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(Molecular) Biology Personal Statement

“Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.” -Ralph Emerson
For centuries, mankind has pushed the boundaries of scientific knowledge, uncovering the secrets of our very existence; never before has a species known so much about its biological makeup. The complex relationship between cells and other biological structures has intrigued me for years, and drives me to expand my knowledge of the molecules that create the world around me.
Studying Biology has confirmed and boosted my desire to understand biological topics in greater depth, while also increasing my laboratory, analytical and evaluative skills, while Chemistry has given me a foundation in understanding atoms and bonds, necessary to understand Biology in greater depth. Studying Psychology has allowed me to develop my essay writing, and Maths has improved my numerical and statistical analysis skills, both of which are crucial for progressing in Biology. I was accepted for a week at Oxford University’s ‘UNIQ’ summer programme for Biology, which allowed me to develop a higher understanding of a range of topics. While all of the themes captivated me, the area that most interested me was genetics. I learnt how to separate out a single gene and prepare the sample for gel electrophoresis; being able to recover, separate and analyse my DNA was truly amazing, and opened my eyes to the many applications of modern biology. Furthermore, in the parasitology lab session, I discovered that nemotodes are able to detect the presence of a slug from the slime trail; I am fascinated in the biochemical aspect of evolutionary advantages such as this. Another event that further enhanced my aspiration to learn was a ‘Biochemistry & Genetics Masterclass’ at Cambridge University. The lecture entitled ‘Biochemistry of Mitochondria’ focused on the molecular structure of mitochondria and the process by which it creates ATP, which triggered my interest in molecular biology. Since then, I threw myself into activities that quenched my thirst for knowledge surrounding the subject.
I commit to wider reading on a range of biological topics, from internet journals such as New Scientist and The Journal of Cell Biology. One article that particularly interested me focused on the acute-phase proteins, chemicals and cells associated with acute HIV-1 infection, and how research into their interactions could be used to develop an effective vaccine. It explored the possibility that CD8+T cells curb viremia; lowering the viremia at the set point leads to slower HIV progression and a lower transmission risk. I believe that research such as this will lead to enhanced knowledge of the interactions between immune response and pathogen cells, which may lead to possible vaccine development.
Outside school, one of my hobbies is dance, in which I have taken classes since the age of 5. It has given me a focus separate from my academic work, and enabled me to be part of shows, where I have assisted on and off stage. For my bronze Duke of Edinburgh award, I worked in a charity shop and in an infant school for my Year 10 work experience; both enhanced my confidence and my interpersonal and organisation skills. I am currently completing my silver Duke of Edinburgh, which has given me new opportunities to push myself both mentally and physically. Completing the expedition, I learnt much about myself, how to work as part of team and skills such as compass and map-reading. Within school, I am an active member of the sixth form. I am a ‘Helpliner’ for the lower years, meaning I give support and guidance for students struggling with school or personal issues. I am also part of the academic committee, and I support less able students with GCSE science coursework, as well as volunteering to help in both AS level and key stage 3 science lessons.
I am a hard-working, conscientious student, and look forward to the many new opportunities university life offers.

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This personal statement was written by emmaarr for application in 2012.

emmaarr's Comments

Universities applied to:
University of Warwick (Biological Sciences)- Offer
University of Bath (Molecular and Cellular Biology)- Offer
University of St Andrews (Molecular Biology)- Offer Accepted (FIRM)
University of Durham (Biological Sciences)- Offer
Royal Holloway, University of London (Molecular Biology)- Offer (Insurance)

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