Dr Michael Mather is Clinical Fellow in Otolaryngology at Newcastle University. He was encouraged to apply to Rugby by his teacher at school in Northumberland.
‘At the peak of the pandemic, it became clear that medical research was one of the critical industries to assist with the fight against Covid 19. We have been able to make unique contributions to the research effort by looking at possible atypical manifestations of Covid 19.
‘I remember when I was in the LXX taking part in an engineering project in which we had to identify a bridge in need of renovation, then come up with a range of designs including all the mechanics and load-bearing calculations. In much the same way we have applied our existing immunology expertise in middle ear infections to investigate whether the virus can cause ear infections, using an array of laboratory techniques that we translated from other research projects. Thinking innovatively and laterally is going to be key to better understanding the effects of Covid 19.
‘Rugby instilled in me a strong sense of resilience which is critical in times such as this. The ability to square up to a challenge and keep picking yourself up when you get knocked down is the only way to proceed. I learned how to keep calm under pressure at Rugby, and gained the confidence to lead others. ‘