Elaine O'Reilly

Favourite Thing: I love being in the lab and discovering new things. I learn something new and wonderful every day.



Loretto High School Beaufort – University College Dublin (2001-2006 for Degree) then University College Dublin (2006-2010 for PhD)


BsC and PhD in Chemistry

Work History:

I worked in a bar all throughout my degree. After my PhD, I worked at The University of manchester doing reseach for 4 years.

Current Job:

I am a lecturer and researcher in Chemical Biology


Manchester Metropolitan University

Me and my work

My Typical Day

I spend half of my week in the lab trying to develop enzymes which the pharmaceutical industry can use to make important drugs. The rest of my day is typically spent lecturing and teaching students in the lab. Travel is also a big part of a scientists job so I am always heading off to nice places to give talks and attend meetings.

What I'd do with the money

Our Chemistry Society is not very well funded so I would like to help fund a PhD studnet to enable them to communicate their work to young people.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Obsessive-compulsive cleaner

Who is your favourite singer or band?

I am a big Michael Jackson Fan!!! Old school!!

What's your favourite food?

It’s bad, but I do love a McDonalds!

What is the most fun thing you've done?

I own a racing mini and (when I have time) I go back home to Ireland and race in the National Hillclimb Championship.

What did you want to be after you left school?

I always wanted to be a Vet! I love animals. Now that I’m a scientist, I just keep lots of pets.

Were you ever in trouble at school?

I was always in a little trouble over something if I remember correctly.

What was your favourite subject at school?

Always science. I loved biology.

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

We have just developed a process for making really important drug compounds and I hope it will change the way industry make these pharmaceuticals forever.

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

I was always good a science at school and I think that’s why I decided to do it. I have been inspired since by some really great scientists who I have worked for.

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A Vet!!

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

First – I would ask for my mum back. I miss heer so much; Second – I would love to make a real difference to peoples lives through my research; and Third – I could do with knocking a few years off!!!

Tell us a joke.

Two snowmen in a field, one looks at the other and says “can you smell carrots?”

Other stuff

Work photos: