Featured ‘Day in the life of’ : Ellie, Structural biology PhD student.

I’m Ellie Hurer and I am a structural biology PhD student at the University of Hertfordshire. I am researching a protein called S100P, that is implicated in Pancreatic cancer. I started my PhD straight from my undergraduate in Biochemistry, which I found to be a massive jump! I really enjoy my research but I also love my outside life. I love going to the gym and try to go 4-5 days a week, as well as going for drinks with my friends and, researching the latest fashion and makeup trends. I would like to spread awareness about mental health and post-graduate studies as 1 in 4 suffer from mental illnesses, yet I feel the subject is still taboo. I have created my instagram page @myphdexperience to  document what it is like as PhD candidate on a day to day basis, as well as talk about my mental health and hopefully spread awareness as well as hopefully helping people in similar positions!


8:20 I got in the lab and start defrosting my bacterial pellets


9:10 I sonicated my cell pellet to break the cells open


9:46 I centrifuged my broken cells to separate the insoluble and soluble fractions


10:30 I purified my protein of interest (S100P) from the soluble bacterial fraction using an AKTA purifier


13:11 I ran an SDS PAGE to confirm the purity of my protein

13:15 I put the gels into coomassie stain

14:03 Quickly did a bit of computer work (reading and writing)

14:21 Put the gels into destain, which only leaves stain on areas that contained protein (hopefully my protein!)

14:43 Made the buffer for dialysis so I could dialyse my protein into a different buffer

15:09 Put the protein into dialysis overnight

16:28 Time for some exercise! I did intermittent running and walking (5 mins each for 40 mins)


18:01 Finally, some chill out time!

1 Comment »

  1. Wonderful as to the research you are doing in relation to pancreatic cancer. Mental Health for all the years I remember has always been a stigma and been the poor relation vis a vis DOH funding.
    Good luck with your PHD and creating awareness about MH.

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