After a long time “A day in the life” series is back! As most of you know the series is about telling to everyone a classic day for a PhD Student in the Randall Division at the Kings College. Today I will describe my a day in the life during a normal Wednesday. 

Hope that you will enjoy. And remember if you are a PhD Student of the Randall and you want to write about your day please contact me

Federico (

6:30 am

Alarm goes off. Snooze. Snooze for the second time, maybe third….But I know that I need to stand up and be ready for breakfast.

6:55 am

Prepared breakfast. Nice bowl of yogurt and cereal. A glass of orange juice and a mug of coffee (My personal drug).


8:15 am

I am the first in the office. So, as usual I open the door, switch on the lights (yes it is still dark) and check my planning of the day. After that I am going in the lab and it is lovely to see how the light of the sun just start to enter through the windows. Some time early morning are really nice.


8:45 am

First thing to do is check my cells in the incubator in the “TC” (Tissue Culture). It is the room where we normally feed and growth the cells (i.e. Cultured).

And already this is a bad day. I had some fungus infection in my flask (see picture above). Only solution is bin all the cells and all the solution that I have used. I do not know from the infection came.

09:45 am

I am doing some cloning to tag a protein with a fluorophore so you can visualise the protein in the cells and take pretty images at the microscope! To do that I need to transfect some bacteria that will express the plasmid with my protein and after that I will extract the plasmid and transect some human cells.


11:00 am

FACS day!! Now I need to move from my office to the Tower in the Guy’s Hospital where there is the FACS facility.

FACS (picture below) is an incredible instrument that allow you to sort cells from a population using different antibody to know how many cells type you have, or you can have information regarding the cell cycle or if they express some antibody.


I am using FACS to do a cell cycle analysis of some cells that are treated with RNAi that leads to a knock-down of some protein that hopefully are related to the cell cycle or cell division.

1:30 am lunch

Time for a lunch break with my colleagues at the Randall. Outside is too cold to have lunch in the courtyard so we will stay inside in the lunch room for some free time.

2:00 pm

And now the “fun” part of the FACS experiment. I need to analyse all the data that I have collected before lunch.



3:30 pm

Now I need a coffee break! (Of course as all the Italians we need coffee J ) Also it is nice to have a chat with friends to relax a little bit.


4:00 pm

And now just before leaving two hours at the Nikon Centre to use the cool Confocal Microscope to take fancy pictures of my cells stained with different antibodies to see proteins inside the cells!!


6:15 pm

Finally the day is over 🙂 ! Friends are waiting for me at the Science Museum (today is the last Wednesday of the month so as always the Science museum is open until 22. It is amazing and full of activity)


9:00 pm

Now dinner. And what I can eat after a full day like that? Pizza of course! I went with the same friends from the museum to Franco Manca for a lovely and cheap pizza!

11:30 pm

Now I am feeling a little bit tired for the long day. My lovely and warm bed is waiting for me!

Written by: Federico Dona’