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I obtained a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Warwick in 2002, and then moved to the University of York to study for a PhD, under the supervision of Gideon Davies. The work focussed on the inhibition of glycoside hydrolases, in particular those from families GH1, GH5 and GH10, where we attempted to understand aspects of ‘transition state mimicry’ using a combination of X-ray crystallography, enzyme kinetics and isothermal titration calorimetry. After a short post-doc in the same lab, where I investigated the structure and function of a number of other glycoside hydrolases, carbohydrate esterases and carbohydrate binding modules, I obtained a Sir Henry Wellcome post-doctoral fellowship, funded by the Wellcome Trust, UK. This fellowship provided me with the opportunity to move to Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, to work with David Vocadlo, where currently we are investigating aspects of the O-GlcNAc post-translational modification.