Meet a Scientist

 


As soon as I saw Erin’s Instagram I just knew I had to feature her here! I love the balance of science and sport, two things that I’m super keen on. Her topic of research is also really interesting so I’m sure that you’re going to enjoy reading her interview as much as I did!


Rebecca | An Anxious Scientist


@notthattypeofdoctor

unnamed

Hello and welcome to An Anxious Scientist! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello! I’m Erin and I’m a fourth year PhD student studying Ewing sarcoma at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

Could you describe your science interests in a single sentence?

I am interested in rare pediatric cancers and developing targeted chemotherapies that are safer and more effective than the current standard-of-care options, which tend to be non-specific and have long-term side effects.

How did you become interested in science?

That’s a great question and I don’t really know, to be honest. It was always my favorite subject. There was never anything I was interested in more than science. I decided on pediatric cancer research after my sisters lost their best friend to leukemia.

If science doesn’t work out, what is your back up plan?

All of my alternative plans are science related! But in a perfect world I would love to be a beach bum dog walker.

That sounds like my idea of a perfect day job! What are your go-to tunes or podcasts to get through a busy day?

I mostly listen to music and what I listen to is super dependent on my mood. I’ve been listening to Hamilton, Beyonce, and Kesha a lot lately. Actually, Beyonce is always in the mix lol.

Channelling your inner Beyonce is always the way to go!! Which social media platform do you use the most?

I use Instagram and Twitter equally.

Who are your favourite scicommers to follow?

I like following Lisa (@lisa_inascienceworld) because we share a lot of the same interests outside of science, namely CrossFit and that’s awesome to see. I also benefit a great deal from the PhD top tips on her blog. I enjoy following Sophie Arthur (@soph.talks.science). Of all the scicommers I’ve found so far, I think our research is the most similar in that we both do cancer-related work.

What’s your best destresser?

CrossFit. For sure. Closely followed by sleeping.

Who is your science inspiration?

My undergrad mentor, Dr. Patricia Szczys. She is so passionate about not only her work, but also science as a process in general and I loved being able to work with her for four years. She’s also a wonderful example of balancing science and family responsibilities. I ultimately decided to pursue a different field and she helped guide me to what was best for me, even though it meant leaving her field. I have so much respect for her and I hope that I can emulate the qualities I love about her as a mentor and human being for my students one day.

What books (science or otherwise!) do you recommend?

I love The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins. It was required reading during my first year of graduate school. As a molecular biologist, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture in terms of nature and how magnificent it is. This book forces you to take a step back and think about everything from a different perspective. Props to my program director for requiring us to read it! 

I love that book! And finally, what is the best thing about being a scientist?

I get to contribute to society in a positive and meaningful way while doing cool things!


You can follow Erin on Instagram @notthattypeofdoctor for a “sarcastic documentation of my pursuit of a PhD in Cell Biology!”



Previous featured scientists

bio_is_life

bioislife

Hi there! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi guys, I’m Charlie and I’m currently a baby biochemist studying at the University of Portsmouth, I’m just about to go into my second year and I hope to be a scientist one day!

Could you describe your science interests in a single sentence?

I love anything that’s about microbes and genetics.

How did you become interested in science?

When I started GCSEs I had always liked science but when I started triple science I fell in love with biology in the first lesson – I was lucky and had a really intelligent, passionate teacher!

If science doesn’t work out, what is your back up plan?

Maybe an evil engineer, you don’t tend to get evil scientists – what is their hypothesis?! Or perhaps a pilot, that could be fun too!

What are your go-to tunes or podcasts to get through a busy day?

I don’t really listen to podcasts but I do love 80s music!

Which social media platform do you use the most?

I always use Instagram, I’m on it all the time – I’m pretty sure I have a slight addiction to it…

Who are your favourite scicommers to follow?

I really love @ananxiousscientist, @thestemsquad and @soph.talks.science.

Who is your science inspiration?

I absolutely love Rosalind Franklin, she is definitely someone to aspire to be like and she is a great role model! I’d also say that my biology teacher inspired me a lot to do everything I have so far in science!

What books (science or otherwise!) do you recommend?

I’m reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot at the moment and so far I love it! I would also recommend The Epigenetics Revolution by Nessa Carey.

And finally, what is the best thing about being a scientist?

The best thing about being a scientist is to be able to learn about things you never knew existed and be able to find out how things work, for me that’s the most exciting part! It’s also pretty fun being able to do experiments and play around with cool lab equipment!


You can keep up to date with Charlie’s science world by following her Instagram, @bio_is_life.


@Ms_Materials

ms_materials

Welcome to An Anxious Scientist! Please introduce yourself to the readers!

Hello everyone!! I am a postdoctoral researcher in Materials Science! I am 29 years old living in Oxfordshire. I love my cat, my husband (obvs second to the cat!), running, dressing up and travelling. Oh and Game of Thrones!!

Love that the cat comes first!! Could you describe your research in a single sentence?

I investigate the ‘strength’ of materials and characterise their microstructure in order to aid the material selection process when designing structural components in a nuclear reactor! 

