Monday, 8 June 2015

Research Admin

I'm pretty wrecked today, so this post may be short and disorganised and I probably won't promote it. Essentially the only thing I did today was give a presentation to the nanomedicine research group in St. James' Hospital about my research at their group meeting. I had prepared my slides in the days previous, of course, a bit about me and then the rest about my research.

But that was fine - the nightmarish part was getting there on time. I'm not going to go into much detail because that would be a bad idea, but although I got up at 6.20 a.m., drastic measures were required to ensure my teacher and I got to the hospital for 10 a.m. I'm eternally grateful to that teacher. 

We got out of the taxi with a couple of minutes to spare and AJ brought us down through the maze that is St. James', we put down our bags and went into the meeting.

I was first to present. In the professor there's words (I do know his name but (a) I don't know if we're on a first-name basis yet (b) I'm trying to keep this relatively anonymous), "we usually have the youngest person go first...", cue everyone looking at me. They were all PhD students. I've just finished Fifth Year. Go figure. 

I got up, finally got my Google Slides presentation projected with help from AJ, and launched into my presentation. I don't think I waffled or stumbled much, and I have a good bit of practice at pitching thanks to Young Scientist and Business Bootcamp. I even got a couple of laughs, although they were very hushed. The professor asked me some questions at the end (not too formally) about what exactly I was looking to do at St. James'. So I'd been vague about that, and I know why.

Anyway, it was very manageable. The professor complimented me on my "elevator pitch" and later on Twitter AJ said I did really well. Woot!

My teacher and I then listened to the other members of the group give updates on their work over the last two weeks. I'll admit some of it went over my head, but it was really interesting and I got the gist of everything. Now to work on learning people's names ... 

I was then given a desk in the PhD student reading room and introduced to more friendly people. I love how informal the atmosphere is, it's very welcoming and I'm excited to work there. Finally, I was shown a lot of the instruments and equipment - reminiscent of my work experience at AMBER - and then left. Next thing is to get acquainted with the labs by doing experiments with lots of different members and continuing work on my project. 

We got a taxi and car back then, and discussed the younger kids' Young Scientist projects for next year. And I emailed Prof. Duesberg. An answer would be great, but I'm sure he's very busy with the press after the curious thing I discovered this morning:

Really very interesting how similar that headline is to the title of my project 'Graphene-based biosensor to detect attractin' for earlier cancer diagnosis. And all three of the people who supervised me are the people who did this. They seem happy. 

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