Laura Murray

PhD researcher, the University of Exeter Medical School

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If you have found something you are truly interested in, you will succeed in it.

What do you do?

I would describe myself as a microbiologist. My PhD research focusses on looking at how non antibiotic chemicals may select for antibiotic resistance in terrestrial environments. I’m in the early stages of my PhD and most of my work to this point has been culture based but I will move on to genetic techniques as the research progresses.

Why did you choose this field?

I always loved biology at school and decided to take this forward to my undergraduate degree. I took a module in applied microbiology whilst at university and I Just thought bacteria were really cool! I got inspired by a project known as the small world initiative, which encouraged students to go out and find bacteria that could potentially produce the next antibiotic. Although it was a slim chance, I found experience really exciting! It definitely sparked my love for microbiology and got me thinking about my future in science.

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

Being a PhD student is a huge achievement for me. Myself (and my twin sister) were the first in our family to go to university. I remember looking up to PhD students and thinking "Wow, I wonder if I could ever achieve that" and here I am! I think If I could tell my younger self anything it would be "you absolutely are good enough and you can achieve whatever you put your mind to".

Why do you love working in STEM?

It is wonderful to work in something you are genuinely interested in. I love to achieve and learn new things. At the moment I get to chose what I learn and where I take my research and I find that really exciting. There is so many intelligent people around me that are always happy to teach and encourage my personal development.

Best advice for next generation?

If you have found something you are truly interested in, you will succeed in it.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

"People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do"

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