Biochemistry Personal Statement Example 12

The 21st century's radical ideas are a product of science and science fiction. At a time when we are editing the human genome, procreating in test tubes and trying to cure ageing, my interest in biology piqued when studying the immune system at A-level. Revelling in its intricacies, I made it the basis of a platform game for my A-level Computer Science project; a subject complementing Biology and Chemistry in the modern day where technology and science permeate. The immune system's ability to defend against disease is a feat of nature, and I was fascinated in finding the predispositions to disease that the genome can create. This led me to Jonathan Slack's 'A Very Short Introduction to Genes'. Slack wrote of how genetics can be the cause many diseases, most interesting: haemophilia. This provided me with a platform to explore more complex ideas, prominently genetic modification. This could not have come at a better time as CRISPR was dominating headlines.
As a forefront member of the school's Debate Society, I relished the opportunity of arguing whether genetic modification was indeed a step too far; armed with my CRISPR knowledge, I managed to deliver an engaging argument despite the ethics and legalities that genetic modification must navigate. This debate motivated me to create my own personal blog (newgeneblog.wordpress) where I post my thoughts on recent scientific breakthroughs - notably, whether CRISPR is ready for human testing. Looking at how medicine, biology and chemistry interplay in the laboratory is something I would love to investigate further, whilst at school the breakthroughs in immunotherapy inspired me to deliver a talk to my school's aspiring medics on how the technology works. Being able to communicate through multiple media, whether it be speech or writing, will serve me well at a university level in writing lab reports and giving presentations.
The A-level syllabus painted enzymology in a rather lacklustre light, but volunteering at a pharmacy allowed me to see its medical applications, such as the administration of cholesterol medication at night when reductase is most active. These ideas quickly changed my opinion. This prompted me to attend a biochemistry lecture at Cambridge University, where I learnt about the mitochondrial free radical theory of ageing, which catalysed my interest in biochemistry. This led me to study the subject in greater depth through an online course. What peaked my interest there was seeing the chemical properties of vitamin C, namely its use as an antioxidant, the course delved deeper, and explained how to measure vitamin C concentration in solutions. Understanding how to devise experiments to test theories is a core part of science and a skill I have developed beyond the A-level specification during this course.
Executing protocols throughout a two-week lab UCL placement greatly heightened my understanding of the practical elements required in a biochemistry course. Whilst there, I was able to consolidate my understanding of familiar theoretical concepts learnt at school in blood vessel topics whilst culturing human endothelial cells; yet my knowledge was further broadened with new ideas in staining after carrying out immunohistochemistry on hindbrain tissue sections. Communication was a skill the principle investigator embodied and one I paralleled rather well, as a result of undertaking command tasks as a senior air cadet where communication is imperative. Collaboration was also prevalent in the lab; I excelled in it as my team-working skills have been highly developed. This skill stems from seven years of high school basketball and doubles badminton.
I am the product of these skills and experiences. They have cultivated me into someone who will be highly successful in the university environment. With the breadth of knowledge and skills provided by a biochemistry degree, I will have the potential to be catapulted into the centre spotlight of scientific advancement.

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Author's Comments

Applied to: UCL, Durham, Bristol, Birmingham and Nottingham
Received offers from all 5 and firmed UCL, going there in September of 2018 after meeting requirements on results day.
I think the important thing with these are to start very early (year 12 summer holidays) and then keep refining and refining until you have a solid paragraph clearly articulating your: reason for studying the subject,interest and where it began, what you did to further that interest and any hobbies etc.


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