Keturah Darbyshire: BSc Pharmacology
Industrial Placement at Astra Zeneca
"I worked in CIRA, the Cancer and Infection Research Area, in a small team which looks at anti-cancer agents in normal (non-cancerous) body tissues. A lot of anti-cancer drugs are very well suited to killing cancer cells and reducing tumour sizes, but they have severe and life-threatening side effects, limiting their chemotherapeutic potential.
I was looking at the toxic actions of a particular class of novel chemotherapies on their effect on blood pressure and the heart. The knowledge gained from my degree programme was a huge help in allowing me to pick up on the academic concepts surrounding my project quickly and efficiently. My placement year was undoubtedly the best year of my life. I really enjoyed my project work and the experience I gained, especially of working in a large, well-known pharmaceutical company. Getting paid was rather nice as well!"
At the time of writing Keturah was a fourth year student. She was shortlisted as one of three finalists in the 'Best Pharmacology Student' category of the 2009 Science, Technology and Engineering (SET) Student of the Year awards. Keturah graduated in 2009.
James O'Brien: BSc Pharmacology
"The highlight of my time at Leeds has been working in the labs, researching and experimenting – as the people at the labs are extremely helpful and accommodating. I have learned so much from them, and so much from the work that I have been able to do during this time. Currently the Pharmacology research group I am working with is testing the effects of teratogenic drugs on the development of maggots. This has been a fascinating project as it has the potential to become a future screening technique in drug development and decrease the number of animals used in research . The lab work has been hard, but very enjoyable. There is an amazing atmosphere in the labs."
At the time of writing James was a final year student. He graduated in 2009.