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I graduated from Durham University with an MBiol in biological sciences in 2020. Early on during my degree, I became immensely interested in the field of developmental biology which aims to understand how complex organisms form from a single cell. This non-trivial task requires a set of ‘instructions’ which are encoded by the genes within our cells. Parts of these instructions are then read in the right place at the right time to translate into cellular behaviours to build an organism. In addition, cells and their mechanical environment are intimately connected which provides an extra layer of information and regulation for cellular and developmental processes. Developmental biology poses fundamental questions about life and allows me to dig deeper into understanding biology.

Whist completing my MBiol research project, I worked in Martin Goldberg’s lab, using C. elegans to investigate the dynamics and distributions of nuclear pore complex proteins. This gave me the opportunity to explore many different microscopy techniques to probe biological questions.

During my summers, I have worked with inspiring developmental biology labs. In 2018, I worked with Ben Steventon’s lab to further understand body axis elongation during zebrafish embryogenesis. I was (and still am) particularly interested in how body axis elongation comes to an end and how cell movements can shape a developing embryo.

During my second lab placement in the (Matthew) Towers lab, I worked on chick embryos to gain insights into digit patterning. The mechanisms of patterning is a fundamental and intriguing question in biology, therefore it was a privilege to understand and probe this in more detail. It was particularly exciting to perform embryonic tissue grafting experiments. These are the crazy experiments I was introduced to during undergraduate lectures….. little did I know that I would one day be doing them.

These incredible experiences have led me to pursue a PhD at UCL. I am now a PhD student on the Wellcome Trust optical biology PhD programme in the Pichaud lab. I am working on how the different cell types of the Drosophila retina get into shape to form the 3D structure of the Drosophila eye.

Besides science, I love running, cycling, and strength training and I have an obsession with watching triathlon. I am a lover of music, and I like to read books from time to time.

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