Since October 2018, I have been researching potential pharmacological intervention points that could prevent and/or cure acute pancreatitis. In collaboration with the American Biotechnology company, CalciMedica, I have tested the effectiveness of a novel therapeutic compound, in vitro in pancreatic cells as well as in vivo in mouse models, representing the potential translation of this compound into clinical usage against the life-threatening disease, acute pancreatitis, to which there currently is no specific cure. This research at Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences has contributed towards my Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree which I hope to obtain after my thesis submission in September and viva voce examination.
Receiving a grant from the James Pantyfedwen Foundation towards my MPhil tuition fees has allowed me to develop into a highly skilled and accomplished academic research student. I have obtained a wide range of knowledge and transferable skills that I now hope to utilise in a working, pharmaceutical industry setting.
Some of my key skills that I have gained from studying this particular course include:
- Interpersonal skills – I have developed exceptional communication and written skills after regularly presenting project data and discussing future investigations at monthly laboratory meetings, as part of my MPhil. I have also had the opportunity to present data at conferences whilst networking and building relationships with a wide range of scientists, from both academia and industry with various levels of seniority. I have been selected to give a short oral presentation at the ‘Childhood Cancer Conference’ in September 2019.
- Attention to detail – I have a sharp eye for accuracy developed through my postgraduate MPhil research degree. Over the past five years, I have had to analyse and summarise complex information as well as manage laboratory projects by regularly troubleshooting independently, as well as part of a multidisciplinary research team.
- Project and time management – This MPhil has enabled me to manage, prioritise and complete multiple research tasks of my own as well as undergraduate student projects that I have supervised.
- Research and analysis – Reading large amounts of information, analysing key figures and data and summarising novel developments in the scientific literature which I present at weekly ‘Journal Club’ meetings.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my postgraduate research experience and would like to take this opportunity to thank the Pantyfedwen Foundation for making this possible.