Presentation Secondary School, Ballingarry (until 2011) , National University of Ireland, Galway ( 2011-2015)
BSc in Microbiology
Full time PhD student
I am a full time PhD student at NUIG, I am funded by the Irish Research Council and work at the Nucleic Acid Diagnostics Research Laboratory (NADRL) .
Favourite thing to do in science: Play around with new equipment and discover new things
About Me: I am a crazy cat lady who loves all things science and science fiction.
Hi I am Shannon, I am 25 years old and am originally from Germany.
I grew up in the countryside of Tipperary, where I loved to dance, sing and do Taekwondo. Once upon a time I was an all-Ireland fighting champion. Not much has changed since then except I am now the proud owner of a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and instead of spending my time doing Taekwondo I am now an avid Netflix-watcher.
Science has always been my favourite subject and I always knew I’d do something science related. Originally I wanted to be a forensic scientist (I have possibly watched every episode of CSI in existence) but after a few years in college doing a general science degree I begun to fall in love with molecular biology, infectious diseases and diagnostics.
Ever since then I have thrown myself into the amazing world of microbiology and never looked back!
My Work: Looking at the smaller picture
To paraphrase Shrek;
Pathogens “are like onions. Onions have layers”, pathogens “have layers. You get it? They both have layers”
The first couple of layers are what you can see either by eye or through a microscope
The layer I am most interested in is what you can’t really see. The inner workings of pathogens. How their “brains” work, how they survive within human bodies and how they “make decisions”.
My main focus are fungal pathogens. These are kinda like microscopic-deadly versions of the mushrooms you have in your fry at breakfast.
My Typical Day: Coffee, Analyse sequences, Coffee, grow some fungus, extract some RNA, Coffee
What I'd do with the money: Providing information on the importance of science in treatment of disease
Generate posters which highlight the importance of science in the development of novel therapeutics and diagnostics. A lot of people focus on the human aspect of infectious diseases but I’d like to show people that in order to treat people we must first understand what these microorganisms are doing within themselves which cause them to be so deadly.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Bubbly, Compassionate , Organised
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Snowboarding in the French Alps
What did you want to be after you left school?
Scientist or Hairdresser
Were you ever in trouble at school?
That’ll be telling….
What was your favourite subject at school?
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
The coolest thing that I’ve got to do because of science was attending a small RNA conference in Crete. A work trip that was also a huge amount of fun! Science is a universal language so you get loads of opportunities to travel!
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
I was a really sick child and always wanted to do something that could help others that are now in similar situations.
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
Hairdresser or make-up artist
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To win the euro millions, to cure cancer and to be able to talk to my cat!
Tell us a joke.
Why is the mushroom always invited to parties? Because he is a fun guy!