Wow, that sounds so cool! What is one piece of scicomm advice that you swear by?

I am relatively new to sharing my ‘science’ life through scicomm but I love following other scientist on social media!

Do you have a ‘if science doesn’t work out’ back up plan?

Haha totally something to do with fashion!! A job that would allow me to wear amazing outfits and feel beautiful daily! 

What’s your go-to snack to get you through the busiest days?

Coffee is a daily MUST! But late night we have an ice-cream and bagels shop right next to the lab that is open till midnight!! Perfect for late night lab sessions! (www.gdcafe.com)

A midnight ice cream trip sounds like my idea of heaven! What social media platform do you use the most?

Instagram!!! I love it. Before Ms_Materials I used a personal account that is basically my life in a nutshell. I never really got onto the Snapchat hype (maybe it’s my age!)

Do you have any particular Instagram favourites?

Well like I said I am relatively new to this but I love @ananxiousscientist and @the.girl.in.the.lab.

Who is your science inspiration?

Erica Lilleoden! She is in my field and I have met her a number of times but she is the woman I want to be!!

What science books do you recommend?

I recently posted and read a materials science book by Mark Miodownik called ‘Stuff Matters’ a very interesting read!

And finally, what is the best thing about being a scientist?

I get to learn more about the world daily and I am engineering a better future. Hopefully my work will make a difference 🙂


You can find out lots more about Anna and the beauty of materials science by following her Instagram (@ms_materials).


@eat_sleep_pipette_repeat

eatsleeppipetterepeat

Hi there! Please introduce yourself for the An Anxious Scientist readers!

I’m Christopher Ford born in Edinburgh and now PhD’ing in Hamburg, Germany. My focus is HIV research.

Could you describe your research in a single sentence?

I look at the consequence of immune pressure on HIV-1 capsid stability and innate sensing.

What is one piece of scicomm advice that you swear by?

Be visual and keep it simple.

If science doesn’t work out, what is your back up plan?

Plan B is to start a cat coffee house.

What’s your go-to food/beverage for early morning or late night lab stints?

The day starts with a coffee to pick me up and finishes with a beer to wind on down.

What social media platform do you use the most?

Mainly Instagram and LinkedIn.

Who are your favourite scicommers to follow?

Definitely got to say Rebecca Hall, but otherwise Michael Mosley.

Who is your science inspiration?

I’m inspired by my students.

What science books do you recommend?

I totally recommend Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre.

And finally, what is the best thing about being a scientist?

Science allows you to be a student of life for life, to explore, discovery and contribute just that little bit more to the world.


You can find out more about Chris and his science life by following his Instagram (@eat_sleep_pipette_repeat).


@soph.talks.science

sophtalksscience

Hi Soph! Thank you for being my very first Meet a Scientist! Where are you working at the moment?

Hey! Thanks for having me. I feel honoured to to be your first contributor. I am currently heading into the final year of my PhD at the University of Southampton.

Could you describe your research in a single sentence?

I study how metabolism keeps stem cells pluripotent, or in lay terms I study how a stem cells ‘sweet tooth’ keeps them from turning into other cell types.

What is one piece of scicomm advice that you swear by?

I think I would say ‘a good analogy’. It is so much easier for your audience to take it and remember what you’re trying to tell them if they can relate to it.

If science doesn’t work out, what is your back up plan?

Ooo this is a tough one! So many things to choose from. I would love to be paid to travel the world exploring, learning different languages and taking photos, but I would probably end up being a chef. I do love to cook when I have the time and I have cooked for Russel Crowe and Stephen Hawking before (my claim to fame!) so I could add to that list 😛

That’s definitely a claim to fame! Speaking of food, what’s your go-to snack/beverage for early morning or late night lab stints?

I guess most people would say a strong coffee for this – but I hate the stuff! But I do have a massive sweet tooth so I usually grab some chocolate or sweets if I’m in the lab late and I need to keep going.

What social media platform do you use the most?

I would definitely say Instagram at the moment. I use so many different platforms and each of those targets a different audience, so it’s important to learn which one is right for you.

Who are your favourite scicommers to follow?

There are so many as part of the STEM squad – but I love @science.sam, @scigirlsash, @astronomeramber, @sciencebeaut and so many more.

Who is your science inspiration?

I don’t think there was a single person that made me think ‘I want to be a scientist like you’. Science was just what I was good at and what I was most fascinated by. But now I am inspired everyday by the scientists around me both in person and the online community and the work they do and how their minds work.

What science books do you recommend?

I’m not a big reader in all honesty. Although I would recommend Richard Dawkins’ books and also Intuition by Allegra Goodman. Most of my out of lab science reading though is mainly magazines. I like to keep up to date on science from all fields so I’m always reading New Scientist.

And finally, what is the best thing about being a scientist?

Simple – discovering something new and at that moment being the only person in the world to know it! What is cooler than that eh?


Check out Soph’s blog (https://sophtalksscience.wordpress.com/), Twitter (@sophtalkssci) and Instagram (@soph.talks.science) for a great insight into her world of stem cells and science inspiration!