Where Are They Now? Biology Alumni Hana celebrates two years at AstraZeneca

Hana graduated from the University of Kent in 2017 with a BSc in Biology. In this post, Hana shares her favourite memories of being a student at Kent, and the career path she's enjoying today.

Bio Alunni Hana at AstraZeneca

My name is Hana Lunn and I am an Early Pathology Clinical Cancer Research Scientist for AstraZeneca. I graduated from the University of Kent in 2017 with a Bachelors in Biology and went on to study a Clinical Neuroscience Masters at University College of London. My research focuses on understanding the efficacy and target engagement of oncology therapy treatments. I also help determine which treatment will be the most effective in cancer patients by seeing which is able to inhibit tumour growth, eradicate the cancer and keep the patient in remission.

Studying at the University of Kent

The University of Kent immediately caught my eye as an accredited course based in a beautiful region, with the perfect balance of country and city. Upon looking at the course modules, everything I had wished to learn over the years was listed and I knew when graduating that I would leave as well rounded individual.

The greatest highlight during my course was carrying out my final year project within the Griffin Genomics Laboratory. It was the first time I was conducting extensive experiments and learning a variety of skills such as Fluorescent Immunohistochemistry and Confocal Microscopy-skills of which I use in my job.

Working daily within the lab cemented my love for lab based research and encouraged me to pursue my passion of working in a research based job.  

The most challenging part of my course naturally were the exams. I would flourish at coursework but during exams I would get very anxious and suffer from panic attacks. From the very beginning, the university was incredible in accommodating to my anxiousness in having me sit my exams in a calmer setting and setting up appointments with the Wellbeing team.

The Wellbeing team were phenomenal and helped me develop techniques and strategies to help me centre and calm myself in times I felt overwhelmed. 

Life after graduating from Kent

After attaining a 2:1 in Biology, I successfully attained a place at University College of London to study Clinical Neuroscience, with the potential to go into Medicine after. However, during my course I worked within the renowned UCL Queen Square Huntington Disease Laboratory for a year and once again, I fell in love with the atmosphere and analytical approach to the lab research environment. After graduating from UCL, I had a 3 month period of PhD interviews and job hunting. Fortunately, I successfully attained a position as an Early Pathology Clinical Cancer Research Scientist for AstraZeneca and I love the research I do. 

From the first year I was part of the Belly Dancing Society, I had wanted to learn a new skill and try something to get me out of my shy bubble I was once in. I loved the sense of body positivity, self love, sisterhood and a loving community the society offered me . We performed at all the dance and cultural festivals and organised workshops to teach others belly dancing techniques. In my final year I was the  President and enjoyed the responsibility in leading my society through all our trials and tribulations. The most enjoyable part would most definitely be performing at different events and competitions and how 4 years later, I am still very close and in contact with all the members. 

Favourite Memories of being a student at Kent

I have two of my best memories from Kent. The first would be seeing my final grade for graduation and to then have that immediately followed up with an email declaring my acceptance to UCL. I was elated to see I had successfully passed all my exams and further excited my journey was not to end.

My second best memory was collecting my degree during my graduation ceremony with that sense of achievement and the feeling of ‘ I did it, I actually did it and this is my stepping stone into the big world’. 

Microscopy work at the University of Kent


Hana’s Advice to New Students

My advice to a new student at Kent is to explore all your possibilities and reach for every opportunity. Learn as much as you can, get as much experience as you can (volunteer/ ask your lecturers if they are offering work experience/ apply for summer internships). However, as important as studying is, it is important to belong to the UKC community, participate in societies and sport clubs, cheer for your university during Varsity and build relationships .

As a new graduate, building relations and maintaining connections is key. Your inspirations should be your lecturers in your given career field of interest, therefore ask them for guidance. Your LinkedIn profile is important and allows potential employers to see if you have a foundation of skills they are willing to build on by hiring you. Therefore, a clear, honest and structured LinkedIn profile is essential. Likewise with a CV, it is a portrayal if you want to show your employer to see you , so present your best skills that will make you the ideal candidate for the job.


Thank you Hana for sharing your experience of life studying at the University of Kent and the career path you’re now enjoying. 

Are you a Biosciences Alumni and want to share your experience of life at Kent? Get in touch with us by emailing natsmarketing@kent.ac.uk to share your personal story.