Written by Dr Alex Howarth
Metrion Scientist Dr Alexander Howarth summarises below his undergraduate and postgraduate studies and how he came to join Metrion Biosciences.
“In 2015, I graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences. The degree was fascinating and provided an in-depth insight into human biology, from endocrinology to neuroscience, immunology to cancer biology, and even human dissection! I was fairly certain on wanting to explore research from early on in my degree. I completed a research placement in the Summer of 2014 within the department investigating the role of purinergic signalling in mast cell chemotaxis, which reassured my aspirations to proceed with a career in research.
My next dilemma was deciding which field or area of research to pursue. I was most interested in neuroscience and cancer biology, as well as learning as many techniques as I could manage. Eventually, I successfully applied for a BBSRC-funded PhD in the Brackenbury lab at the University of York, researching the role of voltage-gated sodium channel function and regulation in breast cancer cells. I employed a range of techniques to investigate the sodium channel β1 subunit, specifically, including fluorescence imaging, biochemistry and above all, patch clamp electrophysiology.
I employed a range of techniques to investigate the sodium channel β1 subunit, specifically, including fluorescence imaging, biochemistry and above all, patch clamp electrophysiology.
I graduated in 2020 after presenting at multiple conferences and publishing a first author article and was faced with the scary prospect of finding my first full time job, compounded by the pandemonium of the COVID pandemic. I wanted to utilise the skills that I had learnt during my PhD to find a stable job in research. I came across the advert for an electrophysiologist position at Metrion Biosciences, which promised a meaningful, industrial application for my electrophysiology skills alongside continual personal development, and instantly applied.
I started in November 2020 and have been enjoying the job ever since!”