Who are the scientists taking part in IAS June 2010?

Fanfare! We have now finally chosen all the scientists to take part in I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here! June 2010. Here they are, for your delight and delectation…

It’s been absolutely excruciating. We’ve had to turn down some fantastic sounding scientists doing fascinating work. Sadly we only have a finite amount of space! If any more funders would like to come forwards (err, hint!) then maybe we can manage more next year…

I’m a Scientist was recently described* as ‘the world’s most stunningly innovative teen science education program’ and this will be the biggest event we’ve ever run. In June we will have 100 scientists, engaging with 400 classes and 8,000 students. These scientists will be involved in making history!

How were these scientists chosen? We truly believe in listening to our users and that this makes the project much stronger. All scientists who applied wrote a one sentence description of their work and these descriptions were rated by students and teachers who are taking part in June, as well as by us and by a representative from our funders, the Wellcome Trust. We then combined these ratings to choose the scientists. If that isn’t two-way engagement I don’t know what is!

Congratulations to these scientists, we hope you are looking forward to it as much as we are.

*No, not by my Mum. But yes, I am in danger of wearing this quote out.



Joanna Brooks University of Edinburgh Why the right side of the brain prefers the left side of space
William Davies Cardiff University Investigating sex differences in brain and behaviour
Michelle Murphy University of Nottingham I investigate how your brain makes you fat
Fiona Randall Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology I am interested in how our brain cells send messages to each other, and what goes wrong when they don’t do it properly.
Jane Henry The Open University I am applied psychologist using social science to study how people can become the best they can be

Cancer Research

Gioia Cherubini Queen Mary, University of London Making Viruses into Cancer Killers
Iain Moal Cancer Research UK I run computer simulations to work out how the constituents of living beings interact with one another, in an attempt to construct the ‘circuitry of life’ and see how it goes wrong in cancer patients.
Joanna Watson University of Oxford I try to work out why some people are more likely to get cancer than others.
Leo Garcia Institute of Cancer Research Investigating tumour mobility using ultrasound elastography
Mariam Orme Institute of Cancer Research I study the molecular mechanisms controlling apoptosis, a process through which individual cells in an organism ‘commit suicide’ if they are no longer necessary or if they pick up harmful mutations.

Use of Chemicals in Everyday Life

Joseph Cook University of Reading New methods for synthesising hydrogels for various applications.
Rachael Fox Unilever Taking new personal care products from R&D into the real world.
Hywel Jones Sheffield Hallam University Materials scientist working on anything from volcanic ash to body armour, silver alloys to super-alloys
Poonam Kaushik Royal Botanical, Garden, Kew Green Pestcidal formualtion deveopment against insects from food grade ingredients
Patience Dorgu University of Aberdeen The effects of asphaltene precipitation on crude oil viscosity

Are we too Clean

Mark Travis University of Manchester Discovering how ‘good’ immune responses fight infection, and how ‘bad’ immune responses are prevented that can lead to disease.
Mark Fogg University of York I work out how bugs (bacteria), some very nasty ones as well as useful ones, make ‘photocopies’ of themselves (replicate), how they get energy from their food and how switches (genes) inside the bugs help connect these two things together.
Michael Loughlin Nottingham Trent University Determining why bacteria and people sometimes find it so very hard to get along together; why they sometimes seem like very poor house guests and why our bodies over-react and end up hurting ourselves more than they ever would
Panos Soultanas The University of Nottingham Biochemistry of bacterial DNA replication mechanisms and development of new antimicrobials.
Sarah Burl Medical Research Council The Gambia I work in the field of infant immunology with particular interest in vaccines for infectious diseases in early life.

Drugs Development

Darren Nesbeth University College London Modifying living cells to be more useful for making medicines
Deuan Jones University of Dundee I try to find ways of killing parasites that we can use to develop new drugs for the poorer areas of the world.
Duncan Hull The European Bioinformatics Institute Building a dictionary of drugs so that computers can intelligently understand chemistry published on the web
Lori-An Etherington University of Dundee I test chemicals for a drug company which might be used as new medicines in the future
Michelle Hudson Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments Finding practical and valid alternatives to the use of animals in biomedical science


Betul Arslan Georgia Institute of Technology Replaying the tape of life through resurrecting ancient ribosomal proteins.
Bridget Waller University of Portsmouth I investigate the evolution of facial expression in humans and non-human primates.
Laurel Fogarty University of St. Andrews I work with animals and mathematics to investigate how animals learn from each other and how the ability to learn evolved in the first place.
Maria Pawlowska University of Cambridge Early life on Earth and its environment
Ceri Thomas University of Bristol I work on the fossilised embryos  of marine animals that come from rocks half a billion years in age


