Liyana Binti Azmi: PhD Infection, Immunity & Inflammation

Photograph of studentI did an MRes (master’s in research) in Infection and Immunology in 2013-2014 where I did a rotation project with my current PhD supervisors Prof. Andrew Roe and Prof. Olwyn Byron.  I really enjoyed the program, mostly because I was exposed to so many different angles and highlights of research on different fields including parasitology, virology, bacteriology.  On top of that, I remember being taught by amazing lecturers whom explained about their research with passion, and it really inspired me to do the same. Amongst my MRes’s highlights was performing an experiment down in the Diamond Light Source in Oxford, crystallising proteins and working with a diverse group of people from all over the world who were also really cool and friendly – made me feel right at home.

I had such a good experience doing my MRes here in Glasgow. The people were all really helpful – you could get great scientific advice in just about every corner and the way I see it, it’s a great environment to do a PhD. Apart from my MRes, I see a PhD as a ticket to do more scientific research and a platform to interact with people from all over the world.  I was lucky enough to do this – during my PhD, I had the chance to present in many conferences and meet with even more people from all over the globe. 

Another big reason why I stayed here was because, Glasgow is hands-down, the most beautiful place on earth and I’m not even joking.  I was sold for Scotland since my MRes and I spent most of my 6 years in the UK travelling around Scotland.  Glaswegians are also the friendliest, funniest and most welcoming people I’ve met so far.  A lot of people complain about the weather in Glasgow but personally, I think it’s the weather that gives Glaswegians their dark sense of humour and humour, in every kind of situation. I also know a lot of my friends from Malaysia who think of Glasgow the same way I do – they keep coming back here for holidays despite having to travel long distances.

Glasgow is hands-down, the most beautiful place on earth and I’m not even joking.

I’d say, do a masters research program, if you can. A lot of my friends from the MRes program chose to do a PhD and I’ve known that they’ve each got a rewarding PhD experience out of it. But I also know a number of friends who chose not to do a PhD based on their master’s experience – which is good!

A PhD isn’t for everyone, it’s a big 3-years-or-more-commitment-contract and no one should be forced or pressured to do it.  If, however you choose to do a PhD, make sure that you’re ready to give it all you have – time, effort (money?), passion and enjoy it!


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