Meet the Scientist
3rd Year PhD Student at Quadram Institute Bioscience
What scientific field do you work in?
Molecular biology- more specifically I research how diet can improve the way our cells use energy.
"I find factual radio shows really comforting to listen to..."
Could you briefly explain what your job involves?
Day-to-day, my job involves growing human cell lines and treating them with health-promoting dietary compounds; then I analyse the cells’ metabolic profile.
Do you have any secret talents?
I’m a singer/songwriter. This isn’t such a secret any more, but when I was younger I was really self conscious about my voice and wouldn’t sing for anyone. It took me a long time to gain my confidence but now I write my own music and sing all the time!
When did you decide you wanted to work as a scientist?
I never really decided to be a scientist, I just followed my heart and did what made me happy – which turned out to be science! I just always knew I wanted to do something intellectually stimulating with a humanitarian goal.
What's your favourite food?
What educational pathway did you take to get to where you are now?
I completed my A-levels in Chemistry, Biology and Maths (which I really struggled with) before going to university to study Biomedicine. After my undergraduate degree I decided to continue in science and went straight on to study for my PhD.
What's your favourite movie quote?
“A heart is shown not by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.”
– The Wizard of Oz
"...I really learned a lot about how to grow real human cells!"
What was the best thing about your job?
The flexibility to get involved with extra-curricular activities. I get involved with a lot of extra stuff and have had some amazing experiences in science communication – I even got chance to run an educational festival!
"It took me a long time to gain my confidence..."
What was the worst thing about your job?
Research is a continuous process so it has no start point and no real end, which can be frustrating and overwhelming at times!
If you could take one thing with you to an island, what would it be and why?
A radio. I find factual radio shows really comforting to listen to, and I think I’d want to be able to hear what was going on in the outside world.
Have you taken part in any research?
Yes, I do a lot of research as part of my PhD; however I think my most exciting project was probably my first undergraduate research internship. I was studying how tendon cells respond to stress and strain so I really learned a lot about how to grow real human cells!
If you could be anyone in the world for 24 hours, who would you be?
Cara Delevigne – she’s beautiful and talented and I think it’d be really fun to see life from the perspective of a high-flying model for a day.
Ask Sophie a question