Hannah Walker

Hannah Walker – Senior Research Technician, University of York

When were you at Polam?

1989 – 1996

What did you study at Polam?

 Biology, Chemistry, Maths, General Studies

What are you doing today?

I work for the YCR Cancer Research Unit as a Senior Research Technician working on prostate cancer, based at the University of York.

What does your job involve?

The work of the laboratory is focused on prostate cancer. I am involved in several research projects with the aim of elucidating the molecular mechanisms of cancer progression and investigating novel therapeutic strategies. Supervising and teaching is an integral part of my role, including undergraduate students (term-time and summer projects), visiting students from overseas, Masters students and PhD students. It is an interesting and varied role with never a dull moment!

How did Polam help you to get there?

Polam gave me a very good grounding in hard work, time management, communication skills and also gave me the opportunity to study separate sciences – something I could not have easily done elsewhere.  The staff went the extra mile to help me when I didn’t understand a concept and helped me develop the tools required to learn and teach myself when I got to University, then later in Research. I left with a confidence to cope with all sorts of situations, including presenting to large groups of people and being able to stand my ground in the workplace.

What’s your best memory of Polam?

It’s hard to pick one!  Generally the friends I made throughout the school by participating in the orchestra and the inter-house competitions as well as those in my class.  I also loved being able to wander around the grounds at break times and I thought the lunches were amazing. Sitting in the library next to the fire when it was freezing outside and when my experiments went very wrong, such as accidentally setting fire to the bench in Chemistry class.

Who was your favourite teacher and why?

Mrs Kendrick and Mrs Dobson for making lessons fun and interesting and never being too busy to help me.