Demi: Studying Immunology
My name is Demi and I went to the Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre, working with Prof Mhairi Copland. The centre is part of the University of Glasgow and the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research and was a truly amazing place to work! It was really cool to work with such a talented group of people. Not only were they talented and genuinely interested and excited about what they do- they were all super nice people as well!
The placement really helped me understand, much more fully, things I had already learned during my course and I got to see how they are used.
I really enjoyed designing my own experiments and although I had to learn that some experiments don’t work out, I quickly learned this is just part of being a scientist!
Jason: Working at GlaxosmithKline
Immunology at the University of Glasgow provides the necessary scientific background and essential practical experiences within the first three years of the degree. All of this was enhanced when I had the opportunity to take on a year work placement at GlaxoSmithKline. At GSK, I was constantly learning new lab techniques, gaining different perspectives and becoming a more confident individual.
I should emphasize, I started this placement lost and inexperienced as any undergraduate always feels. It took time to get used to the new setting, but I was always supported by my peers and the staff. You will develop your scientific writing, presentation skills, and have an edge in this increasingly competitive field.
Above all these professional benefits, this is a brilliant opportunity to meet new people and experience a different environment. If you have the chance, take it. The MSci work placement programme is not an opportunity you want to pass on!
Beth: Researching Mice
I did a summer project in Annette MacLeod’s lab at the Garscube campus. I am working with mice models to establish whether there is a trypanosome reservoir in the skin of the mammalian host and whether this is important in transmission of the parasite to the tsetse fly vector using imaging and dissection techniques. I am being funded by the Carnegie Trust Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship.
Gillian & Mark: Working in an Oral Microbiology Lab
During the summer, I was working in the oral microbiology labs at the University of Glasgow dental school/hospital for 7 weeks. Throughout the 7 weeks Gillian and I were focusing on Candida albicans and their ability to produce biofilms. Our main concern during the summer internship was helping Ryan a PhD student working with Professor Gordon Ramage.
One of our main aims were to observe if certain drugs (Miconazole, Fluconazole and amphotericin B) would prevent the growth of Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus and a co- culture of the two organisms.
Unfortunately as the deadline for funding for this project was the 15th of March and I applied after this date, the project is completely voluntary for myself. This may be off-putting for some; however it has been completely worth it! As Gillian Merriman had already got in touch with Professor Ramage, I then sent a short email asking if there was a possibility to volunteer in his lab and he was very helpful and replied extremely quickly.
I heard about work placements from demonstrators in labs and was then told to email lecturers and ask if they would take me for a few weeks in summer. In my work placement with Mark we looked at the polymicrobial interactions with Candida albicans and S. Aureus using biolfilm, cfu counts and eventually using c. Elegans worms.
Leon: Working at NovaBiotics
I served as a research associate at a biotech company in Aberdeen called NovaBiotics Ltd. for the duration of my work placement year.
My primary goal at the company was to gather pre-clinical data on the efficacy and stability of a novel antifungal peptide known as Novamycin® by independently conducting a variety of microbiological and biochemical laboratory experiments. While our team remained small, my colleagues were dedicated and more than happy to provide me with all the support I needed throughout my placement. This contributed to an excellent work environment, which also encouraged initiative and contribution to experimental design on a personal level.
As part of my responsibilities, I was also expected to record and present my findings at regular intervals, as well as contribute to a laboratory cleaning and maintenance routine. The work placement year is a great experience, as well as a personal and professional wakeup call. It gives you the chance to make new friends and learn new skills, while working in an exciting and stimulating environment, but it also puts the knowledge taught in your undergraduate course to the test, while giving you an idea of what career path might be right for you.