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5 minutes with Phoebe Aucken

Phoebe Aucken recently joined the School of Basic & Medical Biosciences where she is working as a Research Assistant investigating the efficacy of treatments for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia . We spent 5 minutes with Phoebe to find out where she sees herself in 5 years, what inspires her and what she recommends we watch on Netflix.

Phoebe Aucken

Briefly, tell us about your background and career up to this point?

I have an integrated Master’s degree in Biochemistry where I developed a fascination with oncology. I’m passionate about improving our understanding of resistance to chemotherapy and want to make a difference both to those with cancer and their loved ones.

I worked in a diagnostics lab after graduating in 2021 to learn new experimental techniques in advance of a career in research and now I’m where I want to be working as a research assistant in oncology.

What is a typical day like for you?

I’m currently working with patient samples from clinical trials in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia to measure how well they are responding to treatment, so my days consist of setting up and running qPCR experiments to detect specific genetic mutations.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Be kind to yourself; things take time and you might not always succeed in ways you wanted/expected to but that’s okay.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Hopefully in a postdoc position after completing an oncology PhD.

What do you do with your time outside academia/work?

I’ve recently got back into reading so have been steadily working my way through my bookcase and my grandfathers’ who I recently started a book club with. I also love yoga; it can be surprisingly intense but is the perfect way for me to unwind after a day at work.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I’m so excited to be back working in research and will soon have my own research project to run alongside my clinical trial work, and I can’t wait.

Who inspires you most and why?

It might be a cliched answer but my parents. Life hasn’t been easy for either of them these past few years, but they’ve kept going no matter what and still find time for their passions and their family. I’m incredibly proud to be their daughter and so grateful for all they’ve taught me.


Favourite season:

Autumn, especially in one of London’s many parks, the colours are unbeatable.

Favourite London restaurant:

Cicchetti Piccadilly, never knew Italian tapas was a thing until I tried it here and it changed my life. Definitely not an everyday restaurant but so worth it for special occasions; the food and wine are delicious and the decor is beautiful.

Netflix recommendation:

The Fall starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan, dark and intense with incredible acting.

One thing you could not go a day without:

A good old cup of tea, PG Tips has my heart.

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