• Question: What is a day to day life like for you?

    Asked by Zac to Dave, Leo on 5 Jun 2018. This question was also asked by denis05.
    • Photo: David Grainger

      David Grainger answered on 5 Jun 2018:

      My day-to-day life varies quite a lot. There are some weeks where I have lots of experiments running. When this is the case, I normally am taking things out my cells to make data. The molecules I take out the cells depends on the experiment but most of the time it is DNA, RNA or protein. Once I have these molecules, I use fancy (and expensive machines to understand what these molecules tell me about the cells they came from. So a typical day will involve talking to people about my experiments, planning them, taking molecules out of the cell and then using the lab equipment before analysing my data and showing it to other scientists to discuss what it means.

      Another common part of my work is to look after my cells – they sit in little dishes in a liquid with all their food. I have to give them fresh food every day, even weekends! Every now and then they outgrow their dish so I have to move them to a new one. We call all this tissue culture. It is a key part to my work as without my cells, I’d have no experiments!

      Other times, my day can be quite slow. If I have no experiments then I mostly spend my time reading other scientists work in journals – places where scientits submit their work, have it read and reviewed by experts and then shared if it is good enough. This is a vital part of my work as all my work it based on the decades of science that have come before me. So I have a lot of reading to do to catch up! Other than that, I’ll have a coffee with friends and colleagues to talk about future or crazy experiments we want to do, go to talks by scientists talking about their work or go to eat cake club at my buildings weekly cake club!