Liam Shaw submitted his doctoral thesis this week. This is a rite-of-passage that every PhD student feels deeply about. Handing in the body of work you’ve spent the previous 4+ years working toward is extremely satisfying. It’s a weight lifted from your shoulders. Viva day is when you become a Dr, submission day is when you get your life back.
Submission day marks a transition to where you suddenly don’t need to feel guilty about time spent away from the thesis. After the requisite sleep, it is also a point where you can reconnect with friends , family (and grumpy cats).
Rather than let this momentous day go unacknowledged, I instead wanted a to share with you Liam’s concluding remarks. I read the first draft of this whilst on a train through the Scottish borders. Something about the dramatic scenery and Liam’s poetic prose gave me “the feels”. Either that or I was just pleased to have finished reading that draft! You decide.
Throughout this scientific adventure, I have investigated the roles of laminin polymerization and the importance of a highly ordered laminin network to the maintenance and behavior of cells. These behaviors form the basis of all life, allow for the construction of higher order structures such as tissues and organs, and are essential for the form and function of multi-cellular eukaryotic beings.
It is remarkable to think that the interactions of a simple cross-shaped protein have such profound and important roles to play in the development of an organism and in defining its ability to thrive
I hope that the work outlined in this thesis has gone someway further to understanding the intricate and subtle roles that this simple interaction plays in life. Roles once thought to be solely structural but are actually part of a much larger, more dynamic picture that we, as a field, are still only really starting to fully understand.Liam Shaw