I have always been absolutely fascinated by the fact all the information required to build a human being is contained in a four-letter code. This completely blew my mind when I first heard of DNA at school, and twenty years later, the complexity and beauty of it still captivates me. Following this interest, I read Human Genetics at the University of Nottingham, and then moved to Imperial College London to study for my PhD. After that, I moved to Oxford, where I currently work on how changes in ‘junk DNA’ can cause defective red blood cell function, or anaemia. Throughout my academic career I have been involved in a wide range of activities to engage non-scientifically educated audiences with research, including science festivals, writing articles for newspapers and funding bodies, giving careers talks and doing scientific demonstrations in schools, and most recently setting up a blog for the WIMM (the institute where I work).