Heather and Laura in the lab

The TRAIN programme has recently passed its mid-term review and it is fair to say that all members of the consortium are now well established in their roles and working hard on achieving the scientific outcomes we hope will emerge from the work. The ESRs are developing as scientists and there are some great collaborations developing  both within and outside the consortium,  so we thought it was time to find out a little bit more about  the ESRs  and their supervisors by asking a few fun questions of them. Welcome to “20 Questions in 60 Seconds“.



To start things off we feature the supervisor/ESR pairing of Dr Heather Wilson and ESR Laura Martinez Campesino based at the University of Sheffield.


1) What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

Laura: I can’t choose one… I would say my family.

Heather: The sun (not the newspaper!).


2) What do you like best about working in the TRAIN programme?

Laura: Networking, not doing a PhD alone but alongside other 15 students with who I have shared lab issues, trips and problems.

Heather:  Working within a network of enthusiastic individuals to answer collective questions that are too big for us to investigate on our own

3) Where/when are you happiest?

Laura: Summers in Spain.

Heather: Hard to answer as I am equally happy: spending time with my kids / family, being at work, and making (orchestral) music.

4) What are your three most overused words/phrases?

Laura: Vale, Si, Joder….

Heather: “Busy with REF…”; “Macrophages are central to atherosclerosis / cardiovascular disease”; “Please tidy your bedroom”

5) What’s your favourite drink?

Laura: Peach juice.

Heather: Tea (English Breakfast)

6) What was the last concert/gig you attended?

Laura: Manolo Garcia in Madrid.

Heather: Hallam Sinfonia, Debussy & Shostakovich

7) Dog, cat or other?

Laura: My cockatiel bird, Danielita.

Heather: No pets (sadly)

8) Best place you have visited

Laura: Beijing, China.

Heather: Lady Musgrave Island, Australia

9) Worst place you have ever visited?

Laura: Scotland is beautiful but driving in those tiny twisty country roads on the left side made me sick half of the time…

Heather: North Peckham, London (I’ve clearly led a sheltered life; I used to live a few streets away from here some decades ago)

10) Best thing about where you live?

Laura: Not as rainy as I thought it was going to be

Heather: a stunning walk to and from work every day, from the edge of the Peak District.

11) Best thing about where you work?

Laura: Supportive and helpful environment.

Heather: The people I work with.

12) What would be the title of your autobiography?

Laura: Positivity in mind.

Heather: Impossible to answer; it would not sell.

13) If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Laura: To understand/speak any language of the world.

Heather: To refocus my science into tackling planet-threatening issues such as climate change.

14) What is your most hated chore?

Laura: To iron…

Heather: Peeling potatoes.

15) What three things could the world do without?

Laura: Barriers, pollution, economic inequality.

Heather: Climate change, Brexit and Donald Trump.

16) Science is great because…?

Laura: Our research can have significant positive consequences for the society, contributing to the development of knowledge of diseases that affect many people such as obesity or cancer. And in a future perspective, our results will contribute to help patients suffering from these diseases.

Heather: It holds us with hope to tackle big problems (and we love testing our own theories, hopefully contributing something on the way).

17) What is the closest thing to real magic you have seen?

Laura: Some experiments actually working.

Heather: I am too scientific to believe in magic. Admiring the beauty of nature and our planet gets close.

18) What film/movie do you never tire of watching?

Laura: Love Actually

Heather: Love Actually (at Xmas)

19) What is the most useful skill you’ve gained so far in your PhD project?

Laura: Patience and perseverance

Heather: Self-motivation, belief and drive (although I think we arrive with this, just learn how to channel it better)

20) What scares you?

Laura: Spiders

Heather: Climate change and the future of our planet.