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Swapping the lab coat for a running vest

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Ryan Cook - a PhD student on our National PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance Research - is running September's Robin Hood Half Marathon with his housemate, Josh.

Here, he tells us what prompted him to swap the lab coat for a Foundation running vest.

My PhD looks at the role of viruses which infect bacteria in the spread of antimicrobial resistance on dairy farms.

What motivated you to support the Foundation?

As somebody whose studies are funded by the Foundation, I have first-hand knowledge of what they're all about. I love that they choose to fund areas which receive little, or no, funding from other sources. The fields which especially resonate with us are antimicrobial resistance and adolescent mental health.

In a nutshell, what are you studying in your PhD?

My PhD looks at the role of viruses which infect bacteria (known by scientists as ‘bacteriophage’) in the spread of antimicrobial resistance on dairy farms. By understanding how these viruses transfer genes between bacteria in agricultural environments, we can assess the threat they pose in potentially spreading to human bacteria.

What are you doing to prepare for the race?

We already do quite a lot of sport and exercise but haven't run any official races before. We're currently running four times a week, including one long run (nine miles or above). We want to get the best time possible, so we're pushing ourselves as hard as we can.

Are you doing anything special to fundraise?

In addition to begging our friends and family, I've tried selling cookies and Josh has tried to auction off some used running socks (there has been no interest so far).

What are you looking forward to on the day?

Crossing the finish line and immediately heading to the Turkish restaurant next to our apartment building! We both do enjoy running though, so we're just looking forward to the day itself.

Visit Ryan and Josh's fundraising pages.

Find out more about supporting the Medical Research Foundation at one of our fundraising events.

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