Talk us through your typical day
My work uses electron microscopes to help scientists in the Division obtain the best images of their macromolecular complexes so that they can determine their 3D structure.
My days can be very diverse. I usually start by checking that the equipment I manage is in working order. Sometimes that involves some plumbing or looking under the cover of a chiller etc. I then go on to check samples in the microscopes and set up data collection.
Part of my job is to train and advise students and postdocs in the use of microscopes.
Cryo-electron microscopy has become the dominant technique for protein structure determination in the field, and the ICR has access to a new Titan Krios cryo-EM advanced electron microscope as part of the LonCEM consortium between the ICR, Imperial College London, King’s College London and Queen Mary University of London.
I also regularly go to the Diamond Light Source, the UK's national synchrotron science facility which gives access to researchers from across the UK and Europe to synchrotron and cryo-electron microscopes, to collect data for high-resolution protein structure determination.
And lately, I have been poring over floorplans and the installation manual for a new state-of-the-art cryo-EM microscope suited for cryo-EM sample screening and small scale data collection, which will further build our in house cryo-EM capability in Chelsea.
How does your work contribute to our mission?
In my role as support staff, I help scientists use the latest cryo-EM equipment for them to carry out their best research to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.
How would you describe your work in a tweet?
I contribute to cutting-edge research using electron microscopes and image processing to help gain a better understanding of the fundamental molecular processes involved in cancer.
What are you most proud of?
I feel proud when I am recognised by colleagues for running the equipment platform efficiently.
Can you give us any examples of where you see the ICR's values in your work?
By applying my full attention to all the samples and projects that our lab works on I am involved in supporting research excellence at the ICR.
I also value the support I get from ICR staff and contractors, including Stores, Site Management, Building and Maintenance, IT and all my colleagues in Structural Biology. They are all essential for the success of the Electron Microscopy facility.
Read our ICR values