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The University of Southampton
Biological SciencesUndergraduate study

Harriet Etheridge BSc Biomedical Sciences, 2012

Harriet Etheridge's Photo

Hi, I'm Harriet Etheridge and I studied BSc Biomedical Sciences within Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Following the second year of my degree I was eager to apply for one of the few studentship placements offered by a number of departments.

I applied to Southampton because I wanted to study at a campus-based university. I liked the layout of Highfield campus, the library and how easy it was to get around. The Centre of Biological Sciences appealed to me as I had a keen interest in biology, particularly medically related fields. The biomedical Sciences degree seemed to offer a number of modules covering a broad range of subjects, with a particular focus on Neuroscience in the final year. 

Following the second year of my degree I was eager to apply for one of the few studentship placements offered by a number of departments. I gladly accepted a molecular cell biology project, which focused on a bacterial multi-drug resistance protein, SAV1866, that is related to a family of proteins of clinical interest. These multi-drug resistance proteins are responsible for such clinical problems as antibiotic resistance and the failure of chemotherapy due to the tumour cells becoming resistant to anti-cancer drugs. The aim of the project is to understand how the activity of multi-drug transporters is controlled so that strategies can be developed to reduce the effectiveness of these proteins. Such strategies could be used to tackle the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance and help to reduce the failure rates seen with chemotherapy.

During the 8 week placement I learnt and performed techniques in protein culture, expression, purification and genetic manipulation. Having produced promising preliminary data, the project will now serve as a basis for my dissertation as I am eager to continue researching the proteins’ interactions and activity within the cell membrane.

The facilities available in the new purpose-built building on the main campus are excellent. The laboratories are brand new, extensive and contain many high-tech machines/equipment which are absolutely essential for any research project. The staff are knowledgeable, helpful and willing to share their expertise and experience.

The West Quay shopping centre offers a variety of shops and restaurants making it a great place to go on weekends with friends. The clubs in Bedford Place are lively and busy midweek. I like how easy it is to be active at the University, I have joined many sports clubs and go on trips away at weekends.

At present I’m unsure whether to continue with academia or apply for a position in a pharmaceutical company or similar. I may go on to do a Masters in something business related and team it with my background in science before starting my career.

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