St Maur’s 1989-1993, Sir William Perkins’ 1993-95, RHUL 1995-98, KCL 2000-2002, University of Leicester 2003-2007
PhD, MSc & BSc
The Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Brewing Research International, St George’s Medical School, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, The University of Nottingham and The School of Pharmacy, University of London
Senior Lecturer in Molecular Bioscience
The University of Northampton
Favourite thing to do in my job: Extract DNA!
I manipulate bacterial DNA to see what makes bacteria tick.
I spend my time looking at what makes bacteria bad. I work on 2 bugs currently Campylobacter jejuni which can cause poorly tummies from undercooked food and Clostridium difficile which can cause make people who are in hospital very ill. Nobody really knows why these bacteria cause so much illness. I make mutant bacteria to see if it makes them less likely to cause disease.
My Typical Day
I spend time teaching in the lab & lectures but I squeeze as much lab work in as possible
I have 3 different jobs really. Some of my day is spent teaching undergraduates, this might be in our teaching lab or in a lecture that theatre. I spend a lot of time in my office doing administrative duties such as looking at attendance and collating information from students. I try to plan my day so that I can do some lab work which usually involves plating bacteria and looking at DNA .
What I'd do with the prize money
Use it for outreach activities looking a hygiene, infection control and antibiotic resistance.
I am very passionate about the rising problem of antibiotic resistance and think that we all should know not to take antibiotics for colds, that we should take all of our prescription and also we should make sure we are as hygienic as possible. I would like to develop outreach events related to this – maybe on or around European Antibiotc Awareness Day (18th November)
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
tenacious, methodical, precise
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Presented my work at a conference in Australia
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My biology and chemistry teachers
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Only with my French teacher
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
A Speech Therapist
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Swimming with dolpins
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
More money, more time and to be published in Nature
Tell us a joke.
What do you call a well travelled microbiologist? A man (or woman) of many cultures