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Spotlight: Tom Williams, Postdoctoral Researcher in Biology at the University of Dundee



Tell us a fun fact about yourself


I once had a drink with a desiccated human toe in it.


Tell us about your career journey so far


I did an UG degree in Natural Sciences at University of East Anglia in Norwich, then a PhD in Cambridge investigating how amoeba and human immune cells drink, and then moved to do a Postdoc in Dundee, where I’m trying to find out how yeast cells change which proteins they have when stressed.


What was your favourite subject in school and why?


Biology: Learning how the world is put together, and how life is built has always been fascinating to me.


What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?


Biology! For my role you also need a PhD, but there are other similar roles in research which you only need an undergraduate degree for.


What is your favourite thing about your job?


Doing experiments to test whether my ideas are right or not.


What is a normal day in your role like?


There isn’t a normal day- each different idea needs testing in a different way, so I can find myself working on a microscope looking at cells one day, the next day analysing the proteins in a cell and the day after making mutant cells.


Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?



I haven’t tested this, but something like this could be done to look at yeast activity, with possible ‘stressed’ cell control next to it:


https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/bread/activity-yeast.html

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Tel: 01383 626070

Email: sae@sserc.scot

Address: 2 Pitreavie Court, Dunfermline, KY11 8UU

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The UK-wide STEM Ambassador programme is managed by STEM Learning Limited, which operates the National STEM Learning Network, alongside other projects supporting STEM education. To find out more please go to the STEM Learning website