Poppy Conway-Thomas, who is continuing her studies with a view to becoming a clinical scientist, has graduated with a BSc in Biological Sciences (Biochemistry).
Poppy has recently completed a summer studentship in collaboration with the NHS and the University, exploring new techniques in bladder cancer diagnosis.
“I’m super excited to graduate and start the next step in my career,” said the 21-year-old. “My time at Worcester was amazing and I have met so many great people, with all the staff being super helpful in improving my work, especially during my research project!”
Over the summer after her final year at university year, Poppy worked on the research project which explored new bladder cancer biomarkers for diagnosis. This involved working with tissue samples to optimise a method for DNA and RNA (ribonucleic acid, which turns genetic information into proteins) extraction. Her dissertation supervisor encouraged her to apply for the project.
Poppy says the work she is a part of could ultimately see better understanding of the right treatment for patients. “A biomarker is a gene that informs a patient’s outcome; if they have certain genes, they may be more responsive to certain treatments or not,” she said. “By optimising extraction to get good quality genetic material, we can better see if certain genes are present at higher levels than others in cancers.”
She is currently studying for an MRes in Cancer Sciences at the University of Birmingham and is hoping to go on to a cancer based PhD or into the NHS scientific training programme to become a clinical scientist. “Clinical science involves processing and testing patient samples to inform their diagnosis, as well as developing new research techniques to diagnose and treat cancers, which could lead to new, better treatments and diagnostic methods for patients,” said Poppy, of Perton, Wolverhampton.
During her first year, Poppy was also proud to achieve a University of Worcester Academic Scholarship, which saw her awarded £1,000 in recognition of high academic achievement in one academic year.
The former Codsall Community High School pupil added: “I chose to study at the University of Worcester as I felt the staff were really supportive and friendly throughout the application process, and I knew their support would help me succeed on my course.”
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