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Masters students at the Jack Birch Unit

15 Dec 2020

Two masters students at the University of York have given us an insight into the work they do at the Jack Birch Unit, the laboratories we established and the place where our pioneering bladder cancer research is conducted.

Here’s what they wrote for us:

Hannah Willis

I’m Hannah, I’m from Switzerland and I have just started the fourth year of my Integrated Masters in Biomedical Sciences at the University of York. I chose York for my undergraduate degree because I was impressed by all the lab space and equipment in the Biology department and I really liked the way the course was structured.  For my fourth year I have to undertake a Master’s Project and I have the pleasure of working in the JBU labs. I am very excited to be starting my project in the JBU, as I am eager to learn more about the areas of regenerative medicine and cancer. My project is focused on aspects of urothelial (bladder lining) repair and regeneration. After I complete my Integrated Masters next year, I plan on undertaking an internship for nine to 12 months at a pharmaceutical company and then I would like to do a PhD.

Frazer Hepburn

I am Frazer from County Durham in the North East of England, so the cobblestone streets of York feel familiar as they remind me very much of Durham.  I am in the beginning of my fourth and final year of my Integrated Master’s degree in Biochemistry at the University of York. For my Master’s Project this year, I am thrilled to be appointed to work in the laboratories of the Jack Birch Unit, under the supervision of Professor Jennifer Southgate and her group. The lab’s work is very interesting to me, especially given the potential to learn about and engage in the forefront of cancer biology and regenerative medicine. My individual project area is focused on investigating the role that a certain protein called PKC may play in the normal human bladder and in the occurrence and development of bladder cancer. The work in the JBU is suited wonderfully to me, as I hope to be able to pursue a career in cancer research, and likely will endeavour to complete a PhD and perhaps postdoctoral study in the field.