Westcliff High School for Girls (2003-2010), University of Warwick (2010-2013), University of York (2013-present)
BSc Biochemistry, A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths, and Further Maths
PhD research student
I work with a bacteria called ‘Chlamydia trachomatis‘, which causes the sexually transmitted disease ‘chlamydia’. This bacteria is intracellular, which means that it lives inside our cells. Normally when bacteria invade our cells they get destroyed by a dustbin-like compartment known as the lysosome. But Chlamydia trachomatis is different. This bacteria is able to hijack the usual system that would otherwise destroy it, and instead create its own home where it’s able to replicate and steal essential nutrients from the cell.
Not much is understood about how Chlamydia trachomatis is able to avoid being destroyed by the cell. That’s where I come in! I’m trying to identify proteins that the bacteria produces that enable it to avoid being destroyed in the dustbin-like lysosome.
The more we understand about how the bacteria invades our cells and manages to survive within them, the easier it will be to design and develop effective antibiotics that can be used to treat infected patients and also develop vaccines to prevent other people from being infected.
My Typical Day:
Every day is different, but will always include lab experiments, reading about other people’s research, writing reports…and of course, a cake!
Working in science naturally means that no two days will be the same! I am mostly in the lab carrying out experiments trying to identify which proteins are involved in bacterial survival. I have the opportunity to use a range of experimental techniques, which always makes the day more exciting! Outside of the lab, I also write reports, analyse data, and read papers about what other scientists are doing.
What I'd do with the prize money:
Host an activity stand at a science fair
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Fun, friendly, ditzy
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
There’s too many to choose from!
What's your favourite food?
Definitely chocolate and cake! I’m a big fan of anyone who gives me a chocolate cake!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1) Have lots of money! 2) Live a happy and fulfilled life with no regrets 3) Can I wish for more wishes…?!
Tell us a joke.
Why are there no antibiotics in the jungle? Because parrots-eat-them-all