I undertook my SURE placement during the summer between my third and fourth year of my Biomedical Science degree

Fatima-Rose Lugtu - student profile
Fatima-Rose Lugtu
MBiomedSci Biomedical Science
Summer placement: investigating the role of long-noncoding RNAs
The research that Fatima-Rose conducted during her Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) project helped to bring attention to exciting RNA molecules worthy of further study in field of transcriptomics.
Fatima-Rose Lugtu - student profile

I undertook my SURE placement during the summer between my third and fourth year of my Biomedical Science degree. I first heard about the SURE scheme when I attended a talk on work experience by the Careers Service. I wanted to explore career options and I felt that the SURE scheme was a perfect way to gain real insight into a career in research.

My role as a student researcher was to investigate the role of long-noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). Recently, lncRNAs have emerged as crucial regulators of cellular processes in disease, but the function of most remain poorly understood.

My supervisor, Dr Steven Brown and his laboratory worked collaboratively with various faculties within the University of Sheffield to develop and apply an innovative strategy that led to the identification of novel lncRNAs associated with various types of cancers.


Dr Steven Brown and members of his laboratory helped guide me through my research. They provided me with invaluable knowledge about good research practices.

Fatima-Rose Lugtu

MBiomedSci Biomedical Science


During my placement I analysed the data from this study, with focus on testicular germ cell cancer, and gathered information about each lncRNA from various databases. Following this, I created parameters to highlight key lncRNAs which I thought were worth investigating.

Next, I designed specific primers, performed PCR, in vitro transcription and RNase digestion in order to create endoribonuclease-prepared silencing RNAs (esiRNAs), which when transfected into cells should knock down the lncRNA of interest.

Unfortunately, I did not have time to test the esiRNAs. Even so, I have helped bring attention to interesting and exciting lncRNAs and have provided a pool of novel hypotheses worthy of further study.

Dr Steven Brown and members of his laboratory helped guide me through my research. They provided me with invaluable knowledge about good research practices. Undertaking the SURE scheme has also improved not only my laboratory skills but also transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, analytical skills, time management – all of which I can apply to both my masters and future career.


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