Travel Award Winner Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott is a PhD student at Bristol University, studying extracellular vesicle biology in Rebecca Richardson's lab in the Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience Department. The award will help to fund his trip to the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles Annual Meeting in Kyoto, Japan.
I am incredibly grateful for this support – attending international conferences would not be possible for the vast majority of students, if not for extra support from societies and companies like Hello Bio! Aaron Scott, University of Bristol, Hello Bio travel award winner
Congratulations Aaron. First, can you tell us a bit more about what you're working on at the moment?
My research aims to develop our understanding of extracellular vesicle (EV) biology, specifically looking at their trafficking in response to cardiac injury. Exosomes (30 - 120 nm) and microvesicles (120 - 1000 nm) are EVs released from the plasma membrane of cells that can carry nucleic acids (particularly microRNAs), proteins and lipids. EVs protect their molecular cargo from degradation, allowing for a complex cargo to be transported both locally and systemically, eliciting functional responses in targeted recipient cells. EVs are emerging as vital mediators in cell-cell communication and have potential as biomarkers and as novel therapeutic delivery vehicles, but our knowledge of in vivo EV trafficking under homeostatic conditions and during cardiovascular disease remains poor. We are working to develop zebrafish models to investigate cardiovascular EV trafficking in vivo.
What is it about your field of research that gets you most excited?
The idea that cells are communicating with one another is just amazing to me, I mean cell biology is amazing in and of itself, but when you add in the fact that they need to speak to one another – what are they saying? how are they saying it? It’s like an alien universe inside of us that needs exploring!
Which scientists working today do you most admire, and why?
Yoshinori Ohsumi, he committed the time and energy needed to make real progress in a field that was relatively obscure and certainly wasn’t ‘sexy science’ when he started. Now it’s a well-funded and fundamental pillar in cell biology.
What do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing life scientists and their work?
To turn all the bricks into beautiful houses. A mass of data does not necessarily make beautiful science.
The antiquated funding and publishing structures need to be completely overhauled, as they give space for all that’s is wrong with science to fester. It’s great to see pioneering scientists lead the way, with social media providing a platform for this to happen more effectively.
What’s your favorite science quote?
“I think one of the things about creativity is not to be afraid of saying the wrong thing.” Sydney Brenner
Thank you Aaron - we hope you enjoy Japan!
You can follow Aaron on Twiitter @AaronJonScott
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