out what processes can damage blood vessels and how we can stop these processes.

Why do you think the Great Science Share for Schools is important?

At school I remember thinking how on earth can I know what I want to do when I am older? There are so many jobs, careers and professions, how do I begin to know what is right for me? Having the opportunity to talk to people, hear other people’s stories and ask questions is important for beginning to work out what is right for you. It helps you understand what people do, what they enjoy, (and importantly) what they don’t enjoy so you can put yourself in their shoes and answer some of your own questions!

What is your Twitter handle?

@declaired