Before beginning my PhD research at Barts, I completed my BSc in Biological Sciences at Kings College London. I then completed the MSc in Molecular Pathology and Genomics at Barts Cancer Institute, which was a great foundation to build on and start my PhD.
My current research is focused on studying the Receptor Tyrosine Kinase ‘Met’ and its role in Cancer. In particular I concentrate on the different ways that Met traffics within cancer cells, using different cancer based models, including a model of breast cancer progression and a model of various oncogenic Met mutations found in human cancer. My research has a specific emphasis on investigating the mechanisms of cancer metastasis, examining cell migration and invasion. Our aim is to investigate whether the localisation of the Met receptor within cells can affect tumour growth and metastasis.
Life at the Institute
The work environment at the Institute is fantastic. It is both exciting and stimulating, and each day brings something different. I am constantly learning something new, usually from a friendly colleague. Everyone is very encouraging and ready to offer you their help or advice whenever you need it. This strong support network was invaluable to me throughout my PhD. The Institute has a seminar series, giving you the opportunity to listen to the work of visiting scientists as well as your colleagues. Finally, the Barts Cancer Institute has a fantastic location in central London, which is great for socialising after a long day in the lab!
I very much enjoyed attending the European Association of Cancer Research conference in Oslo. This gave me a fantastic chance to listen to talks from leading scientists on their current work. It was also a great opportunity to network and meet others as well as get valuable feedback on my own work from top scientists.
Taking part in the “Junk the Jargon”competition was a great challenge. Participants had 3 minutes to present their research topic in simple terms to people from other fields. No computers were allowed! This was really fun and encouraged us to be thoroughly creative!
There is no one particular moment of despair, but sometimes I have made silly mistakes, which have made me feel quite dejected. However, you learn a lot from experiences such as these, as you never want to make the same mistake again!
At the beginning I felt like there was lots of time for my project, but it flies by so fast! Things always seem to take much longer than you think they will and there are times when everything seems to be going wrong! However, with a bit of perseverance and motivation you get there. It’s worth it in the end!
It’s a great idea to work on time management and be organised right from the beginning.
I hope to continue working in academia, gaining more experience and further understanding of the mechanisms involved in cancer metastasis.