Name: Susan Turrell
Scholarship: EPSRC Doctoral Training Grant Studentship
I am pursuing a gene therapy PhD in the virology department under the supervision of Adrian Whitehouse.
I was attracted to postgraduate studies as I really enjoyed my undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology and wanted to continue learning in a stimulating environment. My aim is to develop a gene therapy vector, based on a herpesvirus, which can be used to treat hepatocellular carcinoma. This project interests me because it involves lots of different molecular biology techniques and also has a possible clinical benefit to people, however it is challenging at times!
I’m on a PhD scheme which is funded for four years by the British Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. This gives me flexibility and more time to focus on my research without having to worry about my income.
Studying at Leeds has opened up many opportunities to enhance my future career. The university actively encourages and prepares students for the next step whether that is academic or otherwise. Not only is the Faculty of Biological Sciences renowned for its research but it offers a wide selection of training courses, competitions and other events. I was lucky enough to be selected for a fellowship allowing me to spend 20 days in a local school. During my time there I gained a lot of experience which helped me make a more informed decision about a possible career in teaching. I’m not currently considering a career in academia, but this course has taught me lots of transferable skills and I feel this qualification will be a definite advantage in the future.