UCL Faculty of Life Sciences


Su Datt Lam, Structural and Molecular Biology

Su Datt completed his PhD in Structural and Molecular Biology in 2018, and is currently working as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Malaysia.

Su Datt
What inspired you to study at UCL?

My brother went to university in the UK first, and I remember visiting him and walking down Oxford Street, passing Bloomsbury theatre, and seeing some of the sights. Everything felt so close together, and diverse, and I really liked the city vibe.

Another reason would be because of my supervisor, Professor Christine Orengo. She’s very prominent in the field and it felt like I was learning from the guru.

What did you most enjoy about studying in London?

I like that there is so much to do and see within a 5–10 minute walk of UCL; there’s a lot of galleries, theatres and parks around. There’s also a lot of food to try – I still miss that!

What is your favourite memory of studying at UCL?

I think it’s the relationship that I had with my supervisors – it’s very different to what we have in Malaysia. I feel it’s more relaxed in the UK, for example, we’re encouraged to call our professors by their first name.

The resources available at UCL are also incredible; all of the computer software and lab equipment, and if there’s something that you need that they don’t have they’ll be able to order it in for you.

What is your current job title and where are you currently working?

I’m currently back in Malaysia working as a Senior Lecturer in the University of Malaysia. I do everything from teaching to supervising students from undergraduate level right up to PhD level.

The University of Malaysia actually sponsored me to study at UCL.

How do you think UCL has helped you in your career?

Before I studied at UCL I would have described myself as someone who was very timid. At UCL I really came out of my shell, and I met so many different people from all over the world. It really helped to expand my mindset and I learnt a lot about myself.

What advice would you give to your current or prospective students?

One thing I regret is not getting involved in everything straight away, so my advice would be to try and embrace everything you can as soon as possible. At UCL you have the opportunity to try so many different things, and get involved in different societies and activities. You also have the opportunity to meet so many people, from both UCL and externally, and can really build your network, which can really help you in the future!