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First opportunity for many Otago Biochemistry postgrad students to share their research

Thursday 4 August 2022 1:22pm

Sean Coffey speaking to BMS Symposium_650

The 2022 School of Biomedical Sciences Postgraduate Symposium was held last week at the University’s Student Union. This was the first time that many of the postgraduate students in the BMS have had the opportunity to attend or present their research at a scientific meeting in person, thanks to the pandemic.

The BMS comprises the departments of Anatomy, Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, Pharmacology & Toxicology, and Physiology. A committee of postgraduate students from across these five departments organises the meeting.

The event was opened with a karakia and mihi whakatau led by Peter Williamson, the Rautaki Hononga/Kaitakawaenga (Māori Strategic Framework Facilitator) for the BMS. An introduction was given by the acting Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor for Health Sciences, Professor Neil Gemmell, and the Associate Dean Research, Professor Miguel Quiñones-Mateu.

Keynote speaker Associate Professor Khoon Lim talked about his research into tissue engineering and invited speaker Dr. Sean Coffey shared his experience in translating research into medical applications.

Jordan LimaAime Siemonek_650Sofia_Moreira_650

From left: Jordon Lima, Amie Siemonek and Sofia Moreira.

Jordon Lima and Amie Siemonek represented Biochemistry on the organisation committee. Jordon was very pleased with how the day went. “It was highly rewarding to be able to have Peter Williamson as our kaikōrero for the day, and to have the waiata tautoko performed by members of Biochemistry and Anatomy. All of this and the karakia tīmatanga me karakia whakamutunga were a first for the symposium, which I am proud to have implemented as a member of the committee!”

Fifteen Biochemistry students presented their research as posters. Congratulations to Sofia Moreira of the Brown Lab who won second place in the poster competition with her research entitled ‘In silico characterisation of atypical factors involved in bacterial transcription termination’.

In addition, four Biochemistry students were selected to give a talk presenting their research:
Michaela Hughes of the Guilford Lab (Single Cell Genomics in Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer)
Meghan Mulligan of the Bicknell Lab (Investigating ELAVL2 - a novel neurodevelopmental disorder disease gene)
Devon Bull of the Dunbier Lab (Investigating the role of immunotherapy in the treatment of metastatic oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer)
Kaitlyn Tippett of the Diermeier Lab (LncRNA combination therapy in triple negative breast cancer)

Well done to everyone who took part in this year's successful Symposium!