For another year, the EASTBIO committee has awarded the BBSRC REP 2018 Awards.
NPIF Skills School ‘Broadening Horizons: Cultivating an Innovative Mind Set’
Edinburgh, 4 - 5 June 2018
This skills school “Broadening Horizons: Cultivating an Innovative Mind Set” has been developed by the BBSRC EASTBIO DTP and the BBSRC IBioIC CTP in partnership and close collaboration with 5 industry facilities: the IBioIC Flexible Downstream Bioprocessing Centre, Edinburgh (FlexBio); the National Phenotypic Screening Centre, Dundee; BioAscent / the European Screening Centre, Biocity, Newhouse; the Edinburgh Genome Foundry; and the Roslin Cell Therapies Ltd GMP facility, Edinburgh. It draws on expertise and know-how from these complementary partners to address industry-identified needs and skills gaps.
What participants can expect
Congratulations to EASTBIO second-year PhD student, Ms Mimi Asogwa for winning the Journal of Medical Microbiology poster prize following her contribution to the April 2018 Microbiology Society’s Annual Conference in Birmingham.
Mimi is working on a Bioscience for Health project on 'Investigating the Role of the Bacterial Mechanosensitive Channel (YnaI) in Salmonella Pathogenesis', with Dr Sam Miller at the University of Aberdeen.
Winning in western blotting at Thermo Fisher Scientific (please click on the title to read more)
by Zandile Nare
I am a second-year EASTBIO PhD student within the Institute of Immunology and Infection Research at the University of Edinburgh. My research focuses on the identification of specific inhibitors of kinetoplastid RNA editing ligase 1 (REL1), a validated drug target, for use as lead compounds for the treatment of human and animal diseases caused by kinetoplastid parasites (e.g. sleeping sickness, nagana, Chagas disease & various leishmaniases). A secondary goal of my PhD is to understand structure-activity relationships of REL1 and the other kinetoplastid ligase; REL2.
PIPS project background and motivation for pursuing project
David Walker, fourth-year EASTBIO student at the University of St Andrews (his project is 'Stress on the brain: Implications for cognitive ageing'), along with his MSc supervisor Dr Stephen Land, identified a new role for the protein, Sprouty2, a known regulator of airway branching during embryonic lung development. They found that this protein also acts within the nucleus of lung epithelial cells to regulates vascular growth of the developing lung. They conclude that nuclear Spry2 acts as a molecular link which co-ordinates airway and vascular growth of the cardiopulmonary system.
You can find the link to David's paper here.
Stevie Bain, final year EASTBIO PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, was invited by Springer nature group to blog on her research. Stevie works on Parental Genome Elimination (PGE), a unique type of genomic imprinting.
Her resulting blog - "Paternal genome elimination: investigating a strange reproductive strategy" - can be found here.
EASTBIO associate partner SULSA (Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance) is to launch in January registration for its antimicrobial resistance conference, to be held in Glasgow on 26-27 Aprilg at the Technology and Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde.
The event will bring together a range of speakers from research, health, industry and policy. Click on the image for the event's flyer.
For further information, please see here.
EASTBIO DTP PIPS administrator Dr Caroline Pope has published a paper entitled "'Work wisdom' and the PhD: Exploring the Benefits of doctoral internships" on the Vitae website's Occasional Papers series.The article draws on research data from 65 postgraduate researchers from the EASTBIO DTP programme who carried out a doctoral internship as part of their doctoral training between 2013 and 2016. The research provides their views of emerging benefits of doctoral internships to Universities, employers and society at large.
I began my three-month internship with The Naked Scientists in July 2017. As a BBSRC EastBIO student, I took some time out of my PhD at the University of Edinburgh to learn more science communication and show production.
When I began working for The Naked Scientists, my main goals were to improve my interview technique and also learn how to edit audio pieces for broadcast.
From the moment I walked into the office, I was treated as a valuable member of the team. Within the first week I had sourced news stories for the show, interviewed a leading researcher, edited this interview and published an article for the website. I loved being able to get started so quickly and found that being thrown in at the deep end is really the best way to learn these specific skills.
EASTBIO is happy to present the new Student Handbook, to be handed out to our new cohort of students and supervisors at the Induction Day (Dundee, 5 October 2017).
You can browse the contents here!
We met up earlier in Aberdeen to discuss 'delivering research to society', the focus of the EASTBIO Annual Symposium (11-12 June 2017). How apt then to receive fresh news about our very own David Walker and his latest impact podcast!
