Department celebrates student research projects with annual poster day
Last month saw the return of our annual undergraduate Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Poster Day to celebrate the research projects of our level three students.
The vibrant event saw Firth Hall packed with nearly 200 posters with research ranging from experimental science to science policy and public outreach. The students didn't disappoint as they shared their research findings from their unique projects with academics and fellow students from across the department.
Prizes were awarded for the best projects and this year's awards focussed on women’s health, the diagnosis of blood cancers using genetics, and the superior photosynthetic properties of English Ivy (Hedera helix).
Each year our third year students complete an extended research project in an area of molecular bioscience that interests them. We can't wait to see the projects on display next year!
First place: Hannah Darley, BSc Biochemistry and Genetics with her poster on Uterine Heath Problems
"I was so surprised and pleased that my poster on uterine health issues such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis won the best poster prize! Though the results from initial questionnaires on uterine health were even more surprising! Only 6% of a selection of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology students knew it took on average 7.5 years to be diagnosed with endometriosis and 21% knew PCOS affected 100 million women worldwide. So, I decided to act - and produce a portfolio of writing on these conditions for my final year science communication project.
"I thoroughly enjoyed this project as it gave me the opportunity to raise awareness about uterine health conditions which, alongside other aspects of women's health, are very important to me. I loved the insightful conversations I had with fellow students about PCOS, endometriosis and science communication. I hope my readers gained a greater understanding of the conditions, as well as a greater appreciation of the devastating impact these conditions have on daily life.
"The skills learned throughout this project will be beneficial to my Master’s in Public Health with ScHARR next year. Finally, in the future I plan to continue to promote these issues through papers, books, or posters!"
Second place: Megan Maloney, BSc Biochemistry and Genetics with her poster on Chromosome 7 deletions in myelodysplastic syndromes
"I am very grateful to place second with my poster. The clinical diagnostics project has undoubtedly been one of the highlights of my undergraduate degree. It was extremely interesting to see how the knowledge of the genetic basis of disease can be implemented to really have an impact on patient lives. By receiving a case study patient, I was able to see the pathway and the techniques that go into investigating haematological malignancies. I also became confident in skills such as karyotyping to the point where I was able to pass an NHS competency test.
"The project and the research surrounding it highlighted an area that I am very interested in and inspired me to apply for the MSc Human and Molecular Genetics which I hope to progress onto next year."
Third place: Federica Pastorelli, BSc Biochemistry with her poster on the purification of a deep-shade adapted photosystem I complex from Hedera helix
"For my third-year research project I had the opportunity to work alongside my supervisor Dr Matt Johnson, whose interest is photosynthesis. In the project I investigated the acclimation mechanisms in English ivy, which is remarkable for its ability to grow successfully even in the deep shade of the canopy. Specifically, I analysed the composition and function of the photosynthetic complexes from ivy thylakoid membranes.
"My supervisor and the entire lab group created a highly stimulating environment which definitely contributed in enhancing my research skills. Participating in laboratory meetings, preparing presentations and learning new laboratory techniques made this great experience even more enjoyable. Following this brilliant research opportunity, I am very happy to say that I have been accepted for a PhD position available in the lab!"