For his fourth-year research project, Tim worked alongside Professor Julie Gray to investigate how rice plant leaves correctly pattern the stomatal openings on the underside of their leaves. This research is currently under review for publication.
Degree: MBiolSci Genetics
“I studied for an MBiolSci in Genetics at the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. In the first year, the course gives you an overview of a number of areas, ranging from microbiology and genetics to molecular biology and biochemistry. This is a fantastic opportunity to discover more about the different subjects before you begin to specialise in your second year. The department follows a highly up-to-date syllabus taught by those currently conducting the research in that field.
“From the beginning, you are taught practical laboratory skills which ensure that you are applying your understanding of lectures in a hands-on way. Practicals teach everything from classical experimental genetics through to giving hands-on experiences crystallising proteins for X-ray crystallography. In the teaching laboratories, you work in a very supportive environment to learn the basics in your first year. You then progress through to running complex and technically demanding experiments in your third year.
In the first year, the course gives you an overview of a number of areas, ranging from microbiology and genetics to molecular biology and biochemistry. This is a fantastic opportunity to discover more about the different subjects before you begin to specialise in your second year.
“In my fourth year, I undertook a nine-month research project in the research laboratory of Professor Julie Gray. This was a fantastic opportunity to work independently and shape my own research interests. My research focused on how rice plant leaves correctly pattern the stomatal openings on the underside of their leaves, which I investigated through generation of a range of transgenic lines of Arabidopsis thaliana, a model plant species. My research here is currently in review for publication.
“This research experience and up-to-date teaching, in addition to the outstanding support offered from Professor Gray during my project, meant that I was successful in applying for a Research Assistant position at the Department of Genetics at the University of Cambridge where I have been working for the past two years investigating stem cell differentiation in the zebrafish embryo. This October I will be continuing as a PhD student at the University of Cambridge as a Vice Chancellor’s Scholar at Trinity Hall.
“Whilst the department is large, it is also a warm and friendly environment which champions quality teaching combined with world-leading research. I am sure that without starting my research career at the University of Sheffield, I would not be in the position I am today and I would wholeheartedly recommend the university to all prospective students.”
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