Edinburgh Fringe Month!..

…by Phoebe / from the United Kingdom / PhD Tissue Repair 2013-2017

This month I was involved in the site visit for the new Centre for Tissue Repair and Regeneration which basically involved making a poster of my work and presenting it to the visitors from the Wellcome Trust so they could get a feel for the postgraduate student experience and work here at the University of Edinburgh. It was another nice opportunity to communicate my work and the visitors were all very friendly, enthusiastic and interested. We also got a delicious free lunch but I am not saying that was my highlight!

Site visit

In terms of the lab I have been concentrating on optimising cell isolation techniques in order to isolate specific cell populations from my tissue of interest: the uterus! In this way I will be able to collect these cells from tissue at various stages of endometrial repair and regeneration and subject them to further investigation so I can see if there are any special characteristics which makes them important to scarless tissue repair. It is really important that I am able to reproducibly and reliably isolate the exact cells of interest so a lot of work is going into optimising this process.

Additionally I attended a ‘Getting the most from your PhD’ talk, discussed the positive feedback from the Supercytes MRC Science Festival sessions and have taken on the task of proof reading the English on my Italian friend’s thesis… She is doing so well and I am learning a lot about Mast Cells and how to put together a thesis- a good experience all round!

And on the social side of things as you may know the Edinburgh Fringe Festival was happening throughout August so of course I managed to see some shows and enjoy the festival atmosphere with friends and family including: Calvert’s ‘Mind Games’ with mind reading and hypnotism, Paul Dabek’s ‘Look at Me’ an hour of comedy and magic, ‘Duo Bogof’ a mix of modern art and magic, ‘Simple Space’ an outstanding acrobatics show, Laurence Owen’s ‘Cinemusical High’ a one man singing performance depicting typical teen movie high school kids; my best friend from high school Rachel Sermanni playing her beautiful music, and countless street spectacles. We also went on one of Edinburgh’s spooky ghost tours which take you into the Vaults beneath South Bridge and I have to say I felt very uncomfortable and unnerved in there!!


On another less successful trip out to the Fringe the other tissue repair students and I saw a horrifically outrageous take on Punch&Judy (definitely NOT how I remember it as a child!), a not-very-funny-at-all female comedian from Essex who confused us more than make us laugh, and then a ‘Hate on’ show where the audience wrote down topics for the comedians to ‘hate/rant about’, this was actually quite funny. Finally I also did the not so sensible night out till 5am on two occasions: one was for salsa where my legs genuinely felt like they were going to fall off afterwards; and one was with my younger sister and a friend where we sampled the music of Bar-bados followed by Sabor followed by the hive followed by the 24hour Scotmid on Nicolson street for some nourishment!

All in all the festival has been a good one for me and I highly recommend getting involved in as many aspects of it as you can next year 😀 !

Living in my new flat is going extremely well, we have completely settled in and only have one box of stuff to find a home for- I have a feeling that box may be kicking around for some time yet haha! We have already had 4 visitors to stay in the spare room all of whom say it is very comfortable and I have been doing a lot more cooking: pea and ham soup, chicken and leek soup, chicken curry, lasagne and beef stroganoff are my current achievements!

And finally, the Bake Off has started again bringing about our tradition of gathering together to eat baked goods, drink copious cups of tea, watch the programme and chat about life in the lab! The only downside to this year so far is that Isaac and I crashed into EACHOTHER whilst cycling to Tess’s flat… dim wits!


SO till next time…



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