Gaining skills in appraising evidence
When did I do my BMedSci?
I commenced with my BMedSci after finishing 2nd year of BDS, re-entering 3rd BDS a year later.
The title of my project was the ‘The role of lymphotactin in oral mucosal wound healing’. Essentially, my year was spent conducting a follow on study from a previous PhD student, Dr. A Khurram, in the same department of the dental school (oral and maxillofacial pathology). He made a novel discovery that the receptor for the aforementioned lymphotactin, existed in the oral mucosa, and did copious amounts of lab work which suggested it may play a role in wound healing in the oral cavity. My study aimed to test this hypothesis by creating wound healing conditions inside a laboratory environment and trying to modify the rate at which it occurred with the addition of lymphotactin. I also undertook immunohistochemistry where I stained tissue sections for both lymphotactin and its receptor.
I presented my work twice in poster format, at the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland conference in Sheffield and also the International Association of Dental Research in Helsinki.
What I gained from my BMedSci
This is best answered when I consider why I undertook an extra year out of my BDS degree – to gain an insight into research, and if it is a career path I would like to follow in the future. To this end, I definitely gained a lot from my BMedSci year. The year was varied and I was kept busy throughout the year either in the lab, writing up or attending the ethics or statistics courses (which the medical school runs). It is a must year for anyone who has a genuine interest in an academic career. I also gained skills in appraising evidence; useful in the rest of the BDS degree from assignments to clinical application of dental materials.
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