School of Biomedical Sciences

Kristi Sawyer

Kristi Sawyer

BSc Pharmacology – Graduated June 2016, First Class Honours Degree

New Position: PhD, King's College, London

I am a Pharmacology graduate from Essex, beginning a PhD at King’s College London. I'll be studying the biological factors associated with childhood maltreatment and depression in pregnancy.

I particularly enjoyed my Pharmacology degree at Newcastle because of the strong focus on Neuroscience by the teaching staff, given their background in the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University. I also found that I had a large variety of opportunities to get involved in above and beyond a standard degree.

I took a year’s industrial placement between my second and third year at GlaxoSmithKline. This was invaluable in giving me knowledge of the Pharmaceutical industry and lab skills required during my applications for PhDs.

On my return in third year, I was fortunate enough to be offered a place on the ERASMUS exchange programme. I went to Paris to complete my final year dissertation project. I was enrolled at Université Pierre et Marie Curie and completed my laboratory research at The Pasteur Institute. This was an incredible experience and led to my name being published on a scientific paper.

During my second and third years I was also employed by the School of Biomedical Sciences as an Employability Ambassador. I encouraged other students to improve their CVs, I organised events and gave advice. I was also a student mentor, offering advice and support to first-year students as they began their degree. On a more social side, I was also Social Secretary of the BioSci society, which organises social events for all students of Biomedical Sciences.

I feel very proud of my degree. It has given me not just a thorough knowledge of Pharmacology, but also developed my presentation skills, report writing, literature research, and my ability to explain complex scientific concepts.

I am confident that these skills will be invaluable to me in my PhD and further into my scientific career. The academics I have learned from and worked with have inspired me to pursue a career in Science. I will be sad to leave such a fantastic University and such a friendly, vibrant city!