Gaining a variety of crucial biological lab skills

Dental School building
Joe White
Undergraduate Student
Intercalated BMedSci Degree
Project title: The Role of Tumour Suppressor HOPX in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

When did I do my BMedSci?

2011-2012 between my 2nd and 3rd BDS years

My project

I investigated the expression of a potential Tumour Supressor gene in Oral Cancer. Tumour Supressor genes are switched off in cancer and are therefore usually genes which control the cell cycle and tissue growth. This gene could therefore have had the potential to be a target for chemotherapy. My work was purely lab based, using cell cultures and whole tissue biopsy specimens. I performed analysis of protein expression, gene expression and attempted to induce expression of my gene in cancerous cells to see what would happen.


I have presented at the all expenses paid BDA/Dentsply Undergraduate Research Conference in Marylebone, London.

A paper is currently being written containing some of my work.

Honours or prizes

I have presented at the British Society of Oral and Dental Research Conference in Bath, UK where I won the Junior Colgate Award for best undergraduate research presentation.

I will present my work at the International Association of Dental Research Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in Summer 2014 where I will be competing for the Junior Hatton Award

What I gained from my BMedSci

I gained a thorough appreciation for academic dentistry. It has improved by scientific understanding of oral pathology, oral medicine, oral surgery, cell biology, microbiology and biochemistry. I have learned a massive variety of crucial biological lab skills and not just pipetting! I feel confident in reading and critically analysing research papers. I have a good working understanding of statistics and statistical analysis. I have gained valuable work experience and an award that will hopefully make me stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs. I have gained greater clinical experience by having an extra year treating patients which has helped my clinical confidence and patient management. I have gained experience of what a non-clinical PhD would entail should I decide to do this at a later date.

I am getting my elective trip paid for as it coincides with a conference I am being sent to. I gained more friends by moving down a year and by working with PhD and Masters students in the department.

I got to have TWO GRADUATIONS!!!

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