I told my family from age 7 that I wanted to be a zoologist.

I am so proud of myself for all I have achieved so far and am grateful for life's opportunities everyday.

Our STEM journeys are important and I am excited to share mine with you.
I graduated in BSc (hons) Zoology from @AngliaRuskin in 2015.

I struggled, mostly with exams.

After three years, I convinced myself I would never be smart enough to pursue any post-graduate studies so I got a job at @sangerinstitute as an animal tech 🐭
I immediately fell back in love with science.

I realised that commitment and enthusiasm were just as valuable as being able to take an exam.

I learnt so much from so many and before I knew it, I was looking up papers in the evening just to better contribute to the conversations
My enthusiasm was noticed by @David_J_Adams research team. They gave me so much support and confidence that I realised, maybe just maybe I wasn't dumb after all?

And then there I was, an ASSOCIATE SCIENTIST for #CancerResearchUK Therapeutic Discovery Labs 🧪
Immune-oncology (and humans!) was entirely new to me but I've always loved to learn new things and was ready for this challenge.

My main focus was on #metastasis. I have always been interested in biological similarities throughout the natural world and cancer was no exception.
DID YOU KNOW there was evidence of metastasis in DINOSAURS? Or that our companion canines share many of the same signatures?

The animal obsession never leaves.

So, I published my first lead author publication in 2019 exploring Metastasis IN THE WILD! doi.org/10.1007/s10585…
The publication was so well recieved that I helped to co-author a follow-up opinion piece specifically focused on Man's Best Friend in the fight against metastasis 🐶

In just 4-years of work, I learnt about different models, designing experiments, writing reports, and fell in love with #flowcytometry

I absolutely am smart enough for higher education and I was determined, once more, to be a zoologist.

A Dr of Zoology.
I spent months on findaphd.com scrolling for the right opportunity. I applied for many and was unnsuccessful.

Until I saw a project that was PERFECT.
I have always loved chickens and spent hours playing with them in Jordan and UK. I even had an incubator! 🐣
Here was a project focused on chicken health AND welfare! Looking for gut and immune based biomarkers to impove and monitor their lives.

I immediately saw what impact that could have WORLD WIDE.

Think how many chickens and people I can help?!
And here I am! Second year into the project with @NarbadLab.

Already I have learnt #microbiology (totally new to me), #NMR and #metabolomics, and #bioinformatics.

My mind is blown on a regular basis by the work at @TheQuadram.

I cannot wait to contribute further to science.

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More from @MinoritySTEM

21 Aug
Thanks for your question about public speaking! I'll start off by saying I was a really quiet child and awkward teenager, so I would have never expected to become a public speaker😅
It started off small, by not avoiding presentations I was asked to do. As a student I developed my confidence and communication skills through @STEMAmbassadors volunteering with young people. Then I gained more confidence to speak as a panellist and at medium-sized events.
In 2019, I wanted to develop my public speaking skills (it was a new years resolution). I threw myself into opportunities that were out of my comfort zone. I received coaching from TED, shared my story in front of the President of the UN GA, and got my first paid speaking gigs!💗
Read 6 tweets
14 Aug
To anyone considering doing a PhD:

A PhD is a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s not at all about being smart (okay, there’s some element of that), but it’s more about being a hard-worker and putting in the grit. Afterall, you get out what you put in! (1/8)
You’ve got to be a self-motivated individual because a PhD is very much an exercise of self-discipline. You are in charge of your timetable so it’s easy to stray off of it, so you need to be good at keeping yourself in check. (2/8)
Celebrate every milestone & every little win. People won’t understand how hard it was to purify that compound, or get that bit of analysis or even put that piece of apparatus together, only YOU KNOW, so value it. If it’s important to you, then IT’S IMPORTANT! (3/8)
Read 8 tweets
22 Jul
Today I thought I'd start by talking about community. One of the initiatives I have been a part of and is very dear to my heart, is the African-Caribbean Research Collective @ACRC_UK
1/10 👇🏾 Image
We are a collective of Black British PhD candidates and holders across the arts, humanities, social sciences and STEM, who are of Caribbean descent.
Oh yeah and just a note, Caribbean people are not just Jamaican.
After damning statistics highlighted by @LeadingRoutes in their Broken Pipeline Report about the underrepresentation in the awarding of @Ukri research council funded studentships, we took matters into our own hands. leadingroutes.org/mdocs-posts/th…

Read 12 tweets
27 Jun
Today's my last day with you folk so I want to share my journey on educating myself on race in science & medicine. I'm not an expert so just going to cover a few points that hopefully will encourage you to question and learn more 🧐 @madina_wane
Firstly I'd like to affirm that race has no meaningful biological basis. It doesn't does not tell you anything about your direct genetic ancestry. It is a social category that has very real impact on people, which is why we have racial inequalities.

2020 has exacerbated the systemic racism that has existed for a long time. For example, in the UK, COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting Black and Asian communities. And global protests are challenging police brutality and other racism against Black people.
Read 23 tweets
26 Jun
Slight change in schedule! Today I'll be revealing answers to the #zebrafish quiz and sharing a bit more about my research 🐟👩🏿‍🔬 Keep sending in your questions!

We'll get back to race in science/medicine on Saturday 👀
The answer is South (East) Asia! Especially in the Himalayan region. Zebrafish are freshwater fish so they're found in rivers etc, not in the sea! The scientific name for zf is Danio rerio. Danio comes from the Bangla word for "of the rice field" (dhani)
Most of you got this right. Even though the last common ancestor between zebrafish/humans was >400 million years ago, we still share 70% of genes. Evolution is slow! This is great for biologists because we can study genes with human relevance in zebrafish
Read 8 tweets
23 Jun
Good morning! Today we're going to do a deep "dive" (get ready for more fish puns!) into respiratory immunology and why it's so important to study. Got any Q's? Send them my way!

Let's start with some immunology basics! The immune system is a complex system of cells which patrol the body to fight off infections & cancer, and repair damaged tissue. There a loads of different immune cells but here are three to get us started Drawing of three different ...
Image description: Drawing of three different immune cells and their functions described. 1. B cells make antibodies to trap pathogens. 2. T cells can kill infected cells to stop infections from spreading. 3. Macrophages can 'eat' debris, dead cells, and pathogens.

Read 14 tweets

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