On Saturday 30th September the Manchester Cancer Research Centre invited four schools from across Greater Manchester to the Oglesby Cancer Research Centre for our annual Starting in Science Day.
The day is an opportunity to work with A-level students as they take their first steps in a career in research.
Working in the labs and getting to do some of the things that PhD students do really helped me to make a decision on what to study at university.
A student observing an experiment in the lab with researcher Kashmala Carys.
Students learning about protein detection with Yuki Zhou.
We opened the day with a session around how research ideas can turn into therapeutics and treatments for patients, helping students to understand and explore the different aspects of cancer research.
We then held four laboratory sessions where students took on various challenges, including trying our new Escape the Lab! activity, learning how to mark proteins and separate DNA, and exploring the impact of gases on cancerous cells in our hypoxia labs.
The lab sessions were led by Scientific Officer Steve Lyons from our Translational Oncogenomics team, alongside Dr Isabel Monteiro dos Santos Pires, Lecturer in Cancer Biology, and several current CRUK-funded PhD students.
Students also took part in a Q&A session with current cancer researchers, including medical trainees and basic biology PhD students. They explained their current roles and discussed their journeys from A-level student to cancer researcher, providing a clear link between laboratory and hospital bedside.
A careers' Q&A session with researchers at Manchester Cancer Research Centre.
We asked students what they enjoyed most about the day. Here’s a summary of what they said:
- “I especially enjoyed hearing about the journeys of the medical students who are also doing a PhD as it’s something that I’m thinking of doing in the future.”
- “I enjoyed viewing the nucleus and proteins in the cancerous cells using the scanning electron microscope.”
- “I liked the fact that we got to do hands-on experiments rather than just watching the staff there working.”
- “I learnt about the different paths that current students can take to become researchers.”
We were really pleased that our guests had a really good time and hope that they take this experience forward in whatever they do next. We may even see some of them delivering cancer research in Greater Manchester in the future!
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