I have quite a diverse background culturally, geographically and academically. I was born in Britain but left while I was still a toddler. I then lived in Taiwan for about ten years before immigrating to Vancouver, Canada for another ten. I returned to Britain to complete my undergraduate degree in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Exeter; it was a challenging but very rewarding programme that deepened my interest in pharmaceutical chemistry.
However, even though my degree training involved a heavy element of chemistry, most of the short-term research projects I’d done up to this point had been biology-oriented. I spent each summer of my undergraduate years at different labs in Beijing, Taiwan and Exeter, working on various projects ranging from the inhibitory effects of Chinese herbal extracts of Hepatitis B Virus, to the identification of microorganisms that could potentially be used for biofuel production. I suppose it was my eclectic background in research that particularly attracted me to the Wellcome Trust 4-year Programme. The opportunity to rotate in three labs in our first year seemed like an excellent way to dabble in a few areas and acquire different skills which I could later build and rely on in my career.
Currently I am nearing the end of my first rotation project in Professor Julian Blow’s lab in the Division of Gene Regulation and Expression. I have been working on comparing the cell cycle dynamics and DNA replication patterns in human primary cell lines and cancer cells.
I am absolutely loving the research environment here, and from all the places I’ve been before, to me personally this is by far one of the best places to do science. I feel very motivated by the dedicated and encouraging atmosphere around me, and the friendliness of everyone who works here is already making me feel like part of a family and perhaps more importantly, a member of the scientific community.