• Question: What is a problem you have come across during your research?

    Asked by miitomo1penguin on 12 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: David Wilson

      David Wilson answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      I study the Cholangiocyte cells in the Liver, these are the ones that make the bile ducts. They are a tiny population of cells (3-5%) and about 80% of the liver is made of Hepatocytes.
      I had real problems working with the Cholangiocytes to begin with because I couldn’t find any of the DNA markers because there was sooooooooo many Hepatocytes that were hiding them. I eventually worked out a way to remove and isolate the Cholangiocytes which allowed us to do some really cool experiments with them.

    • Photo: Marianne King

      Marianne King answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      I have to turn my patient’s stem cells into brain cells, and this process has given me many headaches throughout my PhD! They’d either all die when I tried to start certain things, peel off their flasks for no reason, not come off their flasks when I wanted them to, and even if I did make it to the end the cells would then turn into things they weren’t supposed to and I had to start again.

    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      I do clinical research, so that involves real live human participants. We are not allowed to pay people to take part in research as that would be unethical, so it can often be a problem getting enough people to give up their time to participate in the studies. We are always grateful when people do as scientific knowledge and improvements to patient care wouldn’t be possible without their help.

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 14 Jun 2019:


      I think it’s the endless struggle to get funding (at least in the early stages). I actually enjoy this battle-like challenge up to a point, but it can feel like you’re wasting time if proposals keep getting bounced back. What I would say though, is that I’ve learnt just as much from the ones that didn’t get funded, from the ones that did, and like most things in life, it gets easier with practice.

    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 14 Jun 2019:


      My job has a massive coding element to it – I mainly work on my computer and use complex statistics to understand the links between certain risk factors and particular diseases. Whenever something doesn’t work, it’s frustrating and takes a while to figure out. Most of the coding I’ve had to do in the past takes a couple of days or even about a week to run and then after that time you realise you’ve made a silly mistake at the very beginning so you have to start the whole process again. That’s probably the most annoying problem in my research.

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 20 Jun 2019:


      The unpredictability of other people to be honest, from participants to other researchers. this can be quite a challenge, especially with deadlines and collaborations with people in completely different countries

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