Louise Johnson University of Reading I’m interested in questions like: Why do our genes work the way they do? Whose side are they on? and Why do we mess everything up with sex?
Michaela Livingstone University of Sheffield I try and work out how different proteins can affect whether a gene’s ‘message’ can get out of the nucleus where it’s made, in to the cytoplasm where it needed to be to made in to a protein.
Sian Harding Imperial College London Changes in the beating cardiac muscle cell in heart failure, and the use of gene and stem cell therapy in heart disease
Steven Kiddle University of Warwick Predicting and testing gene regulation in plants that are being infected by disease.
Yvette Wilson University of Dundee Using genetics to improve barley straw for biofuel and stock feed


Marieke Navin University of Sheffield Study of elusive neutrinos these particles effect the way the universe was created and how it evolves
Pete Edwards Durham University Exploring the Dark Side of the Universe
Stephen Curry Imperial College I study the molecules of life and death in glorious detail in three dimensions
Steve Roser University of Bath building cell membranes with bubble mixtures, looking at them with multi million pound donuts.
Tom Hartley University of York I use brain imaging to find out how different kinds of memory are made and how we use them to recognise places and find our way about.


Claire O’Donnell North West Specialised Commissioning Team I work out which new treatments are likely to be of most benefit to people (and which aren’t!) so the NHS can be fair to everyone; otherwise we’d end up spending all the money on a few gadgets with bells, whistles and flashing lights and the rest of us would have to make do with a couple of plasters.
Greg FitzHarris University College London Why women’s eggs ‘go off’ as they get older
Jane Cleal The University of Southampton I show how things cross the human placenta in order to feed the fetus; this is vital for fetal survival and has never been done before!
Jo Broadbent NHS North East Essex (PCT) I am a Public Health Consultant in the NHS and apply the principles of public health science to improve the health of the population in North East Essex.
Nuruz Jaman University College London Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust We investigate mainly the causes of male infertility.
Vicki Onions University of Nottingham Researching whole ovarian freezing and transplantation for fertility preservation in women and girls, for example, undergoing sterilising chemo- or radiotherapies.

Sports Science

Peter Styring University of Sheffield Carbon dioxide capture & re-use; snowsports engineering
Rebecca Randell University of Birmingham Investigating the effects of green tea on fat burning during exercise
Sally Barber University of Leeds The effect of exercise upon cardiovascular changes and functional ability in health and disease states.
Sally Fenton University of Birmingham Research as part of a multi-national european collaborative group scientifically validating the health and fitness benefits associated with playing football in childhood and assessing the implications this may have for the current obesity epidemic.
Sian Lawson Newcastle University Studying the musculo-skeletal system using the mechanics of movement.



Daniel Mietchen University of Jena I do methodological work (primarily imaging) in biophysics to investigate life across scales in space and time, e.g. catalysis, cell division, fossilization, cold hardiness, music perception, brain folding.
Derek Mann Newcastle University We are discovering ways to encourage reversal of liver damage caused by viruses, alcohol and obesity.
Ian Sillett Home Office I provide scientific support and advice to law enforcement and counter terrorism agencies for the UK Home Office, specifically in the area of automated cctv analysis.
Philip Wadler University of Edinburgh I design programming languages. It’s like inventing new ways to think.
Upul Wijayantha Loughborough University My research interests include nanotechnology, solar energy harvesting, energy conservation and energy storage.


Alastair Sloan Cardiff University Tissue engineering of hard tissues (teeth and bone) and use of stem cells in developing new therapies
Emma Carter University of Birmingham Using a quantum force to make a new generation of micro machines
Hywel Vaughan Bloodhound SSC Design Engineer on Britain’s latest Land Speed Record Vehicle. Designing the cockpit and steering wheel for a 1000mph car.
Keith Brain University of Birmingham Understanding how the nerves that travel throughout our body subconsciously regulate all our essential bodily functions.
Vicki Stevenson Welsh School of Architecture I try to help people reduce their reliance on fossil fuels through energy efficiency and alternative energy sources.


