Towards the end of last year, my supervisor asked me if I might have a project for an undergrad student to take on for their dissertation. Immediately, I jumped at the chance because who doesn't want someone to help with their work? After sifting through many, many emails I arranged to meet with seven undergrads. Over … Continue reading What I’ve learnt by having a student
"The pharma companies already have a cure for cancer, they just wont tell anyone because they wouldn't make any money." The myth that Big Pharma has already cured cancer, and just isn't telling us, has been going around for many years. It's something I often get asked about when I tell people what I do. … Continue reading One drug to cure them all?
A couple of weeks ago the news broke that eating burnt toast can increase your chances of developing cancer. This comes after learning last year that processed meats such as bacon, pork and sausages should be avoided for the same reason. So, what's going on? The link between burnt foods like toast, and overly crisp … Continue reading Why everything gives you cancer
We are now 10 whole days into 2017, and so far (fingers crossed), nobody famous has died. However, this analysis by MIT researchers suggests that 2017 might be worse. Anyway, after much careful thought, deliberation and coffee, here are my 'Top New Years Resolutions That I Will Forget About By February'. Be More Organised This … Continue reading New Year, new m…yeah nothing’s changed.
We've all walked into a lab and seen benches in varying states of disarray. Now you can tell who's who thanks to my new handy guide. 1. The 'Organised' Bench There are two main possibilities as to who this very neat bench belongs to. The first is a new PhD student, desperate to start in … Continue reading How to identify a scientist according to their bench
At my institute, we have a strong public engagement commitment. At first I was wary to get involved, but once I did, I absolutely loved it. We’re very lucky to have a brilliant public engagement manager that organises events and coerces convinces us to take part in everything from fashion shows to open days … Continue reading Why you should make public engagement a priority
Superbugs and antibiotic resistance are hot topics at the minute in the world of medicine and science. A recent UN summit in September focussed on antimicrobial resistance, only the fourth time in history that a health topic has been discussed at the UN General Assembly. The war has been raging for a long time. Since penicillin was … Continue reading We aren’t winning the battle, but we have to win the war
Traditional chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments are extremely harsh on the body. In essence, you're flooding your body with poisonous chemicals in an effort to kill a selected few cells. The side effects of this are huge, and what people commonly think of when they hear the word 'cancer'. Hair loss, sickness and susceptibility to infections. … Continue reading Selectively killing cancer with radiotherapy
Also known as the Second Year blues (but I prefer the alliteration). If I'd have known about this before it hit me, I wouldn't have been so worried. As it turns out, the second year slump is a 'normal' part of the PhD process, as normal as any PhD can be. Saying that, we need … Continue reading The Second Year Slump
I have been in full time education for 22 years. That's 22 'first days at school'. As we start the new school year, I thought I’d take some time to think about what I wish I’d known when I first started my PhD. Usually, it’s a difficult time. You’ve just moved to a new city, probably … Continue reading Things I wish I’d known before starting a PhD