The Honours Year Symposium was held in the School last week, which provides an opportunity for students to showcase their honours research to the academic community across the Schools of Life Science and Medicine. This is the third year of the symposium, which saw 120 students presenting their honours research that spanned a wide range of themes in biosciences. Prizes were awarded to the best posters in biomedical and biological streams and for each of the different project formats: Laboratory, Literature with Data Analysis and Science Communication. Students also had the opportunity to submit presentations about their research for a competitive oral presentation session that was judged by academic members of SLS.

Winners included students who performed their honours projects in GRE. Michaela Omelkova who was in Sonia Rocha’s lab won two prizes, silver award for best biomedical poster and highly commended for biomedical competitive talk. Her project was entitled “Family of Sequence similarity 60A (FAM60A) protein responds to glucose and serum availability with different kinetics in HepG2 cells.” Best lab-based poster was won by Simon Bajew who was supervised by Victoria Cowling. His project was entitled “Investigating the transcriptional role of the human mRNA cap methyltransferase complex RNMT- RAM.”

“It was fantastic to see the wide variety of projects and subject matters tackled by the undergraduate students for their Honours Projects. Their enthusiasm was very evident through their strong presentations of their research,” said Professor Julian Blow, Dean of Research who attended the poster sessions and awards ceremony. “To hear from the external examiners that they were highly impressed by the standard of oral presentations given is testament to the hard work from the students, their project supervisors and the teaching staff. Well done to all students who took part.”

Particular thanks to our Principal and Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Pete Downes who attended one of the poster sessions and to our external examiners who attended the symposium and made time to talk to the students about their educational experience at Dundee:  Prof Rob Aitken (York St John), Dr. Keith Brain (Birmingham), Dr. Simon Brennan (Manchester) and Prof Bill Kerr (Strathclyde).

Photograph: All the prize winners. Simon Bajew (far right back row) and Michaela Omelkova (middle front row).