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Source Bioscience Placement Student Wins Award

Source Bioscience Placement Student Wins Award

A student who completed a placement at Source Bioscience has won the Nottingham Trent University Placement Student of the Year award for 2017.

The award recognises exemplary placement students who have gone above and beyond expectations. Ivana Talbott is one of three students who won the award which was open to 116 placement students. As a Biomedical Science student, she’s one of only a handful of placement students from the university’s science and technology school to have ever won the award.

Ivana completed an 11 month placement with the Diagnostics and Genomics division at Source Bioscience. The division offers services such as sequencing and genotyping to a range of clients in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and academic sectors.

The placement is an optional part of Ivana’s four year sandwich course. She said: “I initially was swaying more towards not doing one, mainly because I had initially studied forensics so if I did it, I would have been at university for five years.”

But then an email about the placement at Source Bioscience piqued her interest. She decided to attend a talk by Neil Ryan, the Lab Operations Manager at the time, which convinced her to apply for the placement. She said: “It was right up my street. I like genetics and it was a good chance to learn more about it since we don’t do a lot of it on my course.”

While she was at Source Bioscience, she carried out Sanger sequencing of samples sent in by university researchers.

 “I’d sequence plasmids and PCR products that researchers sent in. It’s a 12 hours service, so you had to turn it around quickly,” she said.

The placement also gave her plenty of hands-on experience and access to state of the art technology.

“You learn the scientific theory at university but you don’t get the chance to apply it as much.

“The machines they used aren’t available at university because they are very expensive. Source Bioscience uses really current technology,” she said.

Ivana also answered customer’s queries which gave her the opportunity to pick up further skills. She said: “There was quite a lot of customer interaction which I wasn’t expecting from a science placement.

“We were constantly emailing customers who were asking how to improve their samples or data.”

Ivana was nominated for the award by Laboratory Service Manager Dr Teresa Coughlan. She said: “From day one, Ivana stood out as a fantastic worker, a very capable scientist and a really integral part of the team in how her personality lifted those around her.

“I would have absolutely no question in employing her, were we to have a suitable role available once she has graduated.

“Ivana was willing to go the extra mile in her work many times, staying extra hours in order to help out and completing more weeks on the job than were required by her course.”

She went onto say: “In terms of Ivana's quality of work, I can say that in the time she was with us, she became competent in much more than what was expected of a Trainee Sequencing Scientist, additionally venturing into our Contract Research and Next Generation Sequencing areas.

“During her placement, Ivana helped us out many times in shortage areas. In short, throughout her time with us, Ivana was indistinguishable in every way from a regular member of staff.” 

Ivana is now in the final year of her four year Biomedical Sciences course. She is doing a research project looking at whether a particular gene from the Pancreatic beta cell is upregulated or downregulated in Type 2 diabetes.
For the past four years, Source Bioscience in Nottingham has taken on up to four placement students per year. 

If you are interested in doing a placement at Source Bioscience, you can contact us via our website.

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