I did my undergraduate studies in Molecular Medicine at
Sussex University. At that time I had no idea that I would be doing a PhD a few
years later. I decided to do a Masters
degree in Neuroscience at Kings College London to help me decide between a
career in Medicine or Research. After completing my Masters I worked at KCL to
gain more experience within the lab. The time I spent there was the driving
force behind my decision to do a PhD.
After doing some research online and talking to various
people, I decided that a PhD program was the best choice for me. I was
instantly drawn to the LMCB due to its location and the variety of research
that was taking place there. I was pleasantly surprised at the interview day by
the friendly atmosphere and the number of core facilities available within the
building, such as the EM facility.
During the first year of the program, we were given the
opportunity to select our lab rotations one by one rather than in one go. Not
all programs allow for this and I think the LMCB have made the right decision
by letting their students take their time and allow for students to change
their mind. I chose my rotations very carefully knowing that I wanted to use
the rotations as a way to try different model organisms. Here at the LMCB I got
the opportunity to work with Dictyostelium,
Xenopus, Drosophila, rodents and cell culture. I was very pleased with my
choices and would have gladly completed my thesis in any of the three labs.
Also in the first year we had the opportunity to attend a
student conference in Italy. This was a great opportunity to meet other
students and talk about their research and life as a Scientist in Italy. There
are many opportunities to attend conferences while at the LMCB. Again, this is
not something that all PhD students are offered but here at the LMCB attending and
presenting at conferences is actively encouraged.
Another reason why I applied for a PhD at the LMCB was the
chance to go to the University of San Francisco, California, to gain experience
at a lab of my choice. I was very fortunate to be selected to go on this exchange
to join the lab of Professors Lily and Yuh-Nung Jan. The 10 weeks I spent there
was an excellent opportunity to be part of a large and hugely successful lab.
I am currently working in Prof. Franck Pichaud's lab investigating the role of Rap1/dizzy on adherens junction remodelling during epithelial organogenesis.