Work HistoryJockey, then worked for a company that made circuit boards for the Eurofighter and F1 cars. Now working as a scientist at the University of Edinburgh
Current JobPostdoctoral research fellow studying the genetics of depression
Favourite thing to do in my job: Coding, I love coding and it's so satisfying when it runs successfully.
About Me: I live in Edinburgh and really enjoy doing research on mental health.
I left school at 18 to work in horseracing as my ambition was to become a jockey. I had about 100 rides and 5 winners before retiring in 2002. After retiring I worked in a number of managerial jobs and in 2007 I decided to do a degree to further my knowledge and strengthen my CV.
I obtained a first class honours degree in Equine Management from the Royal Agricultural College. I greatly enjoyed my time studying for my undergrad degree, and I found studying genetics really fascinating and I decided to pursue a second career working in this field.
In 2011, I began a four year PhD entitled ‘Managing genomic diversity in the course of selection’ at the Roslin Institute which is part of the University of Edinburgh.
I am currently working as a post-doctoral research fellow examining the genetics of depression in humans. This is a three year position within a project known as Stratifying Resilience and Depression Longitudinally (STRADL) which is funded by the Wellcome Trust.
My Work: I examine genetic data try to find regions of the genome that influence whether someone develops depression
My Typical Day: Checking and responding to emails. Research. Writing papers and grant proposals. Preparing and presenting talks. Going to meetings. Helping others with their research.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Same, but different
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My supervisor on my undergraduate degree was fantastic and had a very inquisitive mind which I found inspiring
What was your favourite subject at school?
Maths, pretty much the only subject I really enjoyed.
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Rarely, I tended to keep my head down.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Black Pistol Fire are currently one of my favourite bands, along with Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes and Deap Vally
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Stayed in an airbnb in Canada and the owner took us to a cabin he was building on an island. We had to hire a car and take a ferry to this island. The island was beautiful and we jumped from some rocks in to the ocean and ate grilled cheese sandwiches from a BBQ.
Tell us a joke.
How do you get down off an elephant? You don't, you get down off a duck