I am afraid of being evicted today :(
Master of science in Biochemistry, Master of philosophy in Protein Biochemistry
Doctorate degree (PhD) in Structural Biochemistry/Protein crystallography from Queen Mary University of London. UK
Crystallisation Facility officer at Cambridge University, Cambridge.
Medical Research Council
Favourite thing to do in my job: I absolutely love to do “science” in a fully equipped scientific laboratory. An exciting moment in my life is to see tiny and beautiful crystals of protein under a microscope. Because I know, these crystals can help me to see the shape and structure of different proteins in your body, which otherwise you can’t see. I live among highly advance “robots”, they are my friends. They help me to solve different complex structures. And as a result we can discover different types of medicines to cure different diseases. Besides, I like to grow extremely tiny “germs” and do the same “crystals thingy (crystallization and crystallography)” to fight against these disease causing germs.
My Work: To fight against diseases by finding “tiny but very powerful weapons present in germs”.
Hey Guys, I am Saima, I am based in London, UK. Basically I am a “structural Biochemist”, which means I can solve unknown structures which are directly or indirectly related to human diseases. There are hundreds of thousand structure in this universe, including humans, plants and animals, and also microbes (germs), which are still a mystery. For example, a germ (bacteria) called “Vibrio” can not be seen with naked eyes, but it has such an amazing machine to cause cholera, a nasty disease which can even cause nasty death of millions of people every year. So we can only win this war between germs and humans, if we know the structure of this machine. I was successful to solve this structure with a scientific technique called “crystallography”.
My Typical Day: I start my day by growing tiny bugs (germs), I multiply (to produce more and more) these bugs, then isolate their special weapon, and finally make crystals.
I grow germs in special containers, by giving them special food and extra care (temperature and air for enough oxygen). I allow them to multiply, multiply and multiply, so that I can have good amount of that “disease causing weapons”. I use “sound waves” to kill germs and to isolate weapons. Once I get pure weapons, I allow these to become crystals, which means they are arranged in a well organised manner. Remember, everything I do is all extremely small, much smaller that a pencil dot, you can not see with naked eyes. I have some special test to “see” them. Then I shoot crystals with very powerful X-rays. They are so powerful that only these can “penetrate” into crystals. I use a lot of math, physics, and with the help of robotic computers, I finally “see” what is impossible to see with any other method. Can you believe, this weapon is very sophisticated like a “machine gun”, and these germs actually use disease causing things (toxin) as a bullet to make us ill.
All this work is definitely very tiring for me, I run around like a headless chicken, but I really enjoy it. I feel proud when I find something useful for humanity.
What I'd do with the prize money: I would like to spend this money to conduct a small reaserch project with under graduate students at Queen Mary University of London. I will be very happy to purchase so required instruments for my laboratory.
I have a plan to present this money to a school, so that they can purchase science kits and instruments for conducting science experiments. I would suggest them to purchase a projector, that will help students to watch science fiction films.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
keen, curious and thoughtful
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My dad, who always encouraged me to become a scientist! when I got 90% marks, he motivated me to get 100%. And when I got 100% marks, he motivated me to stand first in class, then in school, then to win medals, then to get higher awards…Let see what he says next.. :)
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No, those were beautiful days.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
well, a scientist :)
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Ellie G. and ONLY one song by Justin Bieber. (Baby baby oh…)
What's your favourite food?
I love pizza (black olive is my fav topping)…Ah my mouth is already watering..see you after a pizza-break :)
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I played “cricket” once and broke the glass window of our neighbours…I raised some money for them to purchase a new glass. I did not know that the amount I collected was far “smaller” than the amount required to fix a window.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. healthy (I would like to get rid of all diseases present on earth) 2. famous (by finding cure for cureless diseases like AIDS, cancer)) 3. to get big award like “nobel prize” for some nobel piece of work…