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Aidan Seeley


Career progression

1. Pharmacology BSc

2. PhD student

3. Academic teaching


Published: 07 Sep 2017 in Academic and NHS

Aidan is a lecturer in Medical Pharmacology at Swansea University

What is your career pathway to date (including your education)?

I studied my undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen, graduating with First Class Honours. I then went straight into a PhD at Queen’s University Belfast in the same year, at which time I was also appointed as a Young Pharmacologist Trustee at the British Pharmacological Society. During my time as Trustee, I have worked to improve representation of all members, as well as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies within the Society.

During my PhD, I also worked closely with Cancer Research UK on science communication and outreach programmes, and was nominated for a Research Engagement Prize in 2017.

I was appointed as a Lecturer in Medical Pharmacology at Swansea University Medical School, beginning August 2018.

What do you do? What does a typical week look like to you?

My work primarily revolves around lab based experiments. I spend a lot of time in cell culture labs, setting up cells for experiments. Typically, this involves growing cells in culture, harvesting these cells for protein and examining intracellular protein levels.

During my lectureship post, I have worked on developing course content for the Swansea University Medical School Medical Pharmacology degree programme, as well as contributing to teaching on other courses offered by the medical school.

What do you like and dislike the most about your current position?

Work in the lab requires a high level of understanding, and so I enjoy the ability to use information I have gathered previously or found in published literature. I also enjoy the ability to use critical thinking to evaluate results generated in the lab. The difficulty with the position is that experiments often fail, and so need to be repeated. This can be repetitious and can also be disheartening as it feels like a waste of time.
Regarding the lectureship post, this offers an amazing opportunity to engage, encourage and enthuse young scientists about the field of pharmacology.

How do you see your career further progressing in the future?

In the future, I would like to continue to develop teaching resources for students studying pharmacology, in order to make the course more hands-on and engaging. I would also like to continue to do Science Communication/Outreach programmes to encourage equality, diversity and inclusion within the field.

What three pieces of advice would you give someone keen on developing a career in your area of work?

When beginning a PhD, you will be leaving a university where you’re likely one of the most intelligent graduates. You will not be when you begin your PhD, you’re there to learn, not to know.

It’s just as important to close doors on opportunities as it is to open doors, not every opportunity will suit you.

Get your name out there, promote yourself, make your name stick and doors will open. 

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