This was my second time attending the Annual Research Event (ARE) organised by the Medical School and I must admit the event is a fantastic opportunity to not only learn of the diversity of research in the Medical school but also to liaise and showcase your Research. It is also an opportunity to gather some conference experience. This year unlike last year where I had a talk, I had a poster to present in 3 minutes and so did all second year postgraduate students. The first year postgraduate students had to perform a 10 minute presentation followed by questions from the audience. Whilst, the third year postgraduate students, had the option of giving a presentation or presenting a poster but also chairing a session. There were two presentation Halls, one for psycho-socio-metaanalysis research presentations and the other for basic sciences presentations.
At oral presentation of which I chose to listen to Basic sciences, there were talks on circular RNAs, Schizophrenia gene studies using CRISPR, Jessica Chaffrey of our group presented on the role of the protein PPP1R1A in beta cells, Ese Ifie presented on the Coxsackie Adenovirus Receptor and its potential role in Type 1 Diabetes, there was a talk on recurrent hypoglycaemia and many more. There was a similar variation of topics at the poster presentation. My poster was titled “Knockdown of STAT6 attenuates the cytoprotective actions of interleukin-13 in pancreatic beta cells”. STAT6 is a transcription factor whose role in beta cells has not been fully understood and in this poster, I presented data of some of our findings concerning its role in protecting beta cells. Patricia Thomas presented a poster on the characterisation of Fatty acids on the viability of human derived beta cells and Anais Kahve on beta and endothelial cells responses to fatty acids. Other posters presented were: microRNAs in aging, Cadmium and immune response, DNA methylation, recurrent hypoglycaemia and a lot more.
There were tea breaks between four talks offering an opportunity to ask follow-up questions and to network. I need not end without mentioning the evening quiz which preceded a good dinner. There were 30 questions in total and about 8 teams, and yes, it was another networking opportunity!
All in all I think the ARE is an essential forum for Medical postgraduate students and it’s usually alot of fun!