I can not believe I made it to the final, I am still in shock, this is amazing :)
University College Cork (BSc) and Trinity College Dublin (MSc)
Honors Bachelors degree in Neuroscience and Masters in Neuroscience
Before I started my PhD I worked in a leisure centre as a gym instructor and a swimming teacher.
Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, DCU and CRANN, TCD
Favourite thing to do in science: Experiments with blood, it reminds you are carrying out your research for the good of peoples health. It really makes you realise that you are doing something worthwhile!
My work involves making new biological tests to try diagnose one of the worlds biggest killers, heart disease.
My work involves developing new, more sensitive tests to try and diagnose people who are at risk of Heart Disease. The devices I use are really really tiny. This helps our tests to be more sensitive so we can detect changes in the blood at the nanoscale. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. It’s so small you can not see it with the human eye. This is why we use really tiny devices as it allows us to detect changes in peoples blood that could potentially save lives. My work involves using physics and biology everyday. We use physics to understand what the results of the biological experiment means. We build our own devices which means you have to learn a lot about electronics also.
My Typical Day
A typical day does not exist as a PhD student, every day is different, which I love :)
There is never a typical day in the life of a PhD student. Every day is different which is what I love about it so much. Some days you can be preparing samples for an experiment which you will carry out the next day. I am coming up to my transfer exam now so some days involve a lot of writing and reading scientific papers. Other days can involve helping out with education and outreach, such as being involved in the BT young scientist and helping out with Summer Scholars science clubs.
What I'd do with the money
I would use money to run a workshop for young people based on the research I do.
I think Science Education and Outreach to young people in schools is very important. Our knowledge of Science and Technology is evolving more and more everyday and it is so important young people are well informed about the new and exciting things that are happening in the field. That is why I would love to run a workshop based on the research that I do. As I use physics and biology everyday I think I could really engage young people who have a wide variety of interests. As I work on Heart Disease research, it is an issue that most people can relate too. We see everyday the importance of having a healthy diet, being active and overall trying to lead a healthy life so it is definitely a topic which young people would find very interesting. I would make the workshop very fun, easy to understand and let the students have hands on experience in experiments. Having the hands on experience helps students to understand more about what they are doing rather than just reading it from a book.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Determined, funny & friendly :)
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Tough question, music is a passion of mine but I think I The Frames would be my all time favorite band.
What's your favourite food?
My Mam’s cooking!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
My J1 trip to Boston for three months, amazing times spent with amazing people
What did you want to be after you left school?
A Biologist- and now I am,yay!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Sometimes for talking, I can be a little bit chatty!
What was your favourite subject at school?
Biology and Economics
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Getting involved in Education and Outreach, getting involved in BT Young Scientist, helping out with summer workshops for teenagers. Anything that involves communicating science to young people I love!
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
We had an amazing Biology teacher in secondary school and she really inspired me to work in Science.
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
I would have been a Science teacher.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Health and Happiness for everyone(single wish), to be able to teleport to anywhere at anytime would be awesome,
Tell us a joke.
Knock knock…who’s there…Dr…Dr Who? How did you know my name?
Me on the T.V as part of an episode on the Science Squad, I always wanted to be on T.V! Me, on T.V again (I just thought it was so cool!) The device I built as part of my PhD project, so many wires! This is one of the cool pictures from the Curiosity Festival yesterday in Dublin. You use an app called colAR mix and it brings pictures to life. Its amazing. The parents loved it as much as the kids did. These are some of the drawbots the kids and parents made at the the curiosity festival. Really easy and fun to make. Just design your robots face on a cup, use markers as legs, then you put a battery pack on top and a propeller and off they go! Brilliant!