Dr Thomas Lanyon-Hogg

What is your favourite memory of Malvern College?

My favourite memories from my time at Malvern are definitely the friendships that I made there. These friends have stayed with me ever since and have been a constant source of support and inspiration in life after Malvern. Every other OM I’ve met since leaving Malvern also seems to have their own network of close friends from their time there.

What attracted you to your particular career and what do you enjoy most about it?

I had always wanted to help people and had always been quite good at science, so in hindsight a career in biomedical research was probably the obvious way to go. There are many reasons I love what I do, but I think the biggest factor is that I find my job really difficult. Every day I’m presented with new challenges, from troubleshooting chemical reactions or biochemical processes to mentoring junior scientists or pitching for funding. It’s challenging, but incredibly rewarding.

What part did Malvern College play in giving you the necessary skills for your chosen path?

Malvern College obviously provided me with a fantastic education in science, as well as super-curricular activities such as the Lucretian Society and Wheeler-Bennet Society. I was also very fortunate to be awarded an academic exhibition, an honorary scholarship and an assisted place to attend Malvern. From the pastoral & boarding life, I have also found that the Number 5 ‘house spirit’ has been really useful to try to bring to any teams I work in – science is inherently collaborative, so working well as part of a team is essential.

What are your ambitions?

If events in 2020 should have taught us anything, it’s that we cannot wait for emerging global threats to become crises before acting. One of the next threats on the horizon is antibiotic resistance, and that problem may be far more complex than COVID-19. I hope my research group and I will be able to aid the fight against this through the development of new approaches and treatments. I also hope to be able to generate a positive impact in training the next generation of scientists by passing on the skills and advice that I have received over the years.

What advice would you give to current pupils contemplating entering your field?

The transition from scientific education to scientific research is difficult, and nearly made me quit many times. Resilience is a really useful skill to develop (in science or probably in any other career I guess). If you find a subject interesting, then go for it. There will be set-backs and knocks along the way, but never let these stop you.

What advice would you give to current pupils about making the most of their time at the school?

Just to make the most of your time at Malvern. Grades are obviously very important, but so is having extra-curricular interests and achievements. And of course, make time to enjoy yourselves too – it will be over before you know it!