• Question: what made you get into science?

    Asked by bethan123 to Anabel, Soudi, Bill on 2 May 2020. This question was also asked by adam young, LeahR.
    • Photo: Anabel Martinez Lyons

      Anabel Martinez Lyons answered on 2 May 2020:


      Hi Bethan- I think it was finding science in school to be fascinating, particularly when we learnt about DNA and how many human diseases can be caused or influenced by the genetic information we inherit from our mothers and fathers. I then went to a 3-week summer program at a university in America when I was 16 during my summer holidays where I got to clone a gene from jellyfish that makes them glow (called GFP) into some bacteria, which made them glow, and other experiments like that. I knew I wanted to be a scientist who worked in a lab (we call them ‘wet lab scientists’) from then on. I went on to study human genetics at university, followed by looking at a rare group of genetic disorders called mitochondrial disorders for my post-graduate degree, and now I’m something called a research fellow, and I study the genetic causes of liver cancers. Thanks for your question!

    • Photo: Soudabeh Imanikia

      Soudabeh Imanikia answered on 5 May 2020:


      Hi Bethan,
      I always loved science at school. It was the cool and not-boring topic for me. However, it was the day that I first heard about the cloned sheep, Dolly, that my jaw just dropped and I went “wow, I want to become a scientist and do similar things”. Well spoiler alert: I don’t clone sheep but I do clone different genes into bacteria and then then use the construct that I have made to introduce into the C. elegans worms that I use. I make the worms glow (flurescent proteins) or I switch on/off some genes at specific times and under specific conditions. So my overall dream has come true.
      My non-science reason for becomin a scientist is my grandpa, who always encoureged me to study, to study what I enjoy. And with that I was so focused to achieve what I dreamt of.

    • Photo: Bill Carton

      Bill Carton answered on 18 Jun 2020:


      Hi Bethan, Fantastic question! Sorry for the delayed response! I always loved biology in school and it was the only subject I enjoyed! I didn’t really like plant biology though and was much more interested in studying diseases and how they work and how scientists were trying to cure them! Then when my own grandfather got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and I started reading up on it, I decided I wanted to study biomedical science and go into research to try make a difference! Thanks for your great question!

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