Vicky is a first year PhD student in the Randall working on cell signalling in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Here is an account of a day in her life that includes a lot of tea and washing and some archery. 

8:00 Wake up!

8:30 Catch up on reading over breakfast

coff vicky

8:45 Cycle to Guy’s

9:30 Here’s something I prepared earlier! My western blot membranes were incubating in primary antibody overnight and now I need to wash them and incubate them in secondary antibody.

bench vicky

10:00 Lab meeting (and more tea)

labmet vicky

11:00 I need to lyse some cells for immunoprecipitation.

cells vicky

11:35 Put my lysates to incubate in the cold room over lunch.

11:45 Wash my western blot membranes. Hope I haven’t mixed up the membranes and the appropriate antibodies.

12:15 Develop my western blot membranes in the dark room. I have bands! But they look weird so I make a note to run a new gel next week.

12:30 Lunch!


13:30 Check my emails. Something I’ve ordered has finally been dispatched. There are lots of interesting seminars taking place – if I attended them all I’d never be in the lab. The building is having maintenance work this weekend so please don’t plan lab work (oh no what a shame). My second supervisor has half an hour free next week at 8:30am – can we meet?

14:30 Immunoprecipitation has finished so I start 5 rounds of washes

14:45 Update my lab book while waiting for the centrifuge


15:15 Coffee break!


16:00 Plan a series of new experiments that I can only do if I get this one thing to work.


17:00 Prepare a 96-well plate for an experiment tomorrow by washing it and then coating it in protein overnight.


18:00 Finished in the lab! Grab a quick Sainsbury’s dinner before heading to archery practice – great stress relief.

Written by: Victoria Swann