Hi everybody! I am Grace, a second year PhD student working in Professor Maddy Parsons lab. In my project, I am looking at how a super-duper rare mutation in this protein EGFR affects various processes in skin! And here is what I am up to on a typical Tuesday 🙂

7:45  am

Alarm goes off. Lie in bed debating whether to get up or not. Nope… snooze

When are you going to feed me hooman!

7:50 am

Alarm goes off again. Nope, not ready yet

8:00 am

Finally convince myself to get up and get ready! Obviously need to feed the cats first!

8:30 am

On my way to work on the Jubilee line! Amazing sunny day today!

Off to work we go!

9:00 am

Arrive at work – but first time for a coffee and croissant to kick start my day!

9:15 am

Tissue culture time!

Now to check on what I need to do for the day. I find it super helpful to plan and keep track of my list of to dos as the day passes, rather than panic on the way home that I haven’t finished something! First thing on the agenda today is tissue culture! I am transfecting my cells and this involves introducing specific DNA into cells. This will allow us to express specific proteins, sometimes even attached with a fluorescent tag, so that we can understand how that particular protein works. For this process, we have to use a biological safety cabinet, because we want to avoid contamination affecting our cells! We have to always make sure we work clean!

10:00 am

After I have finished with my transfection it is lab meeting time! This is when everyone in the lab meets up (with snacks, of course!), to share our results and pitfalls! It is always nice to catch up on what everyone is up to!

Time for lab meeting and snacks!

11:00 pm

After the lab meeting, it is time for more experiments! This time wound healing assays! This involves artificially introducing a wound by scratching cells. Then we can see how they move under this microscope over time!


1:00 pm

My stomach is beginning to protest, which means lunchtime! Every Tuesday we have a selection of food stalls outside our building to choose from – today’s lunch is a paneer wrap and a bit of sunshine!


2:00 pm

Back for some microscope work – I am using a fancy confocal microscope which will allow me to take pictures at higher resolutions, meaning I can observe tiny proteins and structures within cells!

4:00 pm

A little snack while analysing some of the results I have got today.

Nearly end of the day! 

6:30 pm

Finally, time to finish work! Walking to the gym through London Bridge. In the nice weather the walk is a pleasure, and a small warm-up for what is to come…

7:00 pm

Gym time! Best thing to do for stress relief!

8:50 pm

Heading home to a lovely sunset! When I get home, my cats are ready for dinner! They won’t stop hounding me until they get fed, which means that’s my priority before my own dinner!


9:15 pm

Time for my own dinner (while fending off curious, still hungry, cats)! And relax before bed!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Post by Grace Chan