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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Generous gift helps biological science students gain first hand experience of research

Published: 1 October 2013

A graduate of Biological Sciences has generously funded a vacation scholarship so undergraduate students can carry out their own practical research project in the University of Southampton laboratories.

Dr Sarah Caddick, who studied for a PhD with Dr John Chad and graduated in 1993, is now the Neuroscience Advisor to Lord Sainsbury of Turville and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. She returned to Southampton to meet biomedical sciences student Tom Gleeson, now in his third year, who was awarded the competitive scholarship in summer 2013. He says it was an amazing opportunity: "I enjoyed working alongside postgraduate researchers in the laboratory and it has motivated me to continue in research by studying for a doctorate". During the summer, Tom worked with supervisor Dr Herman Wijnen and PhD student Karolina Mirowska on a project using the genetic animal Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly, as a model system to investigate sleep disruption in Alzheimer's disease. He has obtained interesting preliminary data suggesting that a protein implicated in neurodegeneration affects the ‘clock' neurons in the fly.

Tom Gleeson, Dr Sarah Caddick, Professor Lindy Holden-Dye and Dr Herman Wijnen
"Amazing opportunity" Tom Gleeson

"Tom worked hard and achieved a great deal in six weeks," says Herman. "He then presented his research to the Southampton Neuroscience Group and impressed scientists and non-scientists alike." During the holidays, Tom is a care assistant in a nursing home where several residents suffer from dementia, so he has seen the effects of neurological conditions at first hand.

Sarah's gift has resulted in the creation of the John W Caddick Neuroscience Scholarship in memory of her father. She says: "I wanted to make the donation to support scientific education and help inspire the next generation of neuroscientists. It is very rewarding for alumni to keep in touch with the University and make a difference for today's students."

The John W Caddick Neuroscience Scholarship is coordinated by Professor Lindy Holden-Dye and a call for new applicants will be announced in December 2013. All second year undergraduates studying neuroscience as a component of their degree are eligible.

Dr Sarah Caddick and Tom Gleeson
Vacation studentships are available to talented and motivated undergraduate students
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