Case study

Research scientist — Harriet Gliddon

After studying biochemistry at Imperial College London, Harriet is in her first year of a research Masters (MRes) in Biomedical Research

I was always really interested in science, but didn't have a clear sense of what I might specialise in until I did my A-levels, when I started to learn about biochemistry. To me, this seemed like a way to understand how life works, and so I decided to study the subject at university.

I found I was fascinated by infectious diseases and I applied for a four-year MRC-funded studentship at the university, and am now in my first year of a research Masters (MRes) in Biomedical Research, specialising in microbial pathogenesis. At the moment I'm trying to understand how tuberculosis (TB) infects our cells and interacts with our immune systems.

Most of my time is spent in the lab, but I also tutor on the undergraduate course in Global Health. I participate in various outreach activities, including workshops on infectious diseases at primary schools, and am on the organising committee for the Imperial College Science Communication Forum.

I find it really rewarding to tackle the challenges research presents, whether the results are negative or positive. I also really enjoy explaining my research to other people and getting their advice when things go wrong. It's amazing to be surrounded by so many incredibly intelligent people, and there's a great atmosphere of openness and collaboration, which is very inspiring.

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