When I went to university I studied immunology – which is much more like the kind of science that Mariam and Gioia do. I didn’t know that the kind of science I do now even existed until I was in my last year at university.
I never really enjoyed working in a lab with cells and chemicals and stuff, but I really love working with data and statistics, so that’s why I’ve chosen to be an epidemiologist.
It just happened to be the area in which my PhD is based! The main thing that drew me was the application of physics to diagnosing cancer. My background is physics, so it’s a great opportunity to see it being used to help ill people.
I’ve always been fascinated by cells and how they work, which is why I’m doing my particular area of research.
But learning more about what the others do is making me increasingly interested in those areas!
I find the other guys research facinating, but the reason I chose the area I have chosen is because it played to the skills that I had. My field is interdisciplinary (it is a mixture of physics, chemistry and biology) and computers are used a lot. Seeing as I have broad scientific interests, and because I’ve done quite a lot of computer programming, it was a field I could naturally get into.
I was always interested in virology and Gene Therapy and later on I moved onto Cancer Gene Therapy, so my research wasn’t focused on cancer initially. So far, I have enjoyed working with every subject I dealt with. However, I’m pretty sure that I could be interested in almost any biology area. For example, I would have liked to work with Drosophila as a model as Mariam does, but computer science (that I believe is what Iain does) is not my forte, so I wouldn’t have gone into that. I much prefer “playing” around in the lab!