Life as a Researcher- Lauren Cutmore

Lauren Cutmore

I am a PhD student at BCI. My supervisor is Professor John Marshall.

After living in London during my undergraduate degree I fell in love with the city and decided I would like to stay in London for my postgraduate study. The rotational projects on my course have allowed me to get to know lots of people within the BCI and there is a really good community feel. Whenever I need help with a new technique or trouble shooting, I know lots of people in different departments that can help!

Before joining the BCI I was studying for my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at Imperial College London.

Here, I am part of the 4 year MRC DTP programme, the first year involved three 4-month rotational projects in different labs in the BCI. As well as providing me with an MRes, this year equipped me with many different skills, and allowed me to meet many different people. My PhD project is developing new CAR-T cells for the treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. I am working on a PCUK grand challenge project with several other PhD students and post docs to try to improve the clinical benefit of CAR-T cells in this cancer.

Some of my highlights have been learning new skills such as how to perform surgery on mice and helping with outreach activities with school children at the Centre of the Cell. I really enjoy inspiring the young people and it reminds me how important my research is.


A low point so far has been spending over a year cloning, trying to insert my DNA fragment into a plasmid.

I wish I had known how long you spend preparing for experiments and how often things go wrong. It can be really frustrating when you have spent weeks on an experiment and then it doesn’t work and you don’t know why.

I'm still not sure what I want to do after my PhD as so many things interest me. I might like to stay in academia but other science careers also appeal to me such as science communications or policy making. I’ll just have to wait and see!