Can cancer research be done from home?

Naturally, when the COVID-19 lockdowns began, our laboratory based research had to take a pause, and we had to stay at home.

Is it possible to work from home as a scientist?

Yes!

I made this video a couple of weeks into lockdown, where I explained that there is still plenty of science that can be done without a lab. I also promised to check in later with how things went, so I’ll do that here now!

It’s now about five months later, and things have largely stayed the same…

Pubs and restaurants have reopened but I haven’t ventured into one just yet. I’m still going out for walks, and almost always wearing a mask, even in open spaces (except during the occasional isolated picnic!)

A few weeks ago, our labs began to reopen, but at very limited capacity. I haven’t been back yet – I am leaving the space to those that need it most – the final year PhD students!

I have repeatedly found myself thanking my lucky stars that I am not trying to finish a PhD this year. For those of you that are, I am thinking of you, and if there is any way that I can help you, please let me know!

I have been busy preparing for the upcoming semester, when I’ll be delivering teaching online to our undergraduate and postgraduate students. Being a module lead is a new experience for me, so leading not one, not two, but THREE modules and adapting them for online learning is going to be quite a challenge! I am so lucky that the rest of our teaching staff have been so accommodating and helpful in showing me the ropes. I hope the students enjoy my modules…

Research still ticks along, with some data getting analysed, some thesis projects getting written up, and some papers getting published, but still no laboratory work.

My current plan is to focus on honing my teaching skills, writing and project planning this semester, and then if all goes well, get stuck back into some lab work in the new year, hopefully with some new students alongside me!

Time will tell whether this goes to plan or not!

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