Monday, 29 September 2014

A Toast: James, The President, Plymouth and Beyond

James Clarke was awarded the IBMS President’s Prize at the recent graduation ceremony at Plymouth University having graduated with a first-class BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science degree.  The President's Prize of £100 plus certificate is awarded to one student graduating from an IBMS accredited BSc Hons programme who has achieved academic distinction in a particular year who is also a member of the Institute. They must be registered as a member of the Institute at the time of the application.

James is pictured  above with Dr Simon Fox, (Left) (Biomedical Science Programme Leader) and Malcolm Owen, (Right) (Secretary, IBMS South West Region branch).

James enriched his BMS degree by being an active member of the student Biomed Society at Plymouth and particularly, by undertaking a second year Summer bursary placement funded by Society of Biology on the role of CCN1 in the resistance of  Mantle Cell Lymphoma to Lenalidomide (Revlimid®) in the laboratory of Dr Lynn McCallum.  “Dr McCallum's outstanding teaching and guidance was instrumental in me continuing in research. The summer intern scheme, helped me develop the required molecular techniques and organisation for effective research. In addition, the enthusiasm of the researchers, in helping me to understand and critique current knowledge in a specialist area, was invaluable.”  James also represented the university as a student ambassador:  “I had been doing general ambassador work from the first year (open days), however moved from general, to a course specific ambassador towards the end of second year. This then lead to employment at various focused outreach events; including the Blue Mile and the Science Showcase. This outreach work by the university helped emphasise to me, the importance of public engagement for all researchers!”

James was successful at interview and is now undertaking a PhD studentship at the University of Southampton. “The course I'm starting is an integrated PhD in Biomedical Science focussed on cell biology and immunology of cancer.  It is a Wellcome Trust-style PhD with three laboratory rotations prior to me selecting one project to work on over a 3 year period. To start, my selected rotations will focus on cancer stroma, MHCI processing and possibly proteomics.  So my first lab rotation will probably be looking at the relationship between TGF-beta, the DNA-damage response pathway and CAF senescence in head & neck carcinoma.  Starting early October.”

It only leaves one thing to be said: Congratulations James, on your success at Plymouth and good luck with your PhD and future research aspirations.  We are sure that we will be hearing of you in the future!

Andy Foey, Sept. 2014.