Photo:

Stuart Cannon

Favourite Thing: My favourite thing to do in science is understand a new concept! Whether it is something someone has explained to me or even better something I have worked hard to understand by myself. This is my favourite thing in Science because I enjoy learning how things work.

My CV

Education:

I wen to bath Spa University where I got top of my class in my Biology degree and now I study at the University of Manchester!

Qualifications:

GCSEs, A-Levels, Bachelors degree in SCIENCE!

Work History:

I’ve worked in clothes shops, as a barman, as an A-level tutor, a volunteer, a wakeboarding instructor (best job ever!)

Current Job:

Clinical Bioinformatics trainee (genomics)

Employer:

NHS

About Me

I like to think of myself as kind and outgoing person who is dependable in a pinch!

I live close to Exeter and have just got two new puppies! One is a Labrador retriever and the other is a Springer Spaniel named Brave and Buttons, respectively. I believe being a scientist is a state of mind, a way of thinking but before I started training as an official clinical scientist, I went to University to Study Biology. During this time, I worked really hard to learn as much as I could and I also had a  job tutoring other students!

In the summers between University I worked at an American summer camp looking after campers aged 7-13 and my main job there was water-skiing instructor! This was always a dream of mine and being able to learn lots mentally throughout term time and then push myself physically during the summers made for a very rewarding few years! I believe life is all about trying to find a balance between learning lots and being active as often as possible to help stay healthy!

My Work

Clinical Bioinformatician Trainee Scientist

So, I work for the National Health Service and even though I am 25, I am still training! It’s kind of like being at school, but rather than learning at school, I learn at work! how great does that sound!? I work as part of a team of technicians and scientists who look at the DNA of people who are in hospital to try and work out what is making them poorly. We can do this because scientists all over the world have worked really hard to figure out what a healthy person’s DNA should look like. This is important because although it is normal for the order of code of everyone’s DNA to be different (this it is one of the reasons everyone looks different to one another) sometimes, changes in people’s DNA can make them poorly and this is what the team and I try to discover. We then let the doctors know what we find out who then tell the patients and offer treatment.

My role in the team requires me to look at lots of large data sets on the computer and use computer coding/computer programming to analyse and look at this data. It’s really interesting and I’m always trying to solve a puzzle!

My Typical Day

Solve some puzzles!

Because I am training, I have no typical day! Sometimes I’ll write some computer code to analyse some data or automate a task on the computer. Other days I’ll go to patient consultations to see what happens there. Sometimes I go to meetings with other trainees to help organise news ways of training. Sometimes I’ll go to University in Manchester to learn new things. It really is exciting.

What I'd do with the money

Create a workshop that highlights the roles of all the different ways Science supports the NHS!

There is so much science within the NHS! I work in genetics but I also know brain scientists, lung scientists, eye scientists, imaging scientists (x-rays and other radiation!), heart scientists, bacteria and virus scientists. There are soooo many specialisms to choose from. So, I would do is get in touch with all of my friends and organise a big day where we can all get together and run workshops where we teach people in schools about the work we do. There would be something for everyone from computer workshops to solving the genetic code! or listening to the sound of blood rushing through your veins!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Happy, motivated, goofy

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Mumford and Sons

What's your favourite food?

This is a difficult choice but mum’s spaghetti bolognaise (with lots of cheese!)

What is the most fun thing you've done?

This is also really hard but I’ll always remember the awe I felt when I visited the sequoia trees in California (google it!)

What did you want to be after you left school?

A stunt man

Were you ever in trouble at school?

I once took all my fiends stuff out of his bag, turned it inside out, put the stuff back in and zipped it back up! I went to every lesson unless i was poorly and always listened to the teacher.

What was your favourite subject at school?

Maths/music

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

I tried a different way of doing things and made a small discovery that would have helped a poorly person feel better.

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

The pursuit of knowledge and it’s application for good.

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A stunt man/water-skiing instructor.

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

1 .To be able to understand and remember everything the first time I was told/read it (learning is hard but it pays off!). 2. To solve the puzzle of perpetual motion (and make free energy for everyone!) 3. Be an origami master who also plays piano really well.

Tell us a joke.

I met the man who invented window sills. What a ledge.

Other stuff

Work photos: