Monday, 28 September 2015

Student wins IBMS President’s Prize

Liana Gynn 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.

Liana is pictured below receiving the award from Andrew Usher, IBMS Council member for the South West Region (to Liana's left), along with Dr Craig Donaldson (to Liana's right: Acting Head of Department of Biomedical & Healthcare Science) and Dr Simon Fox (Biomedical Science Programme Leader).

Liana took full advantage of the opportunities available at Plymouth and proactively sought a placement year in the Centre for Biomedical Research. During the placement year she helped to establish stromal/mesenchymal cell cultures and  optimized several cytotoxic and genotoxic assays including the comet and micronucleus assays to examine chemotherapeutic induced damage to bone marrow stroma. She showed initiative throughout her placement and has was very proactive in seeking advice and setting up collaborations to move the research forward.

“Gaining practical research experience was something that I was really interested in, and so I was lucky to have been able to assist in the research of Dr. Craig Donaldson as a year’s placement. This gave me invaluable experience of what real research entails and helped me develop skills on both an academic and personal level. These skills formed a much stronger foundation for my final year and inevitably led to the successes I have seen since. Having had such a positive time in research so far, I look forward to what lies ahead in a research-based career.”

In her final year Liana studied Transfusion & Transplantation Science, Biochemistry, Molecular & Cellular Pathology and Current Developments in Biomedical Science and her research project was “‘Characterisation of Human Stromal Cells Exposed to Conventional and Reduced Intensity Chemotherapy using Mass Spectrometry-Based Proteomics.” She was very self-motivated, conscientious and again her attention to detail was exemplary. She was awarded the Research Excellence Award (Highest Achiever in Research Project YR3) for the best final year project and the Academic Excellence Award (Highest Achiever Year 3) on the BSc Biomedical Science degree.
“Along with the School’s weekly seminars and the lab meetings I attended through my placement and final year, I have also enjoyed the opportunity to partake in research conferences. I attended the UKEMS conference this July, which was a four day event covering many aspects of toxicology and cancer prevention, as well as presenting a poster of my final year research project at the University’s Biomedical Research conference this September. Not only were these fantastic learning opportunities, but they provided the structure to network with such a wide variety of research professionals, which I now know to be central to successful collaborative research.”

Liana will shortly be starting as a Research Assistant at the Royal Cornwall Hospital working on haematology and oncology clinical trials and we wish her well in her future career.