I realised I wanted to ‘do’ science when I was 10 years old. I was dissecting a flower at primary school and was fascinated by how it had an intricate, internal system that I would have otherwise known nothing about. I’m more into humans than plants these days but the principle is the same.

During my undergraduate degree in Medical Genetics, I took an industrial placement year at BJS Biotechnologies to get some real-world experience. I spent my time developing assays for use on their xxpress qPCR thermal cycler. A Bachelor’s and Master’s degree later and I’m very happy to be working with BJS again but this time as a PhD student and in conjunction with my alma mater, Brunel University in West London. My project is looking into the mTOR signalling pathway in endometriosis and ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer has been called the ‘silent killer’ because the symptoms are often not detected until the later stages of the disease when it’s much harder to treat effectively. I know that endometriosis and ovarian cancer have some common deregulations and that having endometriosis is a risk factor for ovarian cancer so I’m looking at identifying biomarkers that could be used to diagnose women earlier.

I don’t know where the time went but I’m just about to start my second year which means preparing for my transfer event and starting to think seriously about how I’m going to structure my thesis. I’m still as excited as when I first dissected that flower (now 15 years ago!) and am hoping to keep this blog updated with all the fun things I get up to!

Karly first joined BJS Biotechnologies as an undergraduate placement student in 2007. A bachelor’s and master’s degree later and Karly is back working with BJS but this time as a PhD student in conjunction with her alma mater, Brunel University. Her research looks at the mTOR signalling pathway in endometriosis and ovarian cancer.

In her spare time, Karly is learning to play the guitar and drinks a lot of tea.