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Women in Science

Bryony did a degree at Nottingham in human genetics and then her PhD at Imperial College, which was funded by an MRC Capacity Building Studentship. She now has a postdoctoral position at Oxford, where she is working on the molecular basis of gene regulation in blood cells.

Portrait of Bryony Graham


at the time of the interview - December 2014

Bryony is a research scientist (postdoc) in the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. 

Extended biography

at the time of the interview - December 2014

Bryony was interested in science from an early age. She grew up on a farm and was encouraged by her parents to be curious about the world around her. In spite of going to a school where Chemistry was not taught in the sixth form Bryony managed to teach herself ‘A’ level Chemistry and won a place at Nottingham to study Human Genetics.

Before starting her undergraduate degree Bryony worked for a year as a research assistant for a pharmaceutical company. She felt that she was just a ‘cog in a machine’ and didn’t enjoy the experience of working in industry.

 ... you’re doing experiments that no-one’s done before because you're working on a question that doesn’t have an answer yet - and that's pretty cool. So I love it and I would absolutely hands down encourage people to go down this route

After completing her undergraduate degree at Nottingham, Bryony then moved to Imperial College, London, to do a PhD, funded by an MRC Capacity Building Studentship. She was working on non-protein coding RNAs in stem cells and lymphocytes, and is now trying to publish the results of that work.

Having finished her PhD Bryony moved to Oxford. She wanted to focus her research in an area with more direct application to human disease. She obtained a postdoctoral post looking at the molecular basis of inherited anaemia, and is now in her third year of a four year post. 

Bryony still works very long hours but loves her job and finds science an exciting and stimulating career. She worries about the lack of security due to short term contacts and would like to obtain a permanent research post eventually, but is open to alternative career paths and, in particular, is interested in the communication of scientific research to a non-scientifically educated audience. Background/Nationality: White British.