Celebrating the continuing success of the Lister’s Summer Studentships

Lister’s Summer Studentships are designed to help support the biomedical scientists of the future and give undergraduates a taste of life in the lab. Every year, students from across the UK spend time working with current and former Fellows on discrete research projects.

In 2020, UCL student Weining Lin joined Stephen Perkins’ lab and proceeded to upgrade the interactive human coagulation factor X (FX) and coagulation factor XI (FXI) database by assembling a set of additional genetic variants. Two papers were published back in November as a result of this project, detailing how analysis of additional variants reveal new insights into FX deficiency and FXI deficiency.

This year, 41 Summer Studentships took place.

Rebecca Fitzgerald

At the MRC Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge, Vianca Shah joined Rebecca Fitzgerald’s lab to look at the diagnosis of Barrett’s oesophagus.

The aim of the project was to evaluate the risk of progression of patients who have undergone radio-frequency ablation therapy to dysplasia or oesophageal intestinal metaplasia. Vianca also investigated potential biomarkers. She now feels “encouraged” to undertake a PhD, having seen first-hand the valuable impact and contribution doctoral researchers can make.

“Vianca was an excellent summer student,” says Rebecca. “She immediately immersed herself in the literature to understand the background to her project and she was eager to learn the wet lab techniques.

“I hope that this experience will inspire Vianca to continue a path towards academic medicine.”

Rebecca Fitzgerald
Dawn Coverley

Elena Guglielmi, a student at the University of York, joined Dawn Coverley’s lab to study the maintenance of chromatin state in primary cells.

Elena developed many other skills in addition to learning practical skills such as primary cell culture and cellular analysis techniques.

Her experience in Dawn’s lab convinced her of her hopes to pursue a career in research.

“The studentship allowed me to apply my knowledge, be challenged, ask questions, and strengthen my ability to convince my peers in discussions.”

Elena Guglielmi

“Elena’s findings, which support earlier data on mechanisms of cell death, are likely to be used to support a future grant application,” says Dawn. “She soaked up the challenge, did everything we asked of her and developed her skills so that by the end of her placement was doing some long and complicated experiments independently. I would happily invite her back as a PhD student if I were able to do so.”

Applications for 2022

Any current or former Fellow of the Lister Institute is eligible to apply to host a Summer Studentship. The Institute will provide £2,350 to support a student project within your lab for 6 to 10 weeks.

If you would like to be considered for this funding this summer, there are some spaces remaining. Fellows and former Fellows can register here.

For more information, please visit our webpage about Summer Studentships.