Seven questions with Becky Jones
5 June 2018
This week we meet PhD student Becky Jones who is researching the role of calcium signalling in cell migration.
Why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?
The research that I'm doing is really exciting. Cell migration is important in development and in wound healing and can be disastrous when it goes wrong - just look at cancer spreading and invading other parts of the body. If we could manipulate cell migration we could promote wound healing or prevent inappropriate migration. I love science but have also been interested in patent law for a few years now. I'd like to combine these two passions and become a patent attorney focussing on life sciences or medical devices.
What is the most interesting thing you've done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?
I applied to work for Project Active in the first year of my PhD and it's the best decision I could have made. Project Active is a UCL/Student's Union initiative aimed at getting more staff and students active by removing the barriers to sport such as cost, commitment, and any nervousness about taking part. I organise the registers and help brainstorm new sessions that we could run. I've been able to set up a Park Yoga session that we have just run for the second year now! It's also super fun to try out all the different sports that we arrange.
Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?
Again, I have to say Project Active! We run super fun sessions but not that many people of heard of us. Outside of the UCL bubble, I'd recommend Angel Comedy Club - you pay what you think its worth so it's great on a student budget!
Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:
1. Try out a Project Active session!
2. Visit the Natural History Museum
3. Picnic-ing in one of the parks
If you were Provost for the day what one thing would you do?
I would allocate more funding to student wellbeing projects. Mental health is a major issue for students and most universities don't allocate the resources to support all students adequately. There is always more that could be done and I would want to make sure that UCL are leading this field.
Who inspires you and why?
My dad inspires me. Ever since I was a child he has helped me learn and be curious - he even used to write out math questions for me to do for fun - which is probably the reason that I'm now a scientist. He has had quite a few health problems but never been anything but optimistic and has always supported me and my sister to be the best people that we can be. I wouldn't be the person I am if it wasn't for him and I'm proud to have him as my dad.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
Despite working for the sports department, I used to be incredibly bad at sport. When I was 13 I had bad hayfever one day and couldn't see very well. Unfortunately, it was hurdles day and instead of jumping over them I ran through most of them and jumped in the wrong places. Luckily my enjoyment of sport was rekindled at university!