Donna MacCallum University of Aberdeen My work focuses on investigating how fungi are able to set up infections, and sometimes kill, seriously ill patients.
Joanna Buckley Freelance I promote science to young people (on radio and in books) but previously I worked on developing silver dressings to kill bacteria such as MRSA
Mark Lancaster University College London Particle physics – I am seeking to understand the evolution of the Universe in the first fraction of a second after its birth in the Big Bang in terms of a small number of fundamental particles and forces and these processes ultimately resulted in the cre
Stuart Kyle University of Leeds Trying to persuade cells of the body to grow on an artificial scaffold outside the body that will be replaced inside the body – tissue engineering using smart nanomaterials
Tim Craggs University of St Andrews We use state of the art microscopes to watch individual molecules interacting and changing shape


Antonia Hamilton University of Nottingham when you see your friend point to an ice cream van, how does your brain understand and respond?
Matthew Hurley University of Nottingham Tyring to stop bacteria working as a team in lung infections in children with cystic fibrosis
Douglas Blane Freelance Science Communicator Used to design and model dynamic systems (nuclear reactors, underwater robots, oil-rigs); now science writer, journalist, communicator.
Tom Hardy Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) Government research and development in the field of counter terrorism (explosives and weapons)
Hugh Roderick Leeds University I’m developing pest resistant crops for African farmers.


Laura Maliszewski UK Science and Innovation Network, British Consulate-General Boston I’m a Virologist informing UK policy in life sciences and building US-UK scientific collaborations
Lily Asquith University College London Smashing particles together and seeing what happens
Mark Roberts University of Oxford How bacteria sense the outside world (Bacterial sat nav….)
Paul Roche Cardiff University University and schools education, public outreach in astronomy, and occassionlly helping to weigh a black hole
Sarah Bardsley Environment Agency I am a Horizon Scanning Scientist – I identify new science and technology developments that may impact the environment in the future.


Daniel Richardson University College London I study social cognition – in this case, how people talk, think and lie – by using lots of gadgets to track movements of their eyes and body.
Jon Copley University of Southampton I explore undersea volcanoes, miles deep on the ocean floor, in search of new species of deep-sea creatures, so we can better understand the web of life in the oceans – our planet’s largest habitat and last unexplored frontier.
Louise Dash University of York I use computer models to study the physical properties of nanoscale devices and understand how they interact with their environment
Sharon Sneddon University of Manchester I am trying to find ways of creating ethically acceptable human embryonic stem cells.
Zoe Duck Univeristy of Reading During infection, the bubonic plague bacterium covers itself in a protein that activates the immune system- my job is to work out how the protein gets out of the cell


Andrew McKinley University of St Andrews Light is all around us, but we can now use it to pick up and move microscopic cells, to control them, and even to perform surgery – without even touching them!
Ben Still Queen Mary, University of London I am a Neutrino Particle Physicist; I use the very smallest building blocks of Nature to answer the Universes biggest questions.
Beth Dyson University of Manchester Trying to stop plants getting sunburnt!
Heather McKee University of Birmingham Psychology of weight loss, motivation and goals
Louisa Chard Queen Mary, University of London designing genetically engineered viruses to treat cancer


Alexandra Kamins University of Cambridge Fruit bats in West Africa can carry diseases that affect people, and we’ve discovered that people hunt and eat the bats; just who’s at risk and of what, exactly?
Dean Whittaker University of Bath I use neutron scattering to work out where atoms are and how they’re jiggling about in disordered materials.
Jessica Housden EADS Astrium Ltd I design spacecraft the look at climate change
Luisa Ostertag University of Aberdeen I am trying to find out how eating specific foods (for example dark chocolate) can influence your risk for getting cardiovascular disease (like stroke or heart attacks).
Sian Foch-Gatrell University of Dundee Population composition and abundance, identification efficiency and the genetic structure of great white sharks

Aluminium Zone

Hermine Schnetler United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre I am a Systems Engineer and responsible to design and develop telescopes and instrumentation to allow the UK Astronomers to do their research.
Katie Mee British Geological Survey Geology and volcanology
Laura Dixon Scottish Agricultural College I study what motivates animals to perform various behaviour patterns, including both normal and abnormal behaviours.
Nathalie Pettorelli Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London I am exploring the possible effects of environmental change on wildlife & ecosystems
Paula Salgado Imperial College London I focus on finding out the shape (structure) of life’s fundamental molecules: proteins, since that’s really important to understand their function and can also help develop targeted drugs to cure and prevent diseases.


Andrew Leitch University of Edinburgh/NHS I’m a clinical research fellow; a doctor working in science to develop new treatments for lung inflammation.
Andrew Maynard University of Michigan Helping people to make science-informed decisions about stuff that affects them
Emma Pilgrim North Wyke Research I am an ecologist working to ensure farms can be both profitable and wildlife havens.
Marianne Baker Bart’s Institute of Cancer (Cancer Research UK) I am a PhD student working on pathological angiogenesis (blood vessel growth into tumours) in Down’s Syndrome & how researching this can help develop new anti-cancer therapies.
Paula Gilfillan Ministry of Defence (Royal Navy) I research, develop and write environmental management policy for the land estate of the Royal Navy.

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

Posted on May 17, 2010 by in News. Comments Off on Who are the scientists taking part in IAS June 2010?