Hi everyone! In January I began working on my final year project. In this blog post we will peek into a real neuroscience laboratory, check out the quirky equipment inside and I will share some details about experiments I do every day.
A bit of background
My project is about alpha-synucleinopathies, which are conditions where a protein called alpha synuclein (ASYN) is mutated and forms toxic “clumps” in the brain. Examples of alpha-synucleinopathies are Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.
Working with poo turned out to be exactly the summer experience I wanted!
I worked at the national Cryptosporidium Reference Unit (CRU) at Public Health Wales in Swansea with Professor Rachel Chalmers and her team. I received a Scholarship from the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) for this placement, writing the application together with Rachel.
Cryptosporidium is a parasite that causes diarrhoea, is found globally
and is typically passed from animals, other people, food and fresh water
sources. It is currently a human health issue due to the significant effect it
has in developing countries and the lack of specific treatments to fight the
parasite. Quite often how well you recover from the illness depends on how
healthy you were to begin with!
I look at the screen and smile. After an intensive six-hour lab session involving lots of careful pipetting, I’m ecstatic that the experiment I’ve spent weeks on has succeeded at last.
At the moment, I’m based in a biology research unit at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies on the planet. I’ve been on placement here for over nine months; I still can’t quite believe it some days.
John Cornilius was appointed as the School of Biomedical Sciences first ever Student Enterprise Ambassador earlier this year. Through a series of blog posts, his youtube channel and his LinkedIn profile, John aims to share reflections on his own enterprise journey. Follow along by clicking the #EntrepreneurshipDiary tag or the link in the sidebar.
Background Story Part #1
As my LinkedIn profile indicates, I recently started a role at my university as a Student Enterprise Ambassador. In this video I give an introduction to what this role means for me and you, as well as my motivation for applying. I will be creating some content regularly and posting that up as my business idea progresses from seed to idea to product.
Take care and leave me your feedback in the comments 🙂
December saw our Summer placement poster presentation event with research presented from across the Faculty of Medical Sciences.
First of all, let me thank all of you who presented/provided posters for the event, it was fantastic to see your hard work up on those poster boards in our swanky new lab! Secondly, I’d like to thank all of you who attended, asked questions and engaged with the event (not just for the mince pies). Finally I’d like to thank our judges who did a sterling job deciding our prize winners! Continue reading “Summer Placement Poster Presentation Event 2018”
By Sam Murray – 3rd Year Biomedical Sciences student
Vacation Research Project
During the summer I worked alongside scientists in the Institute of Cellular Medicine in Newcastle University to complete a 8-week research project in Complement Immunology, and was paid £200 a week to do so! I produced a poster to communicate my research and defended it at the university wide Celebrating Research Scholarships & Expeditions presentation evening. I was awarded a Commendation for oral defence of the poster and also won 3rd prize at the School of Biomedical Sciences Summer placement poster presentations. Continue reading “My summer research really ‘complemented’ my degree”
Scientists in Newcastle are harnessing bacteria’s own defence mechanisms to create new antibiotic drugs. I spent my year in industry in the laboratory, working alongside these scientists searching for the mechanisms that could potentially be used to treat bacterial and fungal infections in humans.
Another hugely successful PARTNERS project has just been completed within the School of Biomedical Sciences. Will our potential future Stars of Bioscience make the grade? We certainly hope so!
Each summer, we invite a select group of students to take part in a summer project designed to help them succeed in securing a place studying at Newcastle University. As part of the project, the participants work alongside academics (this year PARTNERS was lead by me, SJ Boulton and my colleague Damian Parry) and their team to undertake a piece of scientific research and communicate their findings through an ongoing scientific record. Continue reading “PARTNERing up for a great summer!”
By Libby Finnigan, Stage 3 Biomedical Sciences Student.
Day 1 of my summer project
After a very rainy 45-minute trek into Fenham to the Campus for Ageing & Vitality, I was feeling a little lost and unsure of what to expect from my very first day of placement. Of course, that all changed once I met my supervisor, Dr Kirsty McCaleese.
Kirsty certainly did not strike me as the stereotypical white-coated mad scientist (well, at least not fully mad!). Honestly, she is one of a kind and I feel eternally grateful for each lesson she taught me, not just in on the project but for life in general. Continue reading “My Summer of Brains”