Strathaven Academy, University of Glasgow, University of Montreal, Yale University, Oxford University
BSc degree, PhD
University of Leicester and then Glasgow
University of Glasgow
Favourite thing to do in my job: Design novel molecules
I live in Strathaven (near Glasgow) with my wife and two kids, James and Finlay. My main hobbies outside of chemical biology are running, rugby and snowboarding.
Senior Lecturer in Chemical Biology
I work as a senior lecturer in Chemical Biology at the University of Glasgow. My job can be divided into two parts, teaching students and research. I run a research group that includes PhD students and postdoctoral research fellows (more experienced scientists). We are all chemists who are interested in biology, so we make chemicals that can help us understand biology.
Below is a photo of my working in the lab. More images of the equipment we use can be found on my groups website
In a typical day I will start by answering lots of emails from students and people I work with on research. I’ll then go to the lab and talk about research with the group. I’ll generally have a couple of meetings each day, either to plan teaching or research.
What I'd do with the prize money
Develop virtual reality outreach activity
We use advanced computer software to look at proteins and design cool new molecules. Virtual reality (VR) headsets can now be used to do this and so I would buy a headset, develop an outreach activity in which school students can use them to design a chemical and take the activity around lots of schools to give students a better idea of how cool and fun being a chemical biologist is!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Approachable, fun, daft
What's the best thing you've ever done in your career?
Developing a drug to treat malaria
What or who inspired you to follow this career?
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
The people who supervised me as a student
What was your favourite subject at school?
Biology (was easily the most fun subject at school)
What did you want to be after you left school?
A virus hunter
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Chicken Tikka curry
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Go to California for a conference (scientific meeting)
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1) be able to fly 2) no email, only talk to people in person or on the phone 3) coffee machine in my office
Tell us a joke.
Why did the chicken cross the road...to get to the other side. Why did the dinosaur cross the road...to eat the chicken!!