Seeing a different side of the dental school

Aisling Power
Aisling Power
Undergraduate Student
Intercalated BMedSci Degree
Project title: Targeting HOX/PBX Interactions in Head and Neck Cancer – Potential for Therapy?

When did I do my BMedSci

I did my BMedSci in 2017/18, in between my 2nd and 3rd year of the BDS course.

My project

My project followed on from the work previously done by another BMedSci student (Chris Platais) focusing on a group of development genes known as HOX genes and their cofactor PBX and their role in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. I investigated the effect of a novel small molecule inhibitor on these interactions using a range of different techniques including cell culture, cytotoxicity and proliferation assays, flow cytometry, qPCR and Western Blotting.

Presentations and prizes

During my BMedSci year I had the opportunity to present my research in a lunchtime seminar to the staff and students of the Dental School. As well, I had the opportunity to do a poster presentation in front of my fellow intercalators at the end of the year. Since the completion of my BMedSci I have presented my work at the 2018 National Intercalators’ Conference at the University of Bristol, and my research will be entered for the British Society for Oral and Dental Research undergraduate research prize in 2020.

What I gained from my BMedSci

I really enjoyed my BMedSci year as it gave me the opportunity to see a completely different side to the dental school and to get first-hand experience in the world of academia. As well, doing this year allowed me to develop numerous skills, varying from technical skills for labwork, to communication and confidence in presenting (at times) quite complex information. I also had the opportunity to join the Dental School Research Society, which was a really welcoming society and through this and my time in the labs I got to know a lot of lovely people.

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