Biochemistry and Biomedicine Personal Statement Example

Do blood groups have any impact on immunity to disease? Is it possible to develop a vaccine for malaria? These are the questions I love to ask, and I turn to science to try and discover their answers. I find the way our bodies produce proteins from DNA fascinating, and the roles these proteins play in the immune system, cell differentiation, and the cell cycle all have me glued to a textbook.

Saving lives with science and research is thrilling; I found my lessons on drug development and immunology so interesting that I chose to write my Biology issue report coursework on developing a vaccine for p. falciparum malaria. I studied the different treatments available, and the ethical and social implications of a malaria vaccine such as tribal religion, and the cost of inoculation. I also discussed the ongoing trials of the malaria vaccine, then came up with an alternative solution to a vaccine.

Through doing this report I developed my independent research and report writing skills, and I learned a lot about structuring and presenting a scientific report too. I also enjoyed attending a science workshop at a local private school, the most exciting event by far being an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) practical which I completed to determine whether fake 'body fluids’ were Ebola positive. When I had added the necessary antibodies, the enzyme and the substrate, my sample changed colour, indicating it was infected with Ebola.

On work experience at the International Blood Group Referencing Laboratories in Filton I learned a lot about genetics and antibodies. I thawed a cell line, grew and harvested a batch of supernatant, purified immunoglobulin by affinity chromatography and then tested the final product by ELISA. This experience gave me a better view of the wider world, and showed me that there was a lot more to science than just a school laboratory. It also introduced me to the science industry, and I discovered that the same quality and manufacturing standards I had learned about in food technology applied to the science industry too.

A professor of immunology recently came to school and gave a lecture on multiple sclerosis; this inspired me to find out more about what goes wrong on a molecular scale in our bodies when we are ill. I found a textbook by Thomas Devlin called 'Biochemistry with Clinical Correlations' which I am thoroughly enjoying, I especially find the paragraphs on viruses like HIV very interesting. The fact that the HIV virus is so hard to treat because of its numerous mutations due to the way it is replicated using an mRNA template fascinated me. The oncology chapter expands well on what I had learned about cancer in my AS biology lessons by explaining in greater detail about the different enzymes and proteins involved in the production and division of cells, and how that when they fail a tumour forms.

Classical music is a big part of my life outside studying; my main instrument is the piano. Composing and playing music is my way of expressing myself; I love relaxing at the piano keyboard. I enjoy playing a varied range of composers from the early baroque period right up until the present day.

Developing valuable life and communication skills is very important to me too. I enjoyed doing some voluntary work with the elderly at the local Bethesda residential care home, giving a monthly craft workshop. This helped me develop skills working and communicating with others of a different age group, and I really loved seeing the pleasure the activities gave to the residents. Mentoring year 7 pupils whilst in year 12 was a great experience; I genuinely enjoyed chatting to and advising those pupils who found schoolwork and relationships more challenging, and I felt a sense of worth from helping and supporting them.
I am really enthusiastic about science, and believe that by studying the areas I find fascinating at university I can become closer to my goal of helping save lives through scientific research.

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Do blood groups have any impact on immunity to disease? Is it possible to develop a vaccine for malaria? These are the questions I love to ask, and I turn to science to try and discover their answers...


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