Dave, third-year PhD student at the University of St Andrews and an EASTBIO student rep (2014-2015), spoke on the 10th of June to Julie Ann Lough from NeuroEndoNow, 'the pulse for neuroendocrinologists', an impact-focused website supported by the International Journal of Neuroendocrinology. The impact case regards Dave's research, using Japanese Quails to understand impacts of pre- and post-natal stress.
Listen to his podcast here.
Hamish Todd, second-year EASTBIO student, presents Virus, the Beauty of the Beast - an interactive documentary on Friday, 30 June 2017 at The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Viruses, in spite of the pain they cause us, are some of the most beautiful creatures in the world, covered in varied and intricate patterns - the patterns on Zika virus actually have connections to medieval Islamic art.
'Virus, the Beauty of the Beast' is a documentary, three years in the making, about the patterns we find in the shapes of viruses, and how understanding them can help us fight those viruses. It has a particular focus on HIV, Zika virus, and Hepatitis and, by using animation and simulation, it explores what the patterns tell us about viruses, but also what they tell us about the human designs that they appear in (buildings, golf/foot/zorbing balls, origami, gamma ray and neutrino detectors, alloys, and more).
We are delighted to announce the list of publications that came out of the research of our students and alumni since 2014.
Congratulations to EASTBIO students and supervisors!
Browse through the updated list of publications here.
EASTBIO successfully awarded 6 BBSRC Research Experience Placement awards to excellent undergraduate students to enable them to gain lab experience during the summer months of 2017.
More information about this year's successful projects can be found here.
The next call will be advertised in the same page no later than March 2018.
Brief report on the experience by Sarah Heath (University of Edinburgh)
In September 2016, four of us on the EASTBIO DTP, Sarah Heath, Stevie Bain, Tom Booker and Edward Ivimey-Cook, participated in Environment YES, a competition organised by the University of Nottingham. Environment YES is specially designed for postgraduate students and postdocs to develop business awareness and an understanding of entrepreneurship. The aim was to develop an innovative idea that would work as a business but also benefit the environment.
The International Society of Avian Endocrinology (ISAE) held its quadrennial conference from October 11-14 2016 at Niagara-on-the-lake in Ontario, Canada. ISAE is an event which takes place every four years in a rotation system between Asia, Europe, and America, and is dedicated to showcase up-to-date advancements in the field of avian endocrinology, while bringing together scientists from all over the world. With a combination of plenary lectures, symposia, and poster sessions, ISAE2016 is the ideal venue to meet other scientists and exchange information on a wide range of avian species. Topics discussed include, endocrinology of behaviour, endocrine disruptors, neuro-endocrine control of reproduction, feeding and metabolism, circadian rhythms and clock genes.
Earlier in October, our PIPS coordinator, Dr Caroline Pope (seen on the right, at the EASTBIO 2015 Impact Symposium in Edinburgh), shared EASTBIO DTP PIPS-based research findings at the 2016 Researcher Education and Development Conference hosted by the University of Sheffield.
This research was funded by the Principal's Teaching Award Scheme.
Click here to view the presentation “Doctoral internships - fun times but was it a good learning experience?
The British Society of Neuroendocrinology held its annual conference this year in Glasgow on the 28th-30th August. The conference began with an ESR training workshop covering the latest scientific techniques, science communication and publishing strategies. This was followed by a series of talks and poster presentations from students and scientists from around the world showcasing the latest pioneering research in the field of neuroendocrinology.
Two of our Eastbio DTP students, Angus Reid (University of Edinburgh) and David Walker (University of St Andrews; see photo on the right), received joint first prize for their poster presentations at the event.
Registration is now open for the EASTBIO Induction Day 2016 (Dundee, 6 October 2016, 10:00-17:00), welcoming all new EASTBIO PhD students and their supervisors.
Induction will be followed by a day of training - for first-year students only - on 'Statistics and Experimental Design', 7 October 2016, 9:00-13:00.
Find out more here.
A long series of thanks is due to a whole lot of people this year.
The EASTBIO team and community extends a warm thank you to the host university team - Judith and Joyce - and the student reps - Ara, Scott, Selma, Alex, Dave, Georgia - for their brilliant work designing, organising and delivering the EASTBIO Annual Symposium 2016. Their ideas, organisational skills and commitment throughtout the spring and summer terms but also on the two days of the event are largely the reason why the symposium worked so well. Thanks to our tweeting students too!
We also like to thank our guest speakers professors Luke Alphey and Nicola Clayton and artist-in-residence Clive Wilkins for their remarkable contributions to the Symposium programme.