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PhD Student, Future Nero, Royal College of Surgeons

Kelvin E Lau How

Job title
PhD Student
FutureNeuro SFI Research Centre, RCSI
Medical Healthcare and Research
One year
  1. Bsc Hons in Bioscience and Chemistry
  2. Masters in Genetics and Cell Biology
Favourite subjects in school
The best thing about my job
My job gives me new things to learn: new techniques to master, new knowledge to know, new challenges to face, and a new horizon of research to explore. Often, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I managed to troubleshoot and solve scientific questions.

Don’t put too much expectation onto a single experiment, but instead look into the bigger picture, persevere it and you will make it to the end of the route


I have gotten the chance to meet many inspiring scientists who want to change the world for the better

My main tasks

My current study involves the study of RNA editing in the brain; knowledge in molecular biology and neuroscience are required. In this study, I will need to know how to sequence the RNA and at the same time, know how to identify differentially edited RNA in the brain. Therefore, bioinformatics skills are essential


Writing. The idea of making it scientific, concise and understandable at the same time are relatively challenging for me (especially coming from a person whose country is not a native English-speaking country). That’s why I have to read more journals than others so that I can grasp a solid and coherent way to write my paper

Who influenced me

I’d probably say myself. I chose this career as a result of my love for the subject and having the passion for patient-based research. Sorry, no cliché idolism going on here!

Work/life balance

Yes, definitely! Contrary to popular belief, I have great work-life balance at RCSI, mainly because their PhD structural programme allows students to be more independent and flexible with their time. They do organize various exciting activities that you can attend while waiting for your experiment to finish. All in all, good time management is important to keep a balanced lifestyle no matter what job/ career you have in life

Most useful aspects of my education

I’d say both my Bachelor and Master’s Degree have prepared me with the essential knowledge to help decipher questions and challenges in my everyday job. My previous working experiences in the hospital shaped me to be more of an organized person and equipped me with laboratory and soft skills that are critically important for the job. 

Useful work experience

Having some work experience in a laboratorial setting would be preferable. Disregard whether they are academia or industrial, working in the lab will definitely sharpen your lab skills and organization skills. If your mind is set to pursue a PhD, make use of the internship opportunity during your Bachelor degree (undergraduate) to work in a related-discipline laboratory. This is also your vital chance to get a suitable referee for your PhD application!   

Top Tip

Enjoy the wild ride after you enroll in a course. It is bumpy and challenging, but where is the fun in life if there is no challenge?