Edward Nesbitt and Cassidy Bayley from the Department of Biology and Biochemistry presented their research at the Houses of Parliament last month.

Forming part of the Parliamentary poster competition STEM for Britain, Edward and Cassidy were selected from hundreds of applicants to demonstrate their science communication skills by presenting their research and poster to a panel of leading academics and politicians.

The competition gave them the chance to discuss the implications and importance of their work with local MPs, other researchers and senior science stakeholders.

Cell signaling

Biochemistry PhD student, Cassidy talked about her research on cell signaling in cancer and drug resistance. Cellular signaling pathways tightly regulate cell division but can become disrupted, leading to the formation of cell masses or tumours. She is investigating how key regulators of these cellular signaling pathways are involved in drug resistance and whether they can be targeted for improved drug strategies.

Cassidy said: "STEM for Britain was a very interesting experience. It definitely highlighted the importance of good science communication in enabling discussions about the general applications and impact of our work".

High Temperature Terpene Production

Ed Nesbitt is studying a PhD in Biochemistry and talked about his research on how to make terpene production more efficient by using thermophiles. Terpene products can be expensive so it is currently extracted from plants. Microbes offer a more time efficient and cheaper option which can be achieved at low temperatures. Ed is looking to produce terpenes at high temperatures by finding or creating the enzymes able to withstand the heat without breaking down.

Ed said: “It was an exciting experience for me as it was my first time in the House of Commons. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to showcase my work to MPs and discuss its importance in the current day and for the future. Also, it was great to chat and network with early-stage researchers from different disciplines within the Biological and Biomedical Sciences."

"It has given me confidence with presenting my work to a non-academic audience and I would highly recommend this event to PhD students and Post-docs.”