When I had the idea for what I am doing now I was reading about lots of other things that other scientists had already done, and I thought ‘No one has tried to do this yet!’ and I thought about it and realised that it would be a really useful thing to investigate. I think a lot of scientists get ideas for what to do either while they are doing one experiment and realise that there is another one they could do that’s related, or from reading about what people have already done and thinking of what is still missing.
I was working in the body parts area (histology) and my lab loaned me out once a week to the cytology dept. And I was looking after a patient’s clinic, and I loved it and the cytology lab were really happy with my work and asked me if I wanted to apply full time in cytology. So I changed disciplines but still do some histology.
I was writing the end part of my PhD thesis (this is the big book you need to write about your research to pass the PhD and become a doctor!). I was thinking about the results I had, but there were still a lot of unanswered questions, and I thought I knew a good way to get some answers to them. It all went from there really – I expanded my initial ideas from looking at a single disease to looking at a whole range of different diseases, and the idea has grown! Hopefully I’ll have a few answers in a years time or so!