"The Nuffield bursary scheme provided me with a most worthwhile way of spending the summer and I’d highly recommend it to anyone interested in pursuing a career in science."
Rosie McDowell was awarded a bursary to work with Drs David Timson and John Nelson from the School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University in Belfast on an elusive problem in a project entitled 'Interactions between the 37 kDa laminin receptor precursors (37LRP) and key ligands'. The 67 kDa laminin receptor is to date an enigma in terms of the changes it undergoes from its 37 kDa precursor (37LRP) to reach its final structure at the cell membrane. To try to shed some light on this topic, Rosie made a recombinant version of the precursor protein in E. coli. Using a number of biochemical techniques and various experimental conditions, she tested for interactions between 37LRP and a number of key molecules potentially involved in engineering the mature receptor. Unfortunately, none of the experiments were unambiguously successful, but Rosie’s discovery of specific problems will now be investigated further and modifications will then be implemented. Rosie also established a number of protocols which Dr Timson’s group will be able to apply as work on this topic continues.
"Certain aspects of working in a lab can only be made apparent through direct experience. I’d previously felt that I’d quickly get out of my depth working alone, however my experience in Dr Timson’s lab taught me that you’re very rarely on your own with a scientific problem."