My PhD is part of a multi-centre European project called TOXI-Triage. Part of this project is the analysis of clinical samples obtained from patients from three different clinics around the world. The purpose of these analyses is to detect changes in metabolism that can potentially allow rapid diagnosis from radiation burns, alcohol and pesticide poisoning.
Before studying at Loughborough, I was working in a pharmaceutical company in Cyprus as an Analytical Chemist.
I chose Loughborough University firstly to study MSc Analytical Chemistry. The main reason for applying for this course was the structure in which the MSc degree would be delivered, as well as the opportunity for hands-on experience in analytical instrumentation.
For the past two years I have had the opportunity to work in a friendly and supportive team within CAS (Centre for Analytical Science), where individuals are prepared to discuss and provide constructive feedback on several topics relating to my research. I get the chance to maintain and work on analytical instrumentation and work on my self-development through various courses available from the University.
Studying a PhD provides me with the opportunity to challenge myself through the research projects, since it demands 100% commitment from beginning to end. Self-discipline, clear targets and visions are crucial to aid this ‘roller-coaster’ ride.
As part of my PhD, there is practical work being done daily due to the nature of my project, which gives me a more structured routine. Having a weekly and sometimes daily schedule is necessary, as a PhD may give you the flexibility to structure your work according to the needs of the projects, but it's also a way to develop time management and organisation skills.
Working in industry made me realise that I’m missing the opportunity in working on a research topic which interests me and could possibly make a difference in the world of disease diagnosis. I find it fascinating working on a topic which can potentially aid numerous people worldwide, by putting the theory learned from my undergraduate and master’s studies into practice.
In five years, I am hoping to continue my career in research by using the skills I’ve gained during my PhD both in self-development, as well as knowledge in my research area.
My advice for a future PhD student would be to enjoy the ride! Be prepared to fall and get up again; believing in yourself even at the toughest times will only make you stronger. It’s an amazing journey during which you can test yourself for its limits.