Birch Copse School, Reading 1991- 1998, Little Heath School, Reading 1998 – 2005, University of York, 2005 – 2014
Masters of Chemistry with a Year in Industry, PhD in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
A range of places when I was younger – Pizza Hut, WHSmith, a campsite in France and now at the University of York
I’m a biological scientist at the University of York looking into the use of cells to repair parts of the body
University of York
Favourite thing to do in my job: Try and find the answer to a mystery no one else knows about
I’m Amanda, I’m 30 and I like making colourful things in the lab.
My name is Amanda, I live in York and have done for the last 11 years. I moved up north for university and have stayed here ever since as I love it here! In my spare time I like to spend time with my friends, go shopping, play board games and go running. I also like to travel and recently visited Thailand to see one of my best friends get married.
My work looks at how we can use cells in different ways to repair the body
Within our bodies we have cells that can be given instructions to form different organs. For example if you broke a bone we could give certain cells instructions to become bone and help repair the damage. In the same way a house needs bricks to stay up, we have to give cells a structure to help them make the repair. I look at different ways to give the cells instructions and different structures to grow the cells on.
My Typical Day
Look after my cells – just like a pet I feed them and talk to them to keep them happy and to help them grow.
I work in a team of researchers in York. When I come to work I will check my emails and then see what I have planned for the day. I might do an experiment to see what my cells do when I give them a different instruction and then look at them down a microscope to see how they behave. We can also store cells at very cold temperatures in liquid nitrogen to use them another time.
This is me with Micheal and David, two other scientists in my lab.
Because cells are so small they require a microscope to see them.
Playing with liquid nitrogen is fun (but can be dangerous, don’t try this at home!)
What I'd do with the prize money
I would like to make games and videos to take into schools to teach children about the work I do.
I often go to schools to talk about the science I do, and take along microscopes and cells. I want to make this more fun and exciting for school children by making online games you can play at school or online. Then you can be a scientist just like me and control cells just like I do.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Chatty, Inquisitive, Energetic
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Getting my PhD and going to the houses of parliament to talk about my science
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Doing chemistry practicals at school – I preferred doing hands on things to being sat at a desk
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I also give careers advice to students – so probably a careers advisor
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
White water rafting in Thailand
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To be able to sing,
Tell us a joke.
I had to make these bad chemistry jokes because all the good ones Argon.