Emily Richardson

PhD student, The University of Leicester


Do what you love. And if you love something, keep aspiring towards it.

What do you do?

I am a cancer cell biologist. My research focuses on how cancer cells are able to change their shape and move around the body (metastasise).

Why did you choose this field?

Since a young age science has been something I’ve been interested in but I didn’t ever feel like I was necessarily the very best at. However, I continued to studied Biochemistry at university and realised research was what I wanted to do. There was a whole universe whirring away in each of our cells, and I wanted to know more. Seeing cancer cells under the microscope showed me the beauty and complexity of our building blocks, but also the dire consequences when things go wrong. I chose to continue my career in cancer research so I could help to understand these changes, so that in the future better therapies can be made.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

As a child I was extremely shy and anxious. Over the years I’ve had to train myself to be able to deal with giving public talks and have now even begun to enjoy it! I recently gave a presentation of my PhD work to my department over Zoom and managed to control my nerves by changing them to excitement. Past me would have never thought that would be possible!

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love working in the lab. Every day is different and a surprise! I most enjoy spending time on the microscope, analysing subtle changes in the shape and movement of cells. Being able to see and trying to understand their nanoscopic world is amazing.

Best advice for next generation?

Do what you love. And if you love something, keep aspiring towards it. Never give up.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” - Stephen Hawking

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