DPhill in Pharmacology, University of Oxford
University of Oxford (DPhill, 2015), University of Hong Kong (Masters, 2013)
Favourite thing to do in my job: I like finding out the unknowns. Day to day, I like looking under the microscope, but honestly, I like everything about the brain.
I love challenges, love brain science and I love dogs!
Hi! I am Petrina, I live in Burnham Village with my fiancée and I (not we!) really want to get a dog! But as we live in a flat, so taking care of others’ dog is my hobby now. My favourite sports are hiking, skiing, and scuba diving. Going up and below~ The feeling of “being immerse in the nature” is what attracted me the most. 😛
I am originally from Hong Kong, I have live in the UK for about 8 years now. After getting my master degree, I wanted to see the world and get a diverse scientific exposure. So I got in touch with a Professor I admire in Oxford. He gladly took me under his wing, so I came to the UK and began my doctoral degree under his guidance. I didn’t move far after getting my Phd~ I am now working in a research institute about 30mins away from Oxford.
I am a scientist who works on brain research. I works in a research institute that generates genetics models for human diseases.
I work with 7 other people on the topic of sleep and mostly importantly how it relates to disease conditions! We look at model that carries human genetic mutations and using various tools to dissect how the changes in the genome affects behaviours and physiological conditions of the model we examine.
My Typical Day
About 60% experiment, 10% meeting, and 20% reading (paper and email~). 70% fun in total~
I usually starts at around 8:30am. When I arrive at the lab, I will first start setting up experiments for the day, then I go back to my office and catch up on emails and latest publications. Then I will start doing some experiment and have short meetings before lunch. During lunchtime, I usually call my parents. Then, some more experiments or data analysis and more meetings. Before I leave for home, I will have some more time in front of my computer for reading.
What I'd do with the prize money
Buy a brain activity game!
I really want to share a “brain activity game” with school students during public engagement. Tried that once when I was in Oxford and everyone love it, including the scientists! I’d use the prize money to get this kind of game. It is a combination of table-top football and wire loop games but controlling that using electrical activity generated by your brain (so said the game company). Two people can play this game as opponents, they have electrical sensor attached to their heads. The goal is to move a floating ball towards a goal.
What's the most important thing about sleep?
I think why do we need to sleep is the most important question that sleep research can ask. But most interesting is that sleep is a period of time that we fall unconscious but our sensation remains alerts. We think it’s a period for rest but our brain activity is similar to when we’re wake! it is a mystery.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
I’m a “creative problem solver”.
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Come to Oxford.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Prof. Somogyi at University of Oxford, who discovered a specific types of brain cell, is an inspiration and role model in my career. Prof. Susan Greenfield as a presenter at a BBC program, called the Brain Story, was the first scientist to introduce me to neuroscience.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Biology, I looking things through telescopes and microscope~
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes… I don’t follow rules to the letters
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I think I’d like to try being a counsellor or a management consultant, since like solving problems, personal or business.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Um… my favourite pianist is Martha Argerich, particularly when she plays prokofiev Piano concerto no.3.
What's your favourite food?
I love water-melon and chicken wings.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
We climb to the real edge of South Africa, Cape of good hope (so we thought at the time).
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I want a tardis, a fountain of youth and a door that would allow you to go everywhere in the universe.
Tell us a joke.
Can’t really, I am not a funny person~