Helen Kundi


Advanced Research Assistant at Wellcome Sanger Institute

What do I do?

I use a special technique called microinjection to create genetically
modified mice, which are used to study rare human diseases.
We introduce changes into the mouse’s genetic code to model what
happens when humans get sick. We observe and study any changes in the mice
and try to find solutions to treat the disease. The best bit about my job is knowing that the work I carry out could lead to an important medical discovery, helping to treat people who are ill.

Me in 3 (Three words to describe me)

  • Dedicated
  • Smiley
  • Approachable

Fascinating facts about me

I am good at installing double glazing, I used to work on A/E reception and I love a cup of tea

Skills I use in my job:

Listening - I need to make sure I carry out the right type of microinjection with the required number of embryos, as this can differ between different projects

Observation - I have to select good embryos, under a microscope, that will survive the microinjection procedure

Organisation - I  require specialised equipment to do my job so have to ensure I am organised and it is available when I need it

Communication - The team has to communicate well to ensure a smooth running of the lab daily so that all the tasks required for the day are completed

Can you sort embryos with a mouth pipette?

I work with mouse embryos. An embryo is a balls of cells that will eventually develop into a mouse, they are very fragile. I have to sort the embryos daily to ensure that they are will be able to be a good enough quality to use in the research project. This means carefully moving and sorting the embryos into petri dishes and keeping them warm in an incubator.

I do the sorting using a mouth pipette, which is a bit like a long straw!

Try it yourself – all you need is a packet of rainbow drop sweets, a straw, three small bowls and some paper for labels.

How quickly can you sort them?


Use tweezers
If you are not happy using straws – try using tweezers instead.

Download profile in pdf