Francesca Ludwinski

What a long day in the lab!

Favourite Thing: I love using the microscopes! This is a big part of what I do, and it allows me to see cells in incredible detail. My most favourite experiment is when I stain cells with fluorescent dyes, and they become almost glow in the dark!



St Agathas RC Primary School, Kingston Upon Thames (1990-1998), Ursuline Convent High School, Wimbledon (1998-2003), Ursuline Convent Sixth Form, Wimbledon (2003-2005)


Kings College London, BSc. in Medical Biochemistry (2005-2008), University of Manchester, MRes in Tissue Engineering for Regenerative Medicine (2009-2010), University of Manchester, PhD in Molecular Pathology (2010 to present)

Work History:

My first job in a lab was in a Microbiology Lab at King’s College London where we were investigating the bacteria that infected the lungs of Cystic Fibrosis sufferers. After this I moved to Manchester where I was lucky enough to start working in the lab I’m based in currently. We’re one of the world’s leading Back Pain research groups, which means that people are always very interested in our work!


Regenerative Medicine Group, School of Biomedicine, University of Manchester

Current Job:

PhD Student in Molecular Pathology

Me and my work

I look into why people develop back pain as they get older and investigating new ways to treat this.

I love science! I knew when I was at school that biology was my most favourite subject, and so I’m really lucky to be doing what I’m doing now. PhDs are always hard work, but when your experiments work and you get some good results, it makes it all worth it. I don’t think that I could do anything else; being a scientist is the only thing that I’d love doing.

My Typical Day

My day usually involves A LOT of experiments, but they kind of things I do changes every day – it never gets boring!

Sometimes I’ll have quite a few different experiments to do in one day which is always fun. Other times I might have to do some reading up on a new topic or do some computer-based things such as answering emails and completing paperwork. I currently look after two younger students and I’m helping them to complete their projects which means that I get to teach at the same time as being a student myself.

What I'd do with the money

I would use it to fund an initiative that I’m currently involved in where we try and get school children interested in Biology!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Chatty, organised and inquisitive

Would you rather be a scientist or an athlete? And why?

A scientist because no day is ever the same in what I do, and every single day you’re discovering new things you didn’t know.

If you could have a body super power, what would it be and why?

I’d have hands that could do things at the speed of lightning – I’d get lots more work done in the lab!

Which Olympic event would you most like to win? And why?

Synchronised swimming as I love the water!

What did you want to be after you left school?

A scientist!

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

I got one detention in year 8 for turning around in a maths lesson and I never wanted to make that mistake again!

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

Travelling to San Francisco to present my work at a conference with 4000 attendees.

Tell us a joke.

What did the cheese say when he looked in the mirror? Halloumi