University of Dundee

Francesca Auciello

I come from Naples, in the South part of Italy, but I graduated in Rome at the second University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, where I gained both my Bachelor and my Master degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. During my Master I spent one year in a Molecular Genetics lab in which I worked on Tyrosine Phosphatases’ specificity and it was in that period that I realised that research would have been my future.

After my graduation in March 2011, I had the opportunity to apply at the 4-Year Welcome Trust PhD Programme at the College of Life Sciences in Dundee. I immediately understood it was a great chance for me since this program allows you to gain experience in different biological fields during the first year, after which you will make a more conscious decision about your final 3-Year PhD. Also it gives you the opportunity to work in a very challenging and highly professional environment, fully equipped with the most advanced technologies and a range of experts always ready to help you during your research work.

While totally enjoying this wonderful experience, I have to admit that I am still dealing with the Scottish weather; coming from the South part of Italy, I was not really used to such low temperatures but I also have to say that, compared to the other Scottish cities, Dundee is a very sunny one.

Currently I am at the end of my first rotation in Julian Blow’s lab where my aim was to characterise a protein involved in the regulation of the cell cycle which is also a well-known tumoral marker but whose precise function is still unclear. Here I had the opportunity to learn a lot of new biochemical techniques, surrounded by a really friendly and helpful team.