Well, looks like I've been evicted. Its been great. Thanks for all the thought-provolking questions.
Burnham Grammar School until 1999 and then Henley College until 2001, then I took a gap year and went to South America
Nottingham University 2003-2007, where I studied Computational Chemistry
I’ve done lots of random jobs, in a kitchen, a toothpaste factory, a prison, a hospital, the Grand Prix, a petrol station…
Postgraduate Research Student
When I was seven, I managed to get hold of a screwdriver and take the washing machine apart. My mum went mental! I didn’t know how it worked, which pieces went where, and I couldn’t put it back together again. When I finally got it back together, I had a vague idea about how it worked. I’m still trying to figure out how things work by getting different pieces in the right place, but instead of assembling parts of a washing machine, I assemble the molecules that people are made of into the tiny machines which we all have inside us, and which keep us working normally.
For a long time now, scientists have known the molecules that life is made of, but they don’t know exactly how they interact with one another, and fit together to make stuff happen. Somehow, they form machines which allow us to digest food, move, grow, heal ourselves, sense the outside world and stop us getting diseases. I’ve written a computer program which can help us answer some of these questions. Basically, you can give it two molecules, and it will try and fit them together and see if they can form a stable piece of machinery, and show you what that machinery looks like.
My Typical Day:
Go to the labs, read some papers, do some computer programming or analysis and talk with other scientists.
It varies from day to day. Usually I get the train to central London where I work, grab a coffee and check my emails. Sometime I spend all day programming, other days I spend reading about other peoples research and thinking about new ideas and directions. I always go to lunch with other scientists and talk about our research. Recently I went to a conference in Milan, and was there when they won the Champions League, which was nice!
The most stressful days, when I’m really busy, are when I take part in a ‘competition’ called CAPRI that happens every few months.
What I'd do with the prize money:
I want to tell school children about science and about the amazing things that can be discovered when thinking in a scientific way. I would like to create a pack for schools, which explains some of the most amazing discoveries in molecular biology, and show how they can help people today and in the future.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Inquisitive, talkative, happy
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Far too many, but I’m really liking Muse and Opeth right now.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1) Make a discovery which will make a big impact on the lives of others. 2) Help others see the natural world in with the eye of a scientist: throw away superstitions and realise the true awesomeness of reality. 3) Live a happy life and help others around me do the same.
Tell us a joke.
Whats brown and sticky? … A stick.