Here is the next installment in our "A Week In The Life Of" series!

Hello! What is your name and where are you from?

Hello, my name is Phoebe and I'm from Scarborough. 

Where do you work and what is your job?

I am a Scientist at the University of Nottingham. 

Please can you tell us a little more about where you work and the industry it is in?

I work in the Brain Tumour Research Centre within the University of Nottingham. I carry out research on brain tumours to enhance patient survival and quality of life. This is one of many research groups within the university.

What is a typical day like in your job?

I spend most of my time within the laboratory. I work with real patient cells which I grow in flasks and test different chemotherapies on these cells and look at genetic changes. This work varies day to day, whereby one week I could be growing cells, and the next I can be working with a real human brain!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The potential that the work I do could enhance the life of children and adult patients who have a brain tumour.

Did you go to college or university? If so, what did you study and where?

Yes, I went to Scarborough Sixth Form College (Biology, Chemistry and Business Studies) followed by Biochemistry and Forensic Science at Keele University. I then went on to do a PhD at the University of Nottingham in Brain Tumour Research.

Why did you choose to study this subject/s?

I have always been good at science so I grew a passion for it. I realised early on at university that I wanted to do a PhD and go into cancer research. The thought of being able to help people is a big driving force.

Does your degree relate to your job? If so, how?

Yes, my degree is all science based which is what I now do. Forensic Science is not directly applicable, however, some of the things I learnt (such as genetics) has really come in handy at times.

How has the COVID-19 lockdown affected your job?

Yes, I had to change from working in labs to working from home for 6 months. Luckily it gave me time to write scientific papers and my thesis, but it is hard being a wet-lab scientist out of a lab!

Please can you tell us about your "Career Journey"?

After my degree I wanted to take a break from Science so I went to teach in Spain for a year (English as a foreign language near Barcelona). This was a huge career change and it brought me back to science as it was not something I was passionate about- however it was a great opportunity to travel and learn a new language myself!

What would be your one piece of advice for someone who is looking into the job sector you work in?

Make sure you are passionate about science. It is a long competitive road (especially when you get to PhD level), but it is also extremely rewarding if you are passionate about it. Choose topics that interest you, because learning isn’t always fun and easy!

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