Monday, 21 April 2014

Read my thesis and let's chat about sharing research

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So my thesis has been published online on the University of Aberdeen Library page. You can read it by clicking here

It has the very snappy title 'GPR30 and ERα36 and their potential role in breast and endometrial cancers'

This is my lay abstract:

Oestrogen is a hormone that is mostly associated with the development of sexual organs and the female monthly menstrual cycle. However, it is also known to play a role in breast cancer. The presence of oestrogen can make some breast cancers grow and in the 1970s ‘anti-oestrogens’, like tamoxifen, were developed which have successfully prevented the growth of some breast cancers by blocking the action of oestrogen. Oestrogen causes this growth by binding to specific ‘receptors’ in the body. The anti-oestrogens work by blocking the oestrogen binding to the receptor. Some breast cancers do not have the receptors and therefore can’t be treated with anti-oestrogens. These types of cancers tend to be more aggressive and have limited treatment options. We know that in the lab these cancers can still respond to oestrogen, despite their lack of receptors, suggesting the presence of ‘alternative’ receptors. Two alternative receptors have been discovered; GPR30 and ERα36. This study investigates the presence and role of these two possible alternative receptors. We investigated if activating them with oestrogen could cause the cancer cells to grow and move, which is the first stage of metastasis. We also investigated these receptors in endometrial cancer which, like breast cancer, is related to oestrogen. We found the two alternative receptors present in the endometrial cancer and found that they may play a role in endometrial cancer metastasis.

If you have problems accessing my thesis please let me know.

I thought as I have blogged throughout my PhD and shared pictures and information about what I did as a research student it would only make sense to share my thesis on my blog too.

I would appreciate comments and questions but please don't tell me if there are any typos in it!!

I've also been chatting about my life as a PhD student and reflecting back on some of the problems, good times and bad times with Matthew from Errant Science. You can watch us rabbiting on about PhD life and answering some questions below... (I had a very bad cold when this was filmed!) 

If you are interested in public engagement, science communication and getting your research work out there in the big wide world then we are going to have a hangout on the 5th of May (please join us!) 

If that wasn't enough we did a LIVE CHAT and answered some questions about research tools, software and life after PhD's (you can see that below).

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Want to see more good science writers in the future?

Producing a science magazine is tough going. These guys have produced a magazine and a video. Watch it and share it to help them raise funding to do even more awesome science writing.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Post-PhD life - Life decisions and blogging

I graduated from my PhD some time ago now. I moved away from research when my funding expired and after a lot of decision making and deliberating I took a post in Public Engagement at the University of Aberdeen. I started in late 2012 and I've really been enjoying it so far. I am involved with planning, organising and running lots of public engagement events along with speaking to researchers about the many different ways they can engage with the public, how to bring the public into research, a bit of training and also discussing how to use social media as a researcher (which I really enjoy).

It wasn't an easy decision and I didn't discuss it on this blog at the time for a number of reasons. There was a post-doc opportunity too but that was in Canada and I wanted to stay in Scotland as my (now) husband is based here and I decided that I wanted to move full time into public engagement. I knew that I would enjoy the role and it seemed that this option would lead to a much more secure career (although maybe it won't!) than a temporary post-doc placement.

I've been blogging here on and off but not as often as I was during my PhD. I lost the blogging bug for a while as partly I was incredibly busy and I had a lot of things not related to science, public engagement and blogging going on, some good some not so good. Good stuff included getting married, moving house, job and graduating in quite a short period of time.

I've recently started a new blog, called the science tourist which is a mini travel blog of interesting science places, like Tycho Brahe's observatory on an island in the middle of Denmark and Sweden, and features events taking place in Aberdeen that are related to science. I would love it if some readers of this blog would check that out (and I think some of you will find it interesting!) Some the events I feature and discuss I am now involved with organising. I enjoy going to science events and whenever I travel I seek out interesting places to visit so this new blog is really just bringing together some things that I love and seems quite natural for me.

For the time being I am going to keep this blog going as every now and again I think of things that might be useful for current PhD students and I do some evidence hunting on dodgy scientific claims. I will also post things about public engagement here. I also know that there are still regular visitors to the pages of this blog so it seems silly to remove it.

I've also been doing some chatting via the power of Skype with Errant Science. Standby for that video which is all about reflecting on doing a PhD post-PhD and we are also doing an exciting new thing... a GOOGLE HANGOUT. Please come and talk to us! That is happening on the 9th of April between 7.30 and 9.30 on Google+.

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