Postgraduate student achievements 2020

11 December 2020

PhD success

Despite the difficulties posed by the global pandemic, 2020 has been another great year for our postgraduate students.  Twelve students passed their PhD viva and have embarked on their science career, many defending their PhD thesis by video conference. Congratulations to them all.

PhD vivas in 2020

Eilidh Livingston and John Hallet (Forbes lab), Yixi Chen and Ammar Natalwala (Kunath lab), Mario Gómez Salazar and Joan Casamitjana (Peault lab), Benedetta Carbone (Kaji lab), Diana Sa Da Bandeira (Crisan lab), Vasiliki Symeonidou (Ottersbach lab), Ana Maria Rondelli (Williams lab), Ute Koeber (Pollard lab) and Michael Dwyer (Soufi lab)

Twelve PhD students who passed their vivas in 2020
Left to right from top: Ana Maria Rondelli, Mario Gómez Salazar, Michael Dwyer and Vasiliki Symeonidou. Yixi Chen, Ammar Natalwala. Benedetta Carbone and John Hallet. Eilidh Livingston, Ute Koeber, Diana Sa Da Bandeira and Joan Casamitjana\n

Wilmut prize

Every October, CRM gets together to celebrate our young scientists and their science, usually at a hotel in the Scottish Borders, but this year online. The quality of their science shone through, with John McKendrick winning the Wilmut prize.

The Wilmut Prize was established in 2014 using funds that were donated to mark Professor Sir Ian Wilmut’s retirement. The prize is judged on the quality and quantity of the scientific data that they generated in their PhD project as well as their presentation and question handling skills. The top 3 students were invited to present at the CRM annual retreat where the best student was selected. Congratulations to John and the other finalists Fenia Tsouki and Ben Southgate.

3 Minute thesis

We also challenge some of our PhD students to present their research in 3 minutes, using one slide according to the rules of the international 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Congratulations to Leslie Nitsche who won the CRM 3MT competition. The 3MT competition is based on a concept developed by the University of Queensland which quickly spread across Australia and New Zealand, and has gone global.

Public engagement

Congratulations to Ella Mercer (Emmerson lab) on winning the CRM Public Engagement prize for her support of Public Engagement in the Centre, and attracting funding for her engagement work with head an neck cancer patients.

PhD Students who won prizes in 2020
Clockwise from top left: Leslie Nitsche, Ella Mercer, Vasiliki Symeonidou and John McKendrick

MSc by research

Many congratulationto the first cohort of students from the MSc by Research in Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Repair. Caroline Aguilera Stewart and Ingrid Tsang have been awarded  their MSc by Research degree with Distinction, and Jiazheng Lai and Miguel Robles Garcia have been awarded their MSc by Research degree with Merit. 

International recognition

Our PhD students often receive national and international recognition and this year has been no exception, albeit often through online participation.

Congratulations to John McKendrick  on winning the Best Scientific Submission at the International Head and Neck Cancer Conference. Vasiliki Symeonidou, who successfully defended her Thesis in 2020 won the Greg Johnson Award at the International Society for Experimental Hematology. Kirsty Ferguson (Pollard lab), who defended her PhD in December 2019, applies and was this year chosed to present her research in the Houses of Parliament during STEM for Britain 2020.

Kirsty Ferguson presents in Parliament

Welcome new PhDs

We welcomed a new cohort of PhD students in October and they have embarked on their training, observing social distancing rules.

In December, as part of the Institute for Regeneration and Repair, we launched the Martin Lee Doctoral Scholarship Programme, following a generous donation from Martin KS Lee. This programme is now recruiting and will begin in October 2021.

We look forward to a smoother and successful year for our postgraduate students in 2021.

Martin Lee Doctoral Scholarship Programme