Iain Jack, lecturer in clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice at Ulster University and a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, is hoping to lead his team to victory in the current series of University Challenge.
Jack, currently working towards a PhD in the use of photodynamic therapy for treatment of non- melanoma skin cancers, sits on the team alongside fellow students Kate Ritchie, Cathal McDaid and Matthew Milliken. Although the team initially lost to the University of Edinburgh on 17 July 2017, as the “highest scoring losers” in the first round Ulster were entitled to return for a play-off against St Anne’s College, Oxford, which aired on 30 October. Having beaten St Anne’s 175:90, Jack’s team now returns to BBC2 on Monday 27 November to face Warwick University.
“I have always been keen on quizzes,” Jack said. “When I was an undergrad pharmacy student, there was a quiz every Wednesday at the student union which I enjoyed. I am especially keen on history so trying to revise people and places from the past wasn’t a chore.”
Jack acknowledges feeling “quite nervous” about the upcoming battle, but remains philosophical. “We did well against Edinburgh in our first match and beat an Oxford college in the play-off, so if we do succumb we will have had a good run.
Jack is also laid-back about his new-found TV celebrity status. “The students have been complimentary, but I think more students saw me when the [30 October] show appeared on Gogglebox the following Friday.”
Watch Jack and teammates take on Warwick at 8pm on Monday 27 November, on BB2: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09hd9tq