Photo:

Daniel Biggs

I'm not in the lab now. I'm taking my fiancee to see 'Jersey Boys' in London. Thanks for a great two weeks everyone

Favourite Thing: Its hard to pick a thing thats my favourite. I enjoy every part of my job, but I guess I get the most enjoyment out of micro injecting ES cells into a blastocyst.

My CV

Education:

The Brakenhale School for GCSE’s. Bracknell and Wokingham College for ‘A’ Levels and the University of Portsmouth for my degree

Qualifications:

I have a degree in Forensic Biology

Work History:

Cinema, Bar, Bingo Club, Sign company, office. LABORATORY (not in order)

Current Job:

I am a Research Assistant

Employer:

Wellcome Trust Centre For Human Genetics at the University of Oxford

About Me

I am a new dad looking forward to showing my son the world

I live with my fiancee, we bought our first home a couple of years ago and at the end of last year we had our first child.  My fiancee calls me ‘a geek’ and I have to admit I am.  Spiderman is my favourite and I watched the cartoons when I was about 11 at my nans.

I like to watch films, the current Marvel and DC universes are great.  I like to read and play video games, we have a Wii U, a PS3 and a 3DS.  I would like to get a PS4 for my birthday this year, but a new baby does not leave a lot of time for gaming.

Favourite foods are Pizza, KFC.  I enjoy cooking for my finacee, I am not great but I do cook a great Sunday Roast.

My Work

Research Assistant for the Transgenic Core @ Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics

I am lucky enough to work in a building that researches human genetics, and in this building there are many great scientists investigating many different aspects of human diseases.myimage4

A lot of my work involves looking after very special cells.  These are called Embryonic Stem Cells and at one time you were a bundle of these magical cells.

You can think of them as young children, everyday I have to feed them, make sure they have room to grow, and care for them so they do not get sick.  I have to make sure that they are healthy, as they may go on to become a live model.  When we want to generate the mutant, we do my favourite part.  Microinjecting ES cells into a embryo myimage3.

Other jobs involve cleaning and making sure there is enough equipment in the lab for everyone to use and we do not run out.

I have to keep a Lab Book of my results, this book has to be neat and well written, I have to report all results to my group leader.  There are lots of records to keep in our area and being organised definitely helps.

My Typical Day

Looking after Embryonic Stem Cells, Running PCR’s, keeping good records and inputting results.

A typical day involves an early start.  Our new son wakes me up early, usually around 5am.  I spend an hour feeding him and make sure he is happy and then try to get him to sleep.  I put him back in his cot and then get ready for work.  After a shower and getting dressed, I go downstairs and prepare my lunch for the day and some fruits for my fiancee.  I eat breakfast, Shreddies are my favourite at the moment, wash it down with a cup of tea and head to work.

I have a motorbike to go to work, I have to be careful.  We live in a small village and the roads can be unpredictable.

At work I review what happened yesterday and then plan he day ahead.  I have to check what results we need to process and which experiments to set up.  I mentioned those embryonic stem cells, and these guys need looking after.

The team I am in will have a cup of tea around 10 in the morning, and its great to catch up with everyone and talk about TV and films.

We have lunch at 1pm, and then back to work. At 4pm its time to start packing away samples and get on the bike to gohome.

The evenings involve all the joys of a baby! Dirty nappies, milk from a bottle and then a bath.  This is a great time, our son loves a bath and I tell him about my day.  Then we tidy up, put him to bed and then relax little before our bed time.

What I'd do with the money

I would love to create an activity based on the technology I use at work

In recent years a technology has been developed that allows us to edit DNA with great precision, something we make use of in our lab.  I believe this new technology has the ability to change medicine and the way we study disease and our own DNA.

Its recently been in the news as a Lab in London has been granted permisson to alter human embryos.

If I was lucky enough to win, I would like to create a way of explaining this great technology to children and adults in a way that is easy to understand and fun to watch and take part in.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Calm, Fun and Confident

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Incubus (Fav Band)

What's your favourite food?

mmmmm KFC, no Pizza, no Nandos, maybe Wagamama. KFC!

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Last Summer I flew over the Eden project in Cornwall on a Zipwire,

What did you want to be after you left school?

A Forensic Scientist

Were you ever in trouble at school?

Once, I got a detention for dropping Litter. My parents were not happy with me so I never got a detention again.

What was your favourite subject at school?

Science and German

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

Get published in Nature

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

I loved a TV show growing up that was about a Forensic Pathologist. But the belief of my Family inspired me to be whatever I wanted to be.

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

mmmm I would be a Bingo Manager in South Africa

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

1) A Wedding 2) A bigger house 3) be better at playing Guitar

Tell us a joke.

There are 2 fish in a tank, one turns to the other and asks “how do you drive this thing?’

Other stuff

Work photos:

myimage1 This is where the team works.  We have to work 2 to a bench, but this is good because you dont get lonely and the work is more enjoyable.

myimage2I look after the Special ES cells here.  You can see the clean hoods on the left. We use these so the the cells are protected from contamination for us, and they dont contaminate us.