Matthew Lam

Favourite Thing: TALK! The best way to get people excited about science. When I was in the lab my favourite thing to do was to use a high-powered microscope to take stunning pictures of cancer cells.



BSc at Aston University 2005-2008 and back again 2009-2012 for PhD – before that is too long ago to remember.


BSc. Applied and Human Biology and a PhD in Biomedical Science

Work History:

Aston University, GlaxoSmithKline, The Binding Site (biotech company)

Current Job:

Senior Research Officer


Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Me and my work

I help to manage all the breast cancer research funded by the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer

I work for a charity called Breakthrough Breast Cancer.  They are the largest dedicated funder of breast cancer research in the UK and aim to fund world-class research that can be used to benefit patients as quickly as possible.  My role is to help communicate the research we fund to a variety of people and help the staff in the office understand the science better so that they can feel more confident in their jobs.  I also work closely with the scientists we fund to help them promote their findings.

My Typical Day

Writing, talking, teaching and promoting breast cancer research.

I usually get into the office around 8.30am and do not start doing anything until I’ve had a large cup of coffee.  After that I’m raring to go.  My days are really varied so I’ll use today as an example:

Today I have finalised a press release for a new piece of research one of our scientists is publishing.  This will go out to all the media outlets and we hope it will get picked up by as many journalists as possible so that people can hear all about our work.

I have helped to turn some of our recent research findings into a document that will hopefully encourage some very rich people to donate more money to help our research continue.

I have spoken to one of our brilliant scientists about an exciting bit of research coming out very soon.

I have written a couple of short news stories, summarising some of our recent research, that will go out in our newsletter to supporters of the charity.

All that and it’s only 3pm!

What I'd do with the money

I would use it to fund a public event where we can showcase the work of our amazing scientists

I would like to put on a day for all ages where the public can come and find out about our research, meet our scientists and learn about the magnificent advances happening in breast cancer research.  Real scientists from our laboratories would be on hand to do live experiments and let everyone loose on a ‘mobile’ lab.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Biological. Chemical. Physical.

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Black Sabbath

What's your favourite food?

American deep south

What is the most fun thing you've done?


What did you want to be after you left school?

A scientist

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Yes but not for anything too serious

What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Completed my PhD

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

My school and A-Level biology teacher

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

Ha! – what I am now..a communicator of science

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

Do my job in Birmingham (I miss that city). Be in a rock band during the early 70’s. Own a pub.

Tell us a joke.

Why did the bear dissolve in water? It was polar.

Other stuff

Work photos: