Pedro Velica

Favourite Thing: I like to sit down with my colleagues over a cup of coffee and discuss our latest discoveries or what people in other parts of the world have discovered recently. My favourite thing about science is that its always brand new and exciting.



I studied in state schools in Portugal (1990-2001) and attended the University of Lisbon to study Biology (2001-2005)


I did a PhD at the University of Birmingham (2006-2010)

Work History:

Current Job:

I am a research associate in a transplant immunology laboratory.


University College London

Me and my work

I am a immunologist so I study how our immune system fights diseases such as virus, bacteria or cancer.

I am an immunologist.
I study the cells that protect our body from the outside (and the inside) dangers, such as microbes or cancer. These days I try to convince cells of the immune system to go after and kill cancer cells. This is not an easy task as cancer cells are very crafty and can hide from the immune system or even make it work to their benefit.

My Typical Day

There is no typical day in science but normally there is lots of taking care of cells (to keep them alive), do experiments, analyse the results, cry because the experiment did not work (not really) and present your results to your colleagues and discuss them.

I work in at the Royal Free Hospital in North London.

The days in science are always very different. There is that boring part of reading and replying to emails, as in any job.

Then I have to take care of my cells, feed them, make sure they have space to grow in their petri dishes and generally keeping them happy.

Most of my day is dedicated to doing experiments, that is, asking a question, finding ways to answer it and testing using all sorts of chemicals and machines. After this I have to analyse the results to see if I answered the questions. Sometimes things don’t work but thats part of working in science.

One of the most important parts of my day is talking about science. I present my results to my colleagues and they present theirs to me. We discuss and test each other to make sure the results are really what they say.

No two days are ever the same because every day you are asking something different. This is one of the best things in science.


What I'd do with the money

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Banana. Raccoon. Barbershop.

Who is your favourite singer or band?

My iTunes tells me its Radiohead.

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Anytime I travel without a plan.

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

Be able to live by the sea in a sunny place. Be in a band and play the accordion. Not to be completely bald before I turn 40.

What did you want to be after you left school?

I didn’t know.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Yes, a few times. Am I allowed to say what?

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

Meet other scientists that love what they do.

Tell us a joke.

Whats the difference between the colour salmon and pink? Seriously, whats the difference? I don’t know. I am a man.

Other stuff

Work photos: