Where are they now? James Reading

BSc Cellular and Molecular Immunology

James graduated in the 2000’s with a BSc in Cellular and Molecular Immunology. We caught up with him to see where his course has taken him.

What was your dream job as a child, and what is your dream job now?

As a child I dreamt of using the spoken and written word to help people in some undefined way. Now I dream of using the immune system to prevent cancer and I hope that my group can make some contribution to that effect so we can write something meaningful and hopeful.

Why did you choose Kent?

The location and the biosciences department reputation.

What are your favourite memories from your time at Kent?

I had a lecture from Dr Peter Nicholls on cancer immunology and it changed my life. My entire career can be traced back to that moment.

What have you been up to since graduating?

I have continued with my education to include; MRes at Kent, PhD at Kings college London, a post-doc with Pfizer and Kings college, another post-doc at UCL, Principle Investigator at UCL, Theme lead of Immunology CRUK lung cancer centre of excellence, Theme lead UCL early cancer detection and prevention, UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship.

What does your role involve?

I run a research group at UCL that uses the immune system to detect and prevent cancer. We have many wonderful collaborators and I’m blessed with an exceptionally talented crop of young researchers. We are now piloting new blood tests and precision immunoprevention strategies for clinical translation.

How do you apply the knowledge and skills you gained during your studies?

I try to pay forward the inspiration I was fortunate enough to receive.

What advice would you give to current students doing your course?

Focus, work harder and sooner than you think you need to. That way you will have the buffer to never turn down a holiday or adventure. Speak to more people than you feel comfortable talking to.