News Archive

29 May 2017

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).

8 May 2017

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.

2 May 2017

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.

4 Jan 2017

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.

7 Nov 2016

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.

19 Oct 2016

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?




22 Sep 2016

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.

26 Jul 2016

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.

26 Jul 2016

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.

8 Jun 2016

Final countdown for the EASTBIO Symposium 2016!


If you would like to get a glimpse, why not check out the blog site of our keynote speakers Professor Nicola Clayton and Artist-in-Residence Clive Wilkins, The Captured Thought?

It's right here.

8 Jun 2016

Dave Walker, our second-year student rep has a publication out - see more here.

The paper explores the cellular signalling pathways that permit glucocorticoids and insulin to stimulate Na+ transport within cortical collecting duct cells.  The authors discovered that both glucocorticoids and insulin regulate Na+ retention via expression of serum glucocorticoid
kinase 1 (SGK1) through two distinct physiological mechanisms.

The paper has also been highlighted in a recent editorial too, here. You may recognise a reference to a certain piece of work by JRR Tolkein...

Dave, who's also helped with the organisation of the EASTBIO 2016 Symposium, twits at djw23_MOB


31 May 2016

EASTBIO DTP PIPS Coordinator, Caroline Pope has recently reported on PIPS.

This is an exciting time for the new 2015 cohort of EASTBIO students. Many have innovative PIPS ideas. The deadline for submitting the ‘PIPS Planning Sheet’ is September 31st 2016. To help with this students are encouraged to

  • Read the 'EASTBIO brochure' and ‘PIPS Student Guide’
  • Agree PIPS timing with PhD supervisor
  • Review the skills audit to assess what skills and experience you wish to use PIPS to develop
  • Attend networking events and discuss with a Careers Advisor
  • Explore online existing 'Internship' schemes etc.

The 2014 cohort are busy approving their ‘PhD Internship Agreement’ which outlines the parties, roles and responsibilities and project details of their internship. Professional internships are being developed in Scottish organisations such as: Parkure, Ingenza, Snygenta, Elsevier, GSK, the Scottish Government as well as further afield in Canada and Germany. Congratulations to all of our 2013 cohort who have completed their PIPS and are now submitting the online the post ‘PIPS BBSRC DTP PIPS Placement Report’.


31 May 2016

First-year student Hamish Todd (U o Edinburgh) has been working with the Protein Data Bank to integrate his virtual reality program onto their website: that way he will be enabling people to look at any protein they like in VR!

Proteins and nucleic acids are complex three-dimensional structures. In order to learn, research, or speak about them, we are often required to internally “picture” them - and if we are interested in docking, substrate binding, or point mutations, our ability to picture them will be sorely tested.

In collaboration with the protein data bank, he intends to use virtual reality technology to improve the way that biomolecules are illustrated. If you can find your protein of interest on the protein data bank, he intends that the user will simply have to click one button to be taken to a VR representation of it, which may be twisted arbitrarily and docked to other proteins. By allowing multiple people to view a person interacting with a protein in a single environment, the vision is to bring something very new to biology teaching.

Here's a visualisation on it.

31 May 2016

In January this year Ben Rutter (U of Aberdeen) attended a 2-week ‘workshop on genomics’ in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic. It was a very intensive course which was ‘developed in response to the increasing demand for training on how to effectively analyze and manage data generated by modern sequencing technologies’.

The reason for him going to this was to be able to learn how to assemble a genome De Novo. After this course and just recently he has, he told us, assembled the genomes of two fungi that have never had their genomes sequenced before, using the command line.

Ben has never had any experience of the command line and now he feels very confident about this. Hewanted to make others aware of this course for analysing any sort of sequencing data - it covers many topics and not just whole genome sequencing.

For more info on the course, see here.

31 May 2016

Congratulations to another one of our third-year, Douglas Pyott (U of Edinburgh) for his research paper! Details and abstract below or for a link, click here.

Pyott, DE, Sheehan, E, Molnar, A. ‘Engineering of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated potyvirus resistance in transgene-free Arabidopsis plants.’ Mol Plant Pathol. 2016 Apr 21. doi: 10.1111/mpp.12417.


31 May 2016

Congratulations to our third-year student Audrey Henderson (U of St Andrews) for her research paper, which came out in April 2016:

Henderson, A. J, Holzleitner, I. J., Talamas, S. N., Perrett, D. I, ‘Perception of Health from Facial Cues’. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

The paper investigates which facial cues are important when making judgements of how healthy a person looks. The contributors found that multiple cues are improtant: skin colour (particularly yellowness), adiposity levels and expersions (how smiley or dowturned a mouth looks) were all influenceing how healthy faces were judged to be. See here for more details.

31 May 2016

Katherine Bassil, a final year biology undergraduate with the American Lebanese University, made contact with Edinburgh University through Jane Haley (Edinburgh Neuroscience) to set up a lab placement at the Roslin Institute in Rona Barron's lab with final year Eastbio PhD student Kirsty Ireland.

26 May 2016

We hope you will enjoy reading the May 2016 BBSRC DTP/ICP Newsletter. Input by some of the EASTBIO students features here!

Please click on the image below.


3 May 2016

The EASTBIO Symposium 2016 on Bioscience Research is to be held at the University of St Andrews on the 13-14 June 2016.

For EASTBIO students and supervisors: To register, please click here.

To view a draft programme, click on the Symposium poster, below.


2 May 2016

Lawrence Picton, who recently graduated from the University of St Andrews where he completed his PhD funded by the EASTBIO DTP - he is actually the first EASTBIO student who completed his doctoral studies - has contributed to The Neuroethology of Predation and Escape, with Keith T. Sillar and William J. Heitler (Wiley Blackwell).

For the book flier and an order form, please click on the image on the right.

Congratulations to Lawrence for a marvellous start to his post-doctoral career!