The MRes gave me a great opportunity to take the lead on research
“I came to Sheffield in 2016 as an international student,” says Pooja Patel, who is originally from Kenya. “I really love Sheffield as a city because it’s very student-orientated. There’s loads of international students, so you get to meet people from all over the world.
“Initially I picked Biomedical Science because I really loved biology at school, and I was interested in the physiology modules. But then I got introduced to cardiovascular science in my final year of my undergrad and I decided to pursue the MRes in Cardiovascular Medicine. It was a challenging course, but I really enjoyed the experience. It was very well organised and we were taught by professors who are experts in their fields.”
Pooja credits the hands-on MRes research project as the reason why she decided to pursue a PhD in 2022, after working as a Research Technician supporting the COVID vaccine trials.
“I really loved it. It gave me a great opportunity to take the lead, develop a hypothesis and follow it through in the lab by generating and analysing data. I enjoyed my topic so much that I jumped at the chance to complete a PhD relating specifically to inflammation in atherosclerosis. Now I am funded by the BHF to look at a particular protein called TMED10 and explore if this particular channel facilitates the release of inflammatory cytokines which exacerbate atherosclerosis.
MRes Cardiovascular Medicine graduate
“The taught modules at the beginning of the masters course have been absolutely essential. They’ve really helped me develop a theoretical understanding of the disease I’m now studying.”
The Cardiovascular Medicine MRes also prepared Pooja for life as a PhD student, and gave her the opportunity to learn techniques that she still uses in the laboratory today.
“The assessments that we did in our MRes were very much tailored towards how you would get assessed in a PhD,” recalls Pooja. “We didn’t have traditional exams, but we had to do presentations, project reports, and write up a thesis. That really helped us to get used to the way a PhD would be set up and made my transition to PhD study so much easier.”
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