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PROFESSIONAL PROFILE- PhD( Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine)

Name: Rachel

What do you currently study: PhD in Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

What a levels did you study : Biology, Chemistry and Maths plus AS Level French

Describe your journey to date in 3 words : Challenging,varied and fun.

Brief description of your role:-My PhD involves my own research project developing a new method to detect lung cancer earlier. I also help supervise undergraduate and MSc students during their lab projects as well as analysing samples for some other projects and collaborations not directly related to my PhD. This gives me more experience and the potential for extra publications.

What motivated you to pursue a career in science: I wanted to do medicine but without the blood and gore and I’ve always been interested in how things work

What drives you to stay motivated: The exciting, ground-breaking research I’m involved in or hear about which has the potential to change lives. And when things aren’t going so well, the knowledge that I am learning and developing, and improving my career prospects by completing my PhD

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow a similar career path to yours : Take advantage of any opportunities that come your way. You never know where it might lead. Attend conferences and network as much as possible and try to be positive!

Describe how you manage your work life balance : It’s easy to get carried away and spend all your time working so I work a standard 9-5 day during the week. Occasionally lab work might require some weekend working (especially those pesky cells!) but I always take extra time off in the week to make up for it. Having set hours means I don’t ‘burn out’ and I’m more focused when I’m at work.

Tips on applying for internships: Always send applications to a named person if it’s a speculative application, and tailor your application and CV for each role. You will get some rejections but learn from them. It usually works out for the best.


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