Looking forward to the final! Good luck to all the other finalists :)
I did my GCSEs and A Levels at Plantsbrook School in Sutton Coldfield (1995-2001), I got my degree from The University of Birmingham (2001-2005) and my PhD from The University of Bristol (2006-2009)
A-Levels (Biology, Chemistry, Maths), Degree (Medical Science – BMedSc), PhD (Nociception and the cerebellum)
The University of Birmingham, UK; The University of Queensland, Australia
The University of Birmingham
Favourite thing to do in my job: Doing experiments of course!
I love brains – I want to know more about how we remember the events that make us happy or sad
I work in the Memory Persistence Laboratory at The University of Birmingham.
We are interested in learning and memory and in particular a process called “reconsolidation”.
Reconsolidation allows us to change the memories we already have – usually so we can add more information. I am trying to learn more about it with the hope that we can use this to try and change the memories that aren’t helpful, like being afraid of spiders or being addicted to drugs.
Check out my video here: http://voice.adobe.com/v/FLU7jBnsMGa
My Typical Day
Running experiments, analysing data, reading scientific papers, drinking tea.
A typical day for me would probably involve running an experiment in the morning, analysing the data I had generated that day in the afternoon and reading papers. Depending on how energetic I was feeling I might also try to fit in a spin class somewhere too!
What I'd do with the prize money
Use it to create some interactive tools/games to help me explain my science at the British Science Festival in September
Sometimes it’s difficult to explain what I do without people starting to yawn… if I won the money I would use it to create an interactive game to allow people to experience what it’s like to be in my lab. I will take it to the British Science Festival in September, in Birmingham – come and visit me!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Nerdy, enthusiastic, traveller
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Got to travel all over the world
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My dad (he’s a pharmacist)
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really – I saved it all up for when I got home (sorry mum!)
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Swimming with sea turtles on the Great Barrier Reef duuuude
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. Unlimited money so that I could research whatever I want and also go on holiday whenever I want. 2. Ability to teleport so that I would never be late and it wouldn’t take so long to get to Australia. 3. Able to eat and drink whatever I want and not get fat!
Tell us a joke.
Q. Does an apple a day keep the doctor away? A. Yes, if you aim it well enough!