Lesley Sheach, 2016 Crick-CRUK doctoral clinical fellow, Michael Way's lab
I joined The Francis Crick Institute as a Crick-CRUK doctoral clinical fellow in September 2016 and registered as a postgraduate student at Imperial College London.
I am a trainee in obstetrics and gynaecology, based in north east London. I have always had a keen interest in gynaecological oncology and, as the end of my ST5 year approached, I was actively looking to take time out of programme and carry out research. When the opportunity to undertake an ovarian cancer-focused PhD project arose it couldn't have been a better fit.
Applying was one of the best career decisions I have made and I feel very privileged to be part of this programme.
I undertook a master’s degree in research (MRes) prior to completing medical school and, although that was many years ago, it was extremely valuable. While research techniques and equipment have changed dramatically since then, having experience of working in a laboratory and understanding the challenges involved reassured me that it was an environment I could adapt to.
I work in Michael Way's laboratory and am part of a group of nine researchers. The team have been welcoming and supportive from day one and this has helped me to make progress with my project quickly.
I work with a virus called Vaccinia and am exploring its potential as an oncolytic therapeutic. My day-to-day schedule predominantly involves planning and executing experiments and analysing data. The Crick is a brilliant place to carry out research, not only for the amazing facilities and environment it provides but also for the wonderful seminar series you can attend, the courses on offer and the social scene.
Being registered with a university further expands the resources available and I couldn't think of a better academic set-up.
My ultimate goal is to be an academic clinician, specialising in gynaecological oncology. Upon completion of my fellowship I plan to apply for subspecialty training, ideally as part of a clinical lectureship post. Undertaking research in a world-class institute will undoubtedly be a great help on this path.