The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Alex Simpson MBiochem Biochemistry, 2017

Undergraduate student

Alex Simpson's Photo

I chose to study at Southampton because of its academic reputation, the in-depth course content and the state-of-the-art facilities.

Throughout my time with GSK I was exposed to doctors, scientists and statisticians who were very supportive and helped shape my career goals

The focus on current research and the ability to be taught by experts within the third and fourth year was a real pull factor and has equipped me with the necessary skills to continue a career within biological sciences. My final research project within the faculty of medicine has allowed me to carry out research to deduce the pathophysiology of age-related macular degeneration. Not only have I carried out novel experiments to generate new data but it could also be published within a scientific journal.

During my degree, I took a year out to undertake a placement at GSK in Greater London. I chose to apply to GSK because of its reputation as one of the global leaders in the pharmaceutical industry. I was based at Stockley Park near Uxbridge, an R&D site dedicated to clinical development. My job as a medical writer involved writing integral clinical support documentation (such as reporting the outcome of a clinical trial) to support the approval of oncology and respiratory drugs globally.

Throughout my time with GSK I was exposed to doctors, scientists and statisticians who were very supportive and helped shape my career goals. It was great to see how the company was driven by science and devoted a lot of resources to the development of staff. The pharmaceutical industry tends to be mistrusted, and it was refreshing to see that GSK was actively trying to change this perception through its social responsibility programmes and continued investment in R&D.

Outside of academia the university has a great range of societies, sports facilities and eateries that cater to everyone’s needs. Support from the faculty staff allowed me to enhance my weaknesses and improve my career opportunities that has resulted in feeling ready to leave university to find a fulfilling occupation. I have had a fantastic experience at the University of Southampton and would highly recommend choosing Southampton for your undergraduate degree. 

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