Current Position: PhD student, University of Cambridge
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time studying Biomedical Sciences at Newcastle University for multiple reasons. In particular, I liked that I was able to choose all of my modules in Year 3. This enabled me to study further the fields that interested me.
All of the modules contained cutting edge material and the lecturers were enthusiastic. I also enjoyed my third year project, especially as we were able to highlight our research area preferences and carry out a project in a field that interested me.
The third year project was very rewarding and provided a real feel for what a career in research entails. The project helped improve my confidence in carrying out techniques that I had learned during the course of my degree (such as cell culture and western blotting). It enabled me to learn new techniques (such as cell growth inhibition assays).
My supervisor was incredibly helpful and provided sufficient support so that I could drive forward the project successfully. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my third year project and I am grateful for the opportunity.
Newcastle University offers many great schemes and experiences for students. During my second year I took part in the ncl+ award scheme. It was a great opportunity as it provided recognition for my extracurricular activities: volunteering at St. Oswald's Hospice and carrying out the role of Secretary for a university society.
In addition, the scheme involved three workshops. These taught techniques in order to present achievements, experiences and skills more effectively.
During my second year, I also had the opportunity to take part in the Lab Assistant scheme. This was a great opportunity as it allowed me to experience working in a research lab environment. I became more confident in preparing solutions and I also learnt about the various responsibilities and roles required for a research lab to operate effectively.
After my second year, I did a summer lab project in a lab that specialised in bacterial biochemistry. I was able to learn new techniques such as protein purification methods, and practice techniques such as gene cloning and DNA gel electrophoresis.
In addition, I learnt the importance of keeping an accurate record of my experiments and how to write a scientific report. These skills proved invaluable for my third year project.
I will shortly be starting my PhD at the University of Cambridge, where I will be investigating epigenetic reprogramming in stem cells and ageing. I am excited for the challenge and I look forward to using the skills that I have developed at Newcastle.