Keane McNamee

What is your current job title in the University?

I am a PhD student in Prof. John Lowry’s lab.

Why did you choose to work in Maynooth University and how many years have you worked here?

I choose Maynooth as it’s close to where and I live, and the campus is lovely. The Chemistry Department is where I did my undergraduate degree, and I find the research I carry out in the Lowry group for my masters highly rewarding and enjoyable. So, I decided to do a PhD in the lab and here I am.

What it is you like about your current job?

I like the chance to get to do my own research which is based around electrochemical biosensors. So, there is an element of both chemistry and biology and I enjoy having knowledge from both fields and being able to apply this knowledge to my work.

Why did you choose to work in your field of research?

My undergraduate degree was in Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.  As part of this course there was a six-month industrial placement. I actually continued working in the same place I did my placement in as a laboratory technician in a COVID-19 PCR lab, which would have been a lot more biological than my undergraduate degree. I really enjoyed the biology, so when I decided to do postgraduate research I knew that I wanted to do something where I’d be dealing with both chemistry and biology, and developing and characterising electrochemical biosensors requires an appreciation of both.

Is there anything preventing you from progressing in your career?

No not really.

What is your greatest achievement to date in research?

As I’m relatively new to research it was probably getting funding for my PhD.

What advice would you give to others starting out in a similar job to yours?

If you’re unsure about a postgraduate course just talk to the supervisor(s) about areas you’d be interested in. I was originally going to continue with my career in industry but then I thought about doing a Masters, had a chat with Prof. Lowry and now I’m finishing my Masters and about to start a PhD.