With more than ten years’ experience in the field, Dayne discusses his research using human neurons to improve treatments and the quality of life for people with neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. He also shares how he is aiming to tackle the lack of BAME leadership opportunities in STEM, by mentoring and inspiring black and minority ethnic scientists of tomorrow.
How would you describe your journey to Oxford?
I am from Cardiff originally, and took my undergraduate degree at Leeds University in bio-chemistry, as a route into medicine. But, after my first year, I changed my mind with a stint in research, as part of my year in industry.
Time and experience showed me that what I really wanted to do was science research, helping people, but being the one to garner the knowledge that would help. It is fun to be continually asking the questions, and driving the conversation on known scientific knowledge.
Was Oxford what you expected it to be?
Oxford is a melting pot of scientific ideas that are often brewing a stone’s throw away, which makes it easier to interact with other scientists and develop collaborations.
I have been here four years now and don’t feel marginalised at Oxford. I expected there to be a low number of BAME academics at Oxford, because there have been at every other institution.
Having lived in Vancouver directly before this, which I loved in a different way, I can feel the contrast. It’s great to be surrounded by so much history. Vancouver is younger than Arsenal FC, my football team.