Matthew Hurley

Working on writing up results

Favourite Thing: Finding out something new, then checking it again and again and finding it really works!



Chipping Sodbury Secondary School – 1989 – 1996


University of Wales College of Medicine – 1996 – 2002

Work History:

Hospitals in Cardiff, Nottingham, Mansfield and Chesterfield


University of Nottingham

Current Job:

Clinical Research Fellow

Me and my work

I’m trying to stop bacteria from working together as a team causing infections in the lungs of children with cystic fibrosis

I’m a clinician scientist interested in infection and lung disease.  After working for a few years as a children’s doctor, I am now spending more of my time trying to find out how some important bacteria cause infections and how we might be able to stop them.  Lots of bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics and so we need to find new ways to get rid of them.  This is the case for all infections but especially for people with cystic fibrosis where patients get infections in their lungs that sometimes cannot be cleared.  And every now and then I do a bit of doctoring on the side.

My Typical Day

Prepare, coffee, experiment, lunch, coffee, experiment, coffee and prepare for tomorrow, oh and perhaps another coffee.

There’s not really a typical day, it depends on the type of experiment I’m doing.  In the morning I’ll take the bacteria out of the oven that have been growing overnight.  I’ll either use them in an experiment to learn more about how they communicate with each other and team up against us, or use them in an experiment trying to stop them!  Because bacteria take time to grow there’s then a bit of waiting.  I’ll look at the results of experiments that have finished and look to see what to do next.  In the rest of the time there’s some coffee and sometimes I’m involved in helping in other studies a the moment of one involving children that come into hospital with asthma.  At the end of the day I put the bacteria I’m going to use tomorrow into the oven, and every now and then go over the road to work for the evening in the Children’s Hospital.

What I'd do with the money

Pilot an online ‘conference’ for people with cystic fibrosis

People with cystic fibrosis (CF) often have chest infections that can easily be passed onto other people with CF.  This means that when they visit hospital they cannot chat to each other and are kept apart.  We ask people with other diseases what they think about research for their disease – so we should try to think about helping people with CF to  do the same, but in a ‘safe’ way.  Would an ‘online conference’ be appreciated – or any other ideas?

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Enthusiastic, confused, caffeinated

Who is your favourite singer or band?

I’m going to sound dull but Razorlight, Snow Patrol, stuff like that

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Bobsleigh down the Olympic bobsleigh track in Lillehammer

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

Be able to get up in the morning when I want, get some more money to do some more experiments, be able to mix research and paediatrics for my career

What did you want to be after you left school?

I’ve always wanted to be a doctor – don’t know what else I’d do

Were you ever in trouble at school?

No, never. A bit of a spod I’m afraid

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

I’m going to Spain to present some work at a conference – that’ll be cool

Tell us a joke.

What’s round and growls? – A vicious circle!