• Question: Have you thought about specialising in any other topics of science?

    Asked by kielyb02 to Amelia, Jim, Liz, Prateek, Richard on 13 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Jim Caryl

      Jim Caryl answered on 12 Jun 2011:

      Yes, many times!

      I’m a fan of lots of areas of biological sciences, and even within microbiology there are numerous specialisms. I was very indecisive in the early days, so tried to study as broadly as possible, but the realisation that I had become a specialist or expert in my particular area was actually a surprise to me.

      I don’t feel like I am confined to my specialism though, I’ve developed several other specialisms by necessity, because sometimes you have to step outside of the area you are most comfortable with in order to find different tools/techniques to find the answer to your scientific question.

      I’m always on the look-out for new and interesting topics 😉

    • Photo: Amelia Markey

      Amelia Markey answered on 12 Jun 2011:

      The best thing about the work I do is that it is interdisciplinary which means that I do a bit of everything. Some of my work is biology, some is chemistry, some is physics and some is engineering. I really like learning all the new bits from the different areas. I really didn’t enjoy physics at school but now, because it’s a bit of the puzzle, I really enjoy it. I think things are a lot more interesting when you can see their use. So hopefully I can carry on working in different areas rather than becoming a specialist.

    • Photo: Richard Badge

      Richard Badge answered on 12 Jun 2011:

      I didn’t do Physics at A level, and although that’s not a problem for my research in Genetics, it does mean its one branch of science that I love to study and read about…

      I got Prof. Brian Cox’s “Wonders of the Solar System” book for Christmas and am always reading about space exploration and particle physics. Its fascinating that physicists use the same scientific methods as I apply to human jumping genes, to find out what the universe is made of…!


    • Photo: Lizzard O'Day

      Lizzard O'Day answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      From both a fashion point of view and a science stand point- I recommend wearing lots of hats. As an undergrad I was trained as an organic chemist (meaning I made drug compounds), then as a master student I completely changed gears and became a biophysicist (nuclear magnetic spectroscopy baby) and then for my PhD I decided to change it up again and bring in cancer cell biology into my life. By learning different areas and not being afraid to try something different, you can bring fresh ideas to go after a problem. Don’t be afraid to turn something inside-out!

    • Photo: Prateek Buch

      Prateek Buch answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      I have, once right at the beginning of my career and once more recently. As I was graduating I thought I’d study the biology of ageing – how it is we get older, what happens to us when we do, and whether we could prevent some of the problems that occur as we get older. More recently I’ve become interested in how we keep people healthy in terms of the NHS – more a case of applied science I suppose, but I’m interested in how we take results of lab studies and studies about the health of the population and apply them in building a good healthcare system.

      Having said that, I do love my job in gene therapy